Monterey Institute of International Studies
When should I schedule my flight to the United States?

It is advisable that you schedule your flight to the U.S. after obtaining the F-1 visa and not before. Furthermore, the U.S. federal regulations mandate that you arrive in the U.S. no more than 30 days before the school report date listed on your I-20 or DS-2019. Please schedule your trip accordingly.

At which airport should I arrive?

All grantees should plan to fly into Monterey Peninsula Airport (airport code MRY). It is a short drive to Monterey, and enables you to be easily transported to your hotel.

Can I travel outside the US while my OPT application is pending?

You should wait for your OPT to be approved and be in receipt of the actual card before traveling outside of the U.S.  If you must leave the country while your OPT application is pending, then you should be sure to carry your receipt notice from USCIS as well as a letter of support from the Office of International Services.  If you do  not have a valid visa and your OPT application is still pending, it is strongly recommended that you wait for the approval before applying for a new visa.

Can I travel outside the US while I am on OPT?

A student engaged in OPT before completion of studies follows the same procedure for visits abroad and re-entry as all F-1 students.If you engage in OPT following the completion of your studies and you travel outside the US temporarily (less than 5 months), you can be readmitted to resume employment for the remainder of the period authorized on your EAD card provided you present the following:

Do I have any choice about what country I go to?

What country you go to depends largely on what countries are currently requesting aid from the Peace Corps, what skills are needed in those countries, and what technical (work) skills you possess. Sometimes the language skills you have already developed are an additional factor.

When should I schedule my flight to the United States?

It is advisable that you schedule your flight to the U.S. after obtaining the F-1 visa and not before. Furthermore, the U.S. federal regulations mandate that you arrive in the U.S. no more than 30 days before the school report date listed on your I-20 or DS-2019. Please schedule your trip accordingly.