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Travel in J-1 Status

J-1 scholars may leave the United States and apply for re-entry anytime within the program dates on Form DS-2019, provided they have maintained their immigration status and present all required documents at the Port of Entry, as listed below.

Documents Required at the Port of Entry

A J-1 scholar must present the following documents at the Port of Entry to apply for re-entry to the United States:

  • Valid DS-2019 with travel signature issued by ISSS;
  • Valid passport;
  • Valid J-1 visa, unless otherwise exempt (see exemptions below).

Canadian Citizens

Citizens of Canada are exempt from entry visa requirements.

Automatic Revalidation of Visa

A J-1 scholar whose entry visa has expired may travel solely to Canada, Mexico, or adjacent islands in the Caribbean (except Cuba) for a period of 30 days or less and apply for re-entry to the United States with an expired entry visa if the scholar:

  • Presents a valid passport, DS-2019, and I-94;
  • Has not applied for a new visa abroad;
  • Is not a national of a country designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.

If all the above conditions are met, the expired visa can be considered valid to the date of re-entry.

Visa Renewal

To apply for entry to the United States after the expiration of an entry visa, a J-1 scholar who is not exempt from the entry visa requirements and who does not qualify for automatic revalidation must apply for a new entry visa at a U.S. consulate abroad. For information on how to apply for a new entry visa, visit the U.S. Department of State website for the consulate where the application will be made.