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J-1 travel

Returning after International Travel

You will need these documents to reenter the U.S. in J-1 status after a temporary absence:

  • Paper DS-2019, with travel validation signature from ISO (bottom right hand corner of the form). The travel validation signature is valid up to 12 months. Carry all DS-2019s ever issued, not just the most recent one.
    • Scans of DS-2019s displayed on an electronic device may not be accepted by US authorities; please take printed paper DS-2019s with you.
  • Valid passport
  • Valid J-1 or J-2 visa. If the visa has expired, request a new visa at a U.S. consulate prior to returning to the U.S. Anticipate delays due to security reviews.

Under certain circumstances, you may be able to return to the U.S. from brief trips to Canada or Mexico or islands in the Caribbean even though your visa has expired. This is known as automatic visa revalidation.

Trips over 30 days outside the U.S. are not usually viewed as “temporary.” An absence of more than one month at a time (except J-2 dependents) is permissible only if it is consistent with the purpose and goals of your UW J-1 program. If you will be outside the U.S. for more than 30 days pursuant to an approved International Remote Work request or on an approved protected leave, you should complete and ISO must approve an Out of Country Request well in advance before you leave the U.S. You can then return to the U.S. after an absence of more than 30 days to continue your J-1 program.

If the Out of Country Request is not completed and approved, your exchange activity may be considered ended, and you may be subject to 12 or 24 month bars on repeat participation in J-1 status.

If you travel outside the U.S. during your 30-day grace period, you will not be permitted to reenter the U.S. in J-1 or J-2 status.