Center for International Education


Holloway Hall
Salisbury University - Center for International Education

F-1 Visa Status

Other Information

Travel and reentry: Travel to Canada and Mexico

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.