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I-20 Travel Signature Instructions


You are required to complete this process at least TWO WEEKS before leaving******:

STEP 1. Register full time for classes you will return to take 

If travelling DURING THE SEMESTER you must bring notes or e-mails from each instructor stating that you will be able to return to the class IF YOU WILL MISS MORE THAN ONE CLASS MEETING. This is not necessary if you will only miss one class meeting

 If travelling BETWEEN REGULAR SEMESTERS (fall and spring)

  1. Register FULL TIME (12 billing hours or more) for next semester (fall or spring)
  2. Guarantee your classes cannot be cancelled for the next term by:

              - Paying tuition in full at the Cashier's Office or Office of Admissions and Records...OR 
              - Enrolling in the TIP Payment Plan on MyMC...OR
              - Presenting acceptable proof of a Montgomery College or other qualifying scholarship to the Cashier's Office 

STEP 2. Bring the following to your International Student Coordinator: 

  1. Your current I-20 (most recently dated I-20 issued for "Continued Attendance at this school") 
  2. A fully completed I-20 Travel Signature Request Form   
  3. Proof of enrollment in classes upon your return
                - Printouts of e-mails or faculty notes if missing two or more classes (in current term)
                 - Printout of full time registration and proof of payment or TIP enrollment (if between terms)

STEP 3. Use your signed I-20, your valid passport*, and your valid F-1 visa* to re-enter the United States. 



The I-94 card for entry IS CHANGING.  No more paper I-94s will be given out after May 17th, 2013.  You will get instructions to print an I-94 from on-line. Your Passport will be scanned so your Passport name will become your Official Legal Name in the United States.  Please see our Office if your passport name is not the same as the name on your I-20.  See for details. 

Double Check your documents before returning to the United States.  The Customs officers at the borders are upgrading their computer software that helps them verify each F-1 student’s status in the SEVIS (government computer database) system.  During the upgrade you be sent to “Secondary Inspection” . DON’T PANIC.  This is just to verify that your I-20 is OK.   It may, however, take some extra time in customs (bring a good book).  REMEMBER – you need your I-20 (with a valid signature on it) to be with you!



1. Not Returning for the next Regular Term (fall or spring)

Your International Student Coordinator cannot sign your I-20
     Transferring – use the new school’s I-20
     Not going to school - Leave of Absence or returning home permanently

2. Do Not Have/Cannot Find Your I-20 

3. Passport Expired

Contact your Embassy in Washington, D.C.
You MAY end up carrying two passports if you get a new one and your visa is in the old one.

4. Need to renew/revalidate Your F-1 Visa in your Passport

  • You will need an Official Transcript AND
  • A new set of original financial documents to take to the US Consulate

You MAY also need a support letter explaining your transcript

To find specific information about the process at the US Consulate you will apply to, see
You may also see how long it takes to get a Student Visa Interview date at that Consulate at

5. Need to Obtain Your First F-1 Visa Stamp

If you changed status in the US, you will need:

  • Your Change of Status approval notice AND
  • Official Transcript AND
  • new set of original financial documents to take to the U.S. Consulate

You MAY also need a support or explanation letter or other documents

To find specific information about the process at the US Consulate you will apply to, see
You may also see how long it takes to get a Student Visa Interview date at that Consulate at



LATE I-20 Signature process


A SIGNED I-20 is needed to ENTER to the United States from another country, you do not need it to leave.


If you CANNOT get your I-20 signed before departing the United States you must do the following:


1) Register Full Time (12 or more Billing Hours) for the next term.


2) Pay all tuition due OR sign up for the TIP payment plan (see e-cashier on MyMC)


3) Get your ORIGINAL I-20 and a copy of your payment receipt or TIP plan to a TRUSTED FRIEND or local contact to bring to an International Coordinator for a signature.


4) The International Coordinator will EITHER:

          *Mail the signed I-20 to where ever you specify

                   (this is NOT express mail)       OR

          *Give your signed I-20 to the person who you designate (or the person who brought in the I-20 to the office) and that person can get the I-20 to you.



*If there is a problem with your status we CANNOT sign your I-20. 

*You need additional documents to apply for an F-1 visa stamp. See notes above.


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