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Whether you are an American citizen or a foreign national living in the United States, travel abroad requires preparation. Travel may be for the purpose of attending meetings or activities in other countries, visiting family, or simply taking a vacation. This page is intended to provide guidance and other useful information.
What information do U.S. citizens need?
Depending upon the requirements of the country to be visited, citizens of the United States need to carry a passport that is valid six months beyond the visit or documented evidence of their citizenship and identity. In addition to a passport, some countries will require a visa. For more information, see Visa and Foreign Entry Requirements.
Current information on passports is available at the Department of State Passport Services and Information site. There is a new passport requirement for U.S. citizens traveling between the United States and the Western Hemisphere (Caribbean, Bermuda, Panama, Mexico and Canada). For details, see Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.
What information do foreign nationals need?
There are special considerations for foreign nationals who live in the United States and travel abroad:
- Similiar to U.S. citizens, foreign nationals should determine whether they need a visa for the country they plan to visit.
The Web sites of foreign embassies and consulates in the United States can provide information on visa requirements.
- Before departing the United States, foreign nationals should review their immigration documents to be sure they will still be valid when they return to the United States.
- Sponsored students (F-1) and researchers (J-1) should consult their international office staff for guidance. If a visa is needed, they should also contact the U.S. Embassy in the country where they plan to travel and ask: a) whether it is possible to make an advance appointment for an interview; and b) if there are any other special procedures required such as a security review.
Adjustment of Non-immigrant Status
Non-immigrants who are applying for adjustment of status to U.S. permanent resident status may travel abroad only if they have obtained advance parole from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Advance parole allows them to be readmitted to the United States without abandoning their adjustment application.
Download Form I-131, Application for Travel Document (231KB PDF) from the U.S. Department of State homepage.
Where can I get general information about traveling to other countries?
For additional information on traveling from the United States to another country, please visit the following sites:
For specific information on delays and denials, see the Traveling to the United States page.
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