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Judith
Judith, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 28200
Experience:  34 years as practicing immigration attorney, with non-immigrant and immigrant visa experience.
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I am currently on OPT and I've traveled to the Dominican

Customer Question

Hello, I am currently on OPT and I've traveled to the Dominican Republic. However, I realized that my travel signature is more than 6 months old. Will I be able to get back into the United States? What are the steps I should take? I do not have time to have a new I-20 with a recent travel signature mailed to me before my return date.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Judith replied 11 months ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I am delighted to answer your questions today. I have 35 years experience as an immigration lawyer.

How old is the authorization signature?

Judith

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
My authorization signature is from April 2015. I have valid OPT until July 2016.
Expert:  Judith replied 11 months ago.

The Dominican Republic is considered an adjacent island

https://www.ice.gov/sevis/travel#_Toc81222015

The regulations do not require travel authorization for the I-20 to be valid for travel to adjacent islands.

You can usually revalidate an expired visa automatically when returning from a visit of less than thirty days to Canada, Mexico, or one of the islands adjacent to the United States (other than Cuba) provided that you have a valid Form I-20 and a valid unexpired Form I-94. This process is known as automatic visa revalidation.

The same rule will apply to your return from the DR

I see this is the first time you are using JA and I am eager to make this a positive experience for you. Please ask follow-up questions if my answer is not clear.
Of course, I am sure you understand your positive rating is very important to me as we are not on salary and that is how we receive compensation, you choosing a smiley face or 3+ stars
In the future, you may begin your questions with “FOR JUDITH” and I will be your personal immigration expert.

Judith

Expert:  Judith replied 11 months ago.

May I ask if my answer was not helpful? Experts are only compensated if you give a positive rating and I thought I gave you an awesome answer. What was missing.

Judith

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi Judith. Your answer regarding the getting back to the United States was helpful. However, I was denied entry into the Dominican Republic (after the US checked my documents before boarding the plane). My husband and I traveled there for our honeymoon after getting advice from you a few months ago. For your reference, here is our discussion: http://my.justanswer.com/question/index/f20b04621d81481fb41c54c519de2812?continueTheConversation=False&comingFromAdservEmail=False&ratedThroughEmail=False&rating=0&fromPayPal=False#re.v/469/.
When we arrived at the Dominican Republic, my entry was denied because they said my US visa was expired. I explained to them that my visa stamp expired, but my I-20 is valid, etc. They didn't give me the opportunity to reach out to an embassy or anything, and put us back on the plane to the US.
Expert:  Judith replied 11 months ago.

What is your question?

Judith

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Why was I denied entry when residents of the United States are allowed in? Why did the US customs let me through but not the Dominican? We traveled there even though my passport stamp was expired because it's fine to travel to the adjacent islands as long as I have a valid I-20, which I do.
Expert:  Judith replied 11 months ago.

That is a Dominican law question and I have no license to answer any question outside US law.

You need to retain a Dominican lawyer for that answer.

Your original question made absolutely no reference to any question about entry into DR.

I put a lot of time into answering your question about US law.

Judith