J-1 Students

J-1 visa holding students are normally eligible to leave the U. S. for temporary trips while they are studying. This can include leaving the U.S. for a conference, visiting family, or spending the summer at home. However, some specific details must be observed when traveling:

  1. Be certain to have a valid J-1 visa in your passport upon your return to the U.S. **
  2. Be certain that your form DS20-19 has been endorsed for travel on page two by staff in the Study Abroad office. We recommend that this travel endorsement be applied within 6 months of your planned trip.
    • Due to meetings and other possible availability issues, please plan to get your DS20-19 travel signatures at least one week prior to traveling.
    • Please plan to have J-2 spouse/child DS20-19 signed in addition to the main J-1 student DS20-19, if the J-2 family members are also traveling.
  3. Be certain that your passport will still be valid for at least six additional months into the future upon your return to the U.S. This is a mandatory condition of maintaining legal J-1 status while inside the U.S.
  4. Before leaving, check for any possible need for transit visas in other countries as you progress towards your destination.
  5. Be prepared with alternate plans in case your travel is unexpectedly disrupted. As we have seen in recent news, new federal travel restrictions can erupt unexpectedly and without warning.

** Automatic Revalidation – for some J-1 visa holders, it is possible to take short-term trips to Canada or Mexico (30 days or less), under the Automatic Revalidation program, which recognizes expired J-1 visas in combination with Active DS20-19 for travel purposes.