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With the United States' continued involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan very much in the news, with broader concerns regarding the situation in the Middle East and with U.S. homeland security issues continuing to be of concern, there is uncertainty in some quarters regarding the advisability of long-distance travel. Barring an unforeseen catastrophe or circumstance, we do not anticipate any changes in the immediate future for student travel outside the United States. We are concerned for students who will need to renew their F-1 visa abroad, and whether they will have sufficient time to do so and return to UTS in order to begin the next trimester, given on-going security clearance requirements. Any student who feels uncomfortable or concerned about their travel plans in a time of uncertainty may prefer to cancel those plans. This is a personal decision. No one is capable of predicting the future.
If you are planning a trip over the Thanksgiving break or during intersession within the United States by car, bus, train or airplane, to U.S. cities near or far, it is essential that you have your passport and visa documents with you. Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, there has been heightened security not only at all border crossings, but also at bus terminals, train terminals, and airports throughout the United States. Police from multiple agencies; federal, state and municipal, are patrolling these areas. People may be stopped and questioned randomly. Therefore, students are urged to be sure to have their passports, visa documents (I-94 card and I-20), and UTS student ID card with them for ALL distance travel, even travel within New York State. In addition, be sure that the third page of your SEVIS I-20 has an authorizing signature no older than May 2003. If you are applying for a change of non-immigrant status, visa petition or EAD card, be sure to carry your receipt notice as well, which proves that you have an application pending with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Processing Center.