Students: Remember to Meet With Your DSO Before Traveling Abroad
If you are traveling abroad this holiday season and are an F or M student, it is important that you check in with your designated school official (DSO) before leaving the country.
When you meet with your DSO, you should speak with them to ensure that:
- Your record in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is up-to-date and in Active status.
- You have your DSO’s most up-do-date contact information, including both a daytime telephone number at the school, as well as a telephone number where they can be reached during non-business hours.
- You understand what to expect when re-entering the country and have all the necessary travel documents.
Remember that when you return to the United States, you will need to hand-carry these documents with you so that you can present them to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at a U.S. port of entry.
If CBP officers cannot verify your information, or if you are missing any documents, you will be escorted to secondary inspection and may be issued a Form I-515A, “Notice to Student or Exchange Visitor.”
This form allows you to enter the United States for 30 days. During that time, you must rectify any issues and respond to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). If you fail to take action on a Form I-515A, your SEVIS record will be at risk for termination.
Checking in with your DSO to ensure you have everything you need before traveling abroad will help you avoid being issued a Form I-515A. We also recommend you read these tips from SEVP Director Lou Farrell to help you prepare for holiday travel.