If you are a currently in the U.S.  J-1 status in the "Research Scholar," "Student Intern," or "Professor" category and plan on traveling outside of the US, you will need the following to re-enter the US:

  • A valid passport. Your passport must be valid at all times, and can be renewed from within the US at your country's local embassy.

  • A valid DS-2019 with a travel signature. If you depart the U.S. at any point during your program, to re-enter the U.S., your DS-2019 must have a travel signature. The most recent signature should have been received within 12 months of re-entering the U.S. If you need one, please schedule an appointment to have your paper for DS-2019 signed for travel. You can also submit a travel  signature request .  A new DS-2019 will be created,  signed for travel and emailed to  you.

  • A valid J-1 Visa. Note that even if your J-1 visa expires, but you still have a current DS-2019 (with an expiration date in the future), then you can stay in the US for the duration of your J-1 Program. If your visa has expired and you wish to leave the country and re-enter, you need to apply for a new J-1 Visa. J-1 Visas cannot be renewed from within the US

    • If you need to renew your visa, please check the visa wait times. If your visa is not renewed by the time you plan on returning to the US, you will be not be able to re-enter the US. It is important that you consider these risks when traveling, and consult your department to arrange a backup plan in the event that your return is delayed.

  • A letter from your department in support of your trip is recommend. A sample letter can be found here.

  • Please send Joan McGinley a copy of your, as well as your J-2's, most recent I-94 form upon re-entry. 

Please read about keeping your SEVIS record open.

Reentry to the U.S.

Individuals seeking admission to the United States in a nonimmigrant category must be inspected in person by an immigration officer at an official U.S. port of entry (POE). Before inspection, most arriving aliens are seen as "applicants for admission." Individuals also go through customs inspection at most ports of entry.

Non-U.S. citizens traveling to the United States  may also download the free CBP One mobile app from the Apple App Store or Google Play and complete an electronic I-94 form up to seven days before their trip. The feature provides a more convenient way for travelers to apply for an I-94, review their past travel history, check their I-94 expiration date and obtain proof of their electronic I-94 from their mobile device. The I-94 is the record of arrival and departure issued to visiting or transiting persons to the United States except U.S. citizens, returning foreign visitors, foreign visitors with immigrant visas, and most Canadian citizens. Individuals who must prove their legal-visitor status to schools or universities can access their CBP arrival/departure record information from CBP One or the I-94 website.

Important information regarding reentry to the U.S.: