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J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa

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Temporary Departure and Travel Outside the USA

Even though your status has been authorized by the DHS, you must have a valid visa stamp if you travel outside of and re-enter the United States during the authorized status period. Participants sponsored under the ISEP J-1 program may leave and re-enter the United States during the exchange period up to the number of authorized entries specified on the visa stamp. It is assumed that such travel will not interfere with your studies.

Before you can temporarily depart the United States, you need to mail to ISEP your original DS-2019 to have it signed for travel. In the lower right-hand corner of the DS-2019, there is a section for an Alternative Responsible Officer to approve your status to travel outside the United States and re-enter. Please send the form to ISEP at least one month prior to travel. The ISEP office will mail back your DS-2019 to your host coordinator by regular mail. If you need a DS-2019 expedited back to you, please include a pre-paid express envelope with your DS-2019. Students should also carry their most recent U.S. transcript and student identification card from the host institution when the travel outside the United States.

In addition, before you decide to travel temporarily outside the United States, verify that the visa stamped in your passport is still valid. A visa stamp is valid if the date indicated on the visa has not expired and if the number of entries allowed by the visa has not been met or exceeded. If it is no longer valid, you must go to a U.S. embassy or consulate outside the United States to obtain a new visa. You will need a new DS-2019 from ISEP before you travel in order to apply for the new visa stamp. Please see further information in the section Extension [above]. If you travel outside the United States with an expired visa, you will be denied re-entry to the United States, even if you have a properly dated DS-2019.

At all times, you must have the valid DS-2019 in your possession when you travel outside the United States. Be sure you sign the bottom of the DS-2019.

Travel After Your Exchange Ends

Students are given a 30-day grace period to leave the United States after their program end date, as listed on the DS-2019 and J-1 visa. During this time, students may travel around the United States in good status. Students may not leave and re-enter the United States during this time since their visa has expired. Once the grace period has expired, students are expected to leave the United States.