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Travel and Re-Entry Documents

If you plan to leave the U.S. to visit another country, you must have the following documents to return to the U.S. and continue your education at Bethel University.

Valid Passport

Your passport is issued by your home country and must remain valid while you are in the United States. If your passport is within six months of expiring and you want to renew your passport while in the U.S., contact your country's embassy to renew your passport.

F-1 Visa

An F-1 visa is an official sticker that is issued to you, as a nonimmigrant student, by the U.S. Department of State; and is placed on one of the pages in your passport.

A nonimmigrant student must have an F-1 visa to be considered for entry into the U.S.; however, having one does not guarantee you will be allowed in. When you present your passport with an F-1 visa in it at the border, an immigration officer will determine whether or not you can officially enter the U.S.

More information about your F-1 visa can be found on the F-1 Status page.

Form I-20 Certificate of Eligibility

  • Form I-20 is a three-page document issued by Bethel University.
  • It must have a valid signature by the International Student Affairs Coordinator on page 3. The coordinator's signature on page 3 is valid for one year.
  • You must request the I-20 form before applying for your F-1 student visa.
  • Form I-20 will be used at the time of entry into the U.S.
  • Upon arrival in the U.S., an immigration officer will stamp the I-20. The stamp indicates the length of your authorized stay in the U.S. and should be kept with your passport.
  • You must keep the original I-20 and any additional I-20 forms that are issued to you. Be sure that your I-20 is always valid during your stay in the U.S.
  • If you will not complete your program of studies by the date in, you will need to extend your program end date on your I-20 by contacting the International Student Affairs Coordinator two to three weeks before the program end date for instructions on how to extend your program.

Evidence of Valid Immigration Status

The entry stamp placed in your passport at the time of entry into the U.S. indicates your visa status and approved length of stay in the U.S.

F-1 visa status students should have “F-1/D-S” stamped in his/her passport at the port of entry. "D/S" indicates that you may stay in the U.S. as long as you are complying with the purpose of your visa status as an F-1 student.

I-94 Arrival/Departure Printout

You may need to show evidence of your I-94 Arrival/Departure printout when you apply for some services. Examples are a Tennessee driver's license, Social Security card, or request benefits from USCIS.

Here you can learn more about travel and re-entry from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Contact Us

If you have any questions, please call or email us.

Jane Campbell
International Student Affairs Coordinator
(731) 352-6375
campbellj@bethelu.edu