Since Mexico and Canada share land borders with the United
States, many students and advisers may not think of
inquiring about entry requirements far in advance. Mexico
and Canada have distinct entry requirements, which must be
investigated by F-1 students and their families just like
any other country.
The lack of a valid Form I-20 will not prevent the
student's departure from the United States; it may, however,
prevent the student from entering Canada or Mexico.
Moreover, even a duplicate Form I-20, which lacks the
expected admission stamps, may be insufficient for the
student to obtain entry to Canada or Mexico.
Under certain circumstances, an F nonimmigrant with an
expired visa may re-enter the United States as though
the visa were still valid, provided that the student
traveled only to Canada, Mexico, or the adjacent
Caribbean islands for 30 days or less. This benefit also
extends to F nonimmigrants who have changed their status
to F in the United States, and whose visa is in the
category in which they entered the United States.