Travel: Travel Abroad and Reentry to the U.S.

An EVS Responsible Officer (RO) or Alternate Responsible Officer (AR0) must sign the DS-2019 for travel outside of the U.S. Travel signatures can be obtained from EVS during normal business hours. Proof of current health insurance is required before travel signatures are issued.

Guidelines for traveling abroad:

  • Travel to home country, with intent to return to the U.S., requires a valid passport, a valid US visa and a valid travel signature on the DS-2019 form. If the J-1 visa is expired, the exchange visitor must obtain a new visa before entry to the U.S. will be granted.
  • Travel to a country abroad, other than the visitor’s home country, requires a valid passport, a valid US visa and a valid travel signature on the DS-2019 form. Exchange visitors should also contact the Consulate General’s office or Embassy of the country that will be visited for entry requirements and procedures.

“Automatic Revalidation” – Travel to Canada, the Caribbean (except Cuba and Bermuda), or Mexico

Visits to Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean (except Cuba and Bermuda) for fewer than thirty days by non-immigrants may not require a new visa to return to the U.S. Citizens of certain countries are prohibited from utilizing this provision (see Department of State web site for details). Qualifications for this provision include:

  • Valid J-1 status
  • Possession of an unexpired I-94 card (Must not be surrendered when departing from the U.S.)
  • Possession of a current DS-2019 with valid travel signature
  • Possession of a J-1 visa (expired or valid) in your passport that matches the immigration status posted on the current I-94 card
  • Individuals who change from one non-immigrant status to another in the U.S. will possess a passport visa which reflects the previous non-immigrant status. A new visa for the new status will be required to re-enter the US.
  • Possession of a passport valid for at least 6 months from the re-entry date to the U.S.
  • If an application for a visa is submitted during the stay, the applicant must have the visa issued before re-entry to the U.S. will be permitted. If your visa application is denied, "automatic revalidation" will not be permitted and the individual will be required to return to his or her country of citizenship to apply for a new visa.
  • Exchange visitors should contact the Consulate General’s office or Embassy for entry requirements and procedures.

Travel during change of Status from J-1/J-2 to H-1B/TN/O-1 or PR

Travel abroad by non-immigrants during change of status processing period often causes undesirable results (Example: A decision issued by USCIS to: (1) deny the current petition based on the basis of abandonment, or (2) require that the change of status will be granted through consulate processing abroad).

I-94 Form - Arrival/Departure Record

The I-94 shows that you have been lawfully admitted to the U.S. The Immigration classification and the date entered on I-94 card by a U.S. Immigration Officer determines immigration classification and status end date. The I-94 form is:

  • your legal entry verification with a eleven digit entry number: the I-94 arrival/departure number. It is also known as the "admission" number
  • retrieved by CBP officer at port of exit
  • a new card/number issued at port of entry
  • attached to your passport

Note: Last Action Rule applies; therefore, information posted on I-94 cards at U.S. Port of Entry invalidates previously issued immigration documents.