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International Travel with a J-1 Visa
International Student Services at Lehman College

J-1 | Domestic & International Travel

Before you apply for your Form I-20 Travel Within the United States

Federal law requires that you carry immigration documentation at all times. This includes your passport, plus your current original DS-2019 and I-94 record.

Immigration checkpoints can be as far as 100 miles inside the U.S., so if you are planning to travel near the northern or southern U.S. borders, you must have your passport, visa, and DS-2019 with you.

Travel outside the United States

Always make sure your DS-2019 is signed "before" you travel outside the U.S.

Also, make sure you have an entry visa to the country you are traveling to.

If you are in the U.S. in J-1 Status and want to come back to the U.S. after a short trip, listed below are the documents you will need to bring and show to the immigration officer when you return to the U.S.

J-1 Exchange Visitors bring with you:

  1. Unexpired passport
  2. Unexpired visa (Canadians are exempt from visa requirement)
  3. Unexpired DS-2019 with travel signature (A travel signature on page one on your DS-2019 is valid for 12 months or until the end date on your DS-2019, whichever is earlier.)
  4. I-901 SEVIS Fee
  5. I-94 arrival/departure record (I-94 record can be retreived here)
  6. Letter of employment if you are on Academic Training (AT) or if you are a scholar/professor.
    PLEASE NOTE: Readmission to the U.S. as a J-1 student on Academic Training is at the discretion of the Customs and Border Patrol officer at the U.S. port of entry.

    Please visit the International Student & Scholar Office before traveling to Canada, Mexico or overseas.


If you are travelling with your J-2 dependent also bring:

  1. Dependent's unexpired passport
  2. Dependent's unexpired J-2 visa
  3. Unexpired (J-2 DS-2019) with a valid travel signature

If the F-2 dependent is traveling without the J-1 visa holder also bring:

  1. Copy of the J-1 Visa
  2. Copy of the J-1 most recent I-94 record as evidence J-1 status
  3. Copy of the DS2019