After you complete your degree requirements, you will need the following to re-enter the U.S.:
- Travel Signature on your I-20 that is less than six (6) months old.
- Letter from your employer to prove that you have a job to resume when you return to the U.S. or an offer letter to show that you will begin a job upon your return to the U.S.
- Financial documentation: If you have a low-paying job or unpaid internship, it is highly recommended to carry financial documentation with you to show you have sufficient finances to live in the U.S. Offer letters should contain salary information
- F-1 visa in your passport that will be valid on the day you plan to return to the U.S. If your visa stamp will be expired, you will need to renew it at a US consulate or embassy while outside the U.S.
- OPT Employment Authorization Document (EAD, also known as “OPT Card”)
- Valid Passport
- It is also highly recommended that you carry your diploma or transcripts or certification of completion from University of Lynchburg.
Do You Need to Renew Your F-1 Visa Stamp While on OPT?
If you do not travel outside of the U.S. during your OPT, it is not a problem if your F-1 visa stamp expires. However, if you are traveling outside of the U.S. and then re-entering during your OPT, you will need to go to a U.S. embassy outside of the U.S. to renew your visa stamp. For visa renewal documentation, you will need the items listed for travel above, including either your diploma or certification of completion from University of Lynchburg.
- When you re-enter the U.S., retrieve your electronic I-94 and print it out.
- Make sure that your I-94 indicates your visa status as F-1, D/S. If you re-enter as a tourist or in any other visa status, it will interrupt your F status, which will invalidate your OPT.