F-1 international students and J-1 exchange visitors are required to have a valid passport at all times while studying in the United States. The passport must be valid for 6 months beyond the program end date on your I-20 or DS-2019. When traveling, F-1 and J-1 students must have a passport that is valid for 6 months into the future in order to enter (or re-enter) the U.S.
According to the United States Immigration and Nationality Act:
(i) Every nonimmigrant alien who applies for admission to, or an extension of stay in, the United States, must establish that he or she is admissible to the United States, or that any ground of inadmissibility has been waived under section 212(d)(3) of the Act. Upon application for admission, the alien must present a valid passport and valid visa unless either or both documents have been waived. A nonimmigrant alien's admission to the United States is conditioned on compliance with any inspection requirement in §235.1(d) or of this chapter. The passport of an alien applying for admission must be valid for a minimum of six months from the expiration date of the contemplated period of stay, unless otherwise provided in this chapter, and the alien must agree to abide by the terms and conditions of his or her admission. An alien applying for extension of stay must present a passport only if requested to do so by the Department of Homeland Security. The passport of an alien applying for extension of stay must be valid at the time of application for extension, unless otherwise provided in this chapter, and the alien must agree to maintain the validity of his or her passport and to abide by all the terms and conditions of his extension.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials may conduct on-site reviews on the campuses of SEVP-certified schools to determine whether nonimmigrant students on those campuses are complying with regulations, including the requirement that each maintains a valid passport. DHS officers will take appropriate action regarding violations of the regulations by nonimmigrant students.