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F-1 students and J-1 exchange visitors (students and scholars) need to show a valid travel signature on their Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 when returning to the US after brief trips.

  • For current F-1 / J-1 students and J-1 scholars: Travel signatures should be no more than one year old on the date of your return to the US
  • For F-1 students on post-completion OPT or STEM Extension OPT: Travel signatures should be no more than six months old on the date of your return to the US
  • For J-1 students on post-completion Academic Training: Travel signatures should be no more than six months old on the date of your return to the US

Travel signatures are not required to depart the US; signatures are needed only upon returning to the US to resume F-1 or J-1 activities. You cannot get a travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019 if you are leaving Tufts either indefinitely or permanently, or are no longer in valid status. Please consult with an International Center advisor if this applies to you.

Electronic Delivery of I-20s / Travel Signatures

Effective Fall 2021, all requests for travel signatures should be made online through our International Center Portal.

  • F-1 students: The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) now allows us to deliver I-20s to students electronically. After receiving a travel signature request, an International Center advisor will electronically deliver to you a PDF that contains an updated I-20 with a new travel signature. When you receive the PDF file, you should print it out, sign it, and carry it with you when traveling.
  • J-1 students and scholars: J-1 visa holders must still carry an original DS-2019 with a travel signature. While you can request an updated DS-2019 through our online International Center Portal, electronic delivery of DS-2019s is not permitted.

How to Request a Travel Signature

Step 1a (for F-1 students): Submit a travel signature request by accessing your International Center Portal, navigating to the Request Center, and clicking on "Travel Signature Request."

Step 1b (for J-1 scholars, employees, and student interns): Submit a J-1 Scholar Travel Signature Request

Step 2: Once your request is received, an International Center advisor will review the request. It will ordinarily take 3 - 5 business days to process a travel signature request. Please note that travel signature requests are not processed during the weekends or on holidays.

Step 3: Once the request has been processed, an updated I-20 or DS-2019 form with a travel signature will be delivered to you electronically (for F-1 students) or by pick-up / mail (for J-1 students and scholars)

  • You will also be given the option to submit a pre-paid USPS priority mail stamp (you will be given instructions for requesting express mail delivery) or request express mail (e.g., Federal Express, UPS) using e-Ship Global.