International Travel Tips for Non-immigrant Visa Holders

The following is a list of best practices for all non-immigrant visa holders who conduct travel outside of the United States. This list is non-exhaustive, and does not replace normal pre-trip planning considerations: 

1. Contact the International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO) to stay informed of the most recent changes in immigration law, detailed travel instructions, and related efforts at the University. Please explore this website for additional resources on international travel.

2. Make two copies of all pertinent immigration documents, e.g. passport bio page, visa, etc. Bring one set with you on your travels and keep it separate from your other travel documents. Leave one set with a trusted friend in the U.S.

3. Bring your most recent I-94 and travel history list with you. Employees should also bring their offer letters and recent pay stubs.

4. If traveling for Columbia Travel,  Register Your Columbia Travel with International SOS (ISOS). If you are stranded overseas or experience an emergency abroad, ISOS can assist with logistics. ISOS can be reached at (215) 942-8478, CU membership ID: 11BSGC000064

5. Memorize the phone number of your trusted friend, attorney, and International SOS (ISOS) +001-215-942-8478, in the event you are detained. ISOS can provide a translator.

6. Communicate your travel plans with your trusted friend and create check-in procedures for your return flight. For example: (1) Agree to text your friend immediately upon landing in the U.S. (2) Agree that you will contact your friend again with three hours. (3) If your friend has not heard from you in that time, they should contact Public Safety at (212) 854-5555.

7. For those with families in the U.S., prepare a Family Preparedness Plan.

8. Know Your Rights if stopped by law enforcement officials for any reason. 

9. Follow all Leading Practices regarding your technology devices. If you have any concerns following these leading practices, please reach out to CUIT for assistance or the possibility for obtaining loaner equipment for the duration of your travel