Travel

Your J-1 visa status allows you to exit and re-enter the U.S. during your

academic program, as long as you are continuing your studies and are in good academic standing.

Request a Travel Signature

Before you leave the U.S., please make sure your DS-2019 has been signed for travel by an International Student Advisor. Travel signatures are valid for six months or until your DS-2019 expires, whichever comes first. The DS-2019 must be signed in the “travel validation” section in the lower right-hand corner of the DS-2019.

To request a travel signature from an international student adviser, bring your DS-2019 to International Affairs (Oregon Hall, room 333) at least 7 days before you leave.

You can bring your documents to the office during drop in advising or during a travel clinic for an immediate signature. Alternately, you can drop it off at the front desk at another time. It takes 3 days to process the documents so please plan ahead. You will need to show your ID card when you to pick up the signed DS-2019.

J-1 students whose DS-2019 was issued by a program sponsor other than the University of Oregon (e.g. IIE, IREX, Fulbright, etc.) must contact the program sponsor to obtain the required travel signature. The Office of International Affairs can sign DS-2019s issued by the University of Oregon only.

Required Documents for Re-Entry to U.S.

Exchange students leaving the U.S. for a temporary visit abroad must have the following documents in order to reenter the U.S. in J-1 visa status:

  • Valid Passport
  • Valid J-1 visa (except for a short trip less than 30 days to Canada, Mexico and Adjacent Islands; Canadian students do not need a visa)
  • Valid DS-2019 from the University of Oregon signed by an international student advisor, within the past six months.
  • Evidence of adequate finances (bank statement, scholarship award letter, GTF contract)
  • Copy of UO unofficial transcript and your current course schedule
  • Return plane ticket to your home country (if applicable)
  • Proof of payment of the SEVIS fee

Note: For information regarding travel while on Academic Training, please contact a UO International Student Adviser.

Canadian Students: Re-Entry to the U.S.

Canadian Students are not required to have a visa to enter the U.S. At the point of entry to the U.S., you should state that you are entering the U.S. for the purpose of studying. Please be sure to obtain an I-94 card (arrival and departure record) from the immigration officer and request that s/he stamp your DS-2019. You may be required to present the following documents at the port of entry:

  • Valid Canadian passport
  • Valid DS-2019 from the University of Oregon signed by an international student adviser, within the past 5 months.
  • Evidence of adequate finances (bank statement, scholarship award letter, GTF contract)
  • Copy of UO unofficial transcript and your current course schedule
  • Return plane ticket to your home country (if applicable)
  • Proof of payment of the SEVIS fee

J-2 Dependent Travel

Dependents in J-2 status generally need the same documents to re-enter the U.S. as the primary J-1 student. Be sure to obtain a travel signature on the dependent DS-2019 in order to re-enter the U.S.

Dependents are not required to travel with the primary J-1 student. In addition, dependents may remain in the U.S. without the primary as long as the J-1 maintains their current status and will return after a temporary absence (generally 30 days or less) using the same SEVIS ID number.

Trips to Mexico, Canada & Adjacent U.S. Islands

Entry into Mexico, Canada & Adjacent U.S. Island

A visitor’s visa may be required to enter Mexico, Canada & Adjacent Islands, depending on your country of citizenship. If you are planning a trip to Canada or Mexico, you should contact a consulate office to determine whether a visa is required prior to your trip. Please plan ahead as it may take some time to obtain a visitor visa to one of these countries.

Mexican Consulate
Canadian Consulate*

*Please note the Canadian visa office in Seattle has closed. You can only obtain a visitor visa to Canada by mail.

Re-Entry from Mexico, Canada & Adjacent U.S. Island

You must carry all the documents listed above under Required Documents for Re-Entry to U.S. except for a valid J-1 visa stamp for some students* (see below).

Many students may travel to Canada, Mexico and Adjacent Islands and re-enter the U.S. on an expired F-1 visa if the trip does not exceed 30 days. This is referred to as an Automatic Visa Revalidation. You will maintain the same I-94 card when you leave and return to the U.S. When you exit the U.S. be sure to keep your current I-94 card in your passport.

Due to recent changes in the immigration system if you plan to travel to Canada under Automatic Visa Revalidation we recommend knowing the details about this program and printing a copy of one of these documents. CBP info. USCIS info. In addition, if you do not have an I-94 card in your passport becuase you entered after I-94 cards were made electronic you will need to print a copy of your current I-94 card before you leave. You can print out a copy of your I-94 card at  www.cbp.gov/I94.

*Citizens of Iran, Syria, Sudan, and Cuba are not eligible for this benefit and must be in possession of a valid visa to enter or re-enter the U.S. at all times. Automatic Revalidation, or entry on expired visa, does not apply when a student applies for, and is denied, a new J-1 visa.

US-VISIT Program

The US-VISIT program, operational at most major U.S. airports and seaports, tracks foreign visitors to the U.S. through the use of biometrics (measurable, physical characteristics used to recognize identities such as fingerprints and facial features.)

When students and their dependents in J status enter the U.S., immigration officers continue to review their travel documents (i.e. passport, DS-2019, visa, etc.) In addition, they take the non-immigrants’ fingerprints with an inkless fingerprint scanner and a digital photograph of their face.

Important Changes to International Travel

The I-94 card will no longer be issued if you are traveling by air or sea.  This process will now happen electronically.  You can read more about this at the USCIS website. This means when you leave the U.S. you will remove your I-94 card as usual and when you return you will not receive a new one. After you return, if you need proof of your arrival, you can print out your I-94 card by clicking HERE. If you are traveling to the U.S. by land you will still receive an I-94 card.  If you are traveling to Canada and re-entering by Automatic Visa Revalidation you will keep your I-94 card when departing as usual.

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