I am an international student. My passport and visa are not expired but I believe I'm out of status because I'm not going to school for now due to financial issues. I want to go see a friend in LA.

Can I use my passport at the airport?
Is it safe ?

I'm scared because I'm out of status.


You can safely use your passport - as its used to check your identity only; and of course there are no immigration controls within the US.

You can also safely exit the US (there is no exit immigration in the US) - but of course you cannot come back in if your visa is no longer valid.

I would try to get your status normalized though, simply because this will help you in the future if you ever decide to visit the US again.

  • "Of course there are no immigration controls within the US." That's not exactly true, and some of them are quite close to Los Angeles. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… – Nate Eldredge Jun 24 '16 at 17:14
  • If flying from an airport near the border (for example, McAllen, Texas), a traveler risks being checked by US Border Patrol officers, who sometimes operate at the TSA checkpoint or elsewhere in the airport. AFAIK they only do this at airports within 100 miles of the land border. They would want to see the I-20 or whatever supplementary documentation is appropriate given the traveler's purported status. – phoog Jun 24 '16 at 17:16
  • In practice during my years as a student, traveling from Texas through Oklahoma, Arizona and California - I have yet to run into such an officer - or even seen one to be honest. Even when I was stopped by the FBI and INS (at San Diego airport) they only asked for my passport. However, things may have changed since then. – Burhan Khalid Jun 24 '16 at 17:19

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