J-1 Travel Requirements

Your visa and traveling outside the U.S. 

The visa in your passport was obtained at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad and is used for entering the U.S. The visa functions as a key to enter the U.S. Once you are here in the U.S., you do not need to keep your visa current.

It is only when you are leaving the U.S. and need to return that you must be sure that you have a valid U.S. visa to re-enter the U.S. (Canadian citizens are not required to have a visa, but they must show their DS-2019 and proof of Canadian citizenship at the U.S. port of entry.

Immigration status

Immigration status is granted at the U.S. port of entry. In most situations your visa type and immigration status are the same, unless you have changed your immigration status after entering the U.S. To maintain your legal status in the U.S., check the end date on your DS-2019 (not the visa in your passport).

Traveling inside the U.S.

You do not need authorization from OGI to travel within the U.S.

Traveling outside the U.S:

Current students who are planning to re-enter the U.S. after a trip overseas you will need to present to an immigration officer:

1) A valid passport
2) A valid J-1 visa (except Canadians)
3) A current DS-2019 with a valid travel endorsement. You must fill out the Travel Request Form and submit it to your adviser before you leave the U.S..
4) Proof of financial support (bank statements and/or scholarship, financial aid or Teaching / Research Assistant award notice letter)
5) Proof of enrollment (certificate of enrollment or transcript). You can obtain a certificate of enrollment from the Office of the Registrar.

Renewing your visa

If you or your dependents need to renew your visa in order to re-enter the U.S., you must apply in person to a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. Applicants are normally required to submit the following documentation:

1)A valid passport
2)A valid DS-2019 with a valid travel endorsement
3)Proof of financial support (bank statements and/or scholarship, financial aid or TA/RA letter)
4)Proof of enrollment (certificate of enrollment or transcript). You can download a certificate of enrollment from Office of the Registrar.

Depending on the country, U.S. embassies or consulates can request additional documentation.  Please check with the local U.S. embassy or consulate in your country for a complete list of required documents.

Travel Signature (FormDS-2019 Travel Endorsement)

You need to have a valid travel signature from an OGI staff on DS-2019 in order to re-enter the U.S. The signature or endorsement is valid for 12 months or until the end of your program, whichever is sooner.

Fill out the Travel Request Form if you need your DS-2019 to be endorsed for travel.

J-2 Dependents

Any student wishing to bring a spouse and/or child to the U.S. should visit our office to have the necessary documents prepared. For traveling and re-entering the U.S., J-2 dependents need all the same documents as the J-1 would need as outlined above.