Home / J-1 Scholars / Overview

Travelling while on a visa can be confusing and overwhelming. 

The following webpages should help alleviate that confusion.

J-1 travel within the U.S.

You have the right to travel freely within the U.S. provided you maintain your legal J-1 status. Carry your passport and immigration documents with you when you travel.

J-1 travel outside the U.S.

The rules differ based on whether you are returning to the same program sponsor or a different program sponsor.

Travel signatures

J-1 scholars and J-2 dependents are required to have valid travel signatures on their DS-2019 forms when returning to the U.S. to continue their J-1 programs.

Checking your I-94 record when traveling

An I-94 is an arrival and departure record that is issued by a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer, in either paper or electronic format, to foreign visitors entering the U.S.

Canada, Mexico and Adjacent Islands for J-1 scholars

J-1 scholars whose visa has expired may be able to return to the U.S. after traveling to Mexico, Canada and neighboring islands/U.S. territories under certain conditions.

J-1 visa renewal

If you are planning to renew your expired J-1 visa in your home country you must apply early and should expect delays. Contact ISSC to set up an appointment for a travel signature on your current DS 2019 at least 10-14 working days prior to departure.