J-1 Exchange Visitors are permitted to travel outside the United States as long as they are in legal status, have a valid passport, have an endorsed Form DS-2019 and have all required visas to enter the intended country.
Documents Required For Re-entry to the U.S.:
- Passport valid for at least 6 months into the future
- Unexpired J-1 Visa. If your visa has expired or you have used the limited number of re-entries into the U.S. you must apply for a new J-1 visa in your home country.
- Valid Form DS-2019 endorsed by the OGE advisor within the past 12 months of the date of entry
TRAVELING TO CANADA, MEXICO OR THE CARIBBEAN
If you are travelling only to Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean (except Cuba and Bermuda) for the duration of 30 days or less you may return to the U.S. with an expired J-1 entry visa. To qualify you must:
- Be in lawful J-1 status
- Have an unexpired Form I-94 stamped in your passport at the time of re-entry. If you surrender your I-94 when you leave the U.S. you will not be eligible for re-entry and will be required to apply for a new J-1 visa.
- Have a valid Form DS-2019 in you possession, signed by an OIS advisor within the past 12 months of the date of re-entry
- Have a passport valid for at least 6 months into the future
- Travel to Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean only for fewer than 30 days. Your re-entry privileges will be automatically revoked if you have entered one of the above mentioned countries, departed to another country, returned back to one of the above mentioned countries, and then attempted to return to the U.S.
- Not apply for a U.S. visa while in Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean. If you do apply for a U.S. visa while visiting one of these countries you will have to remain in the country until a visa is issued. If you should be denied a visa by the U.S. Consulate in one these countries you will not be granted a re-entry into the U.S. and will be deported to your home country to apply for a new J-1 visa.
- Have a J-1 visa (valid or expired) in your passport
- Be a citizen of any country other than Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria. If you are a national of any of the above mentioned countries you are not eligible for re-entry on the basis of a 30-day rule and must always have a valid visa in your passport to enter the United States.