Travel Outside the U.S.

Document Checklist

If you travel outside the U.S. while you are in J-1 status, then you will need the following documents to re-enter the United States.

  • Form DS-2019 with valid program dates and valid travel signature (travel signature is valid for 12 months from date of signature)
  • Valid J-1 visa stamp in passport (except for Canadian citizens who are visa-exempt)
  • Valid passport with validity at least six months beyond entry date
  • Documents required of dependent family members traveling with you: marriage certificates, translated to English if necessary, and birth certificates
  • If you will be outside the US for more than 30 days, please review this page

Automatic Revalidation

After initial entry to the U.S., nonimmigrants who have an expired visa in their passport may re-enter the U.S. without obtaining a new visa if their travel was solely to the contiguous countries of Canada and Mexico.  F and J visa holders may also be able to benefit from Automatic Revalidation after travel to the Caribbean Islands (excluding Cuba).  Travel must be for a period of fewer than 30 days. This procedure is known as Automatic Revalidation of the U.S. visa.

To take advantage of Automatic Revalidation, travelers must have, in addition to the documents for re-entry stated above, a copy of their electronic I-94 record (or white I-94 card, if you have one).

  • If you are a citizen of Cuba, Iran, Sudan, or Syria, you are not eligible for automatic revalidation of your expired non-immigrant visa.
  • If you have applied for a new visa while out of the country, you may not re-enter the U.S. until the new visa is issued, even if your old visa is still valid.
  • Is in possession of an F student visa or J exchange visitor visa and has traveled to Cuba
  • Depending on your country of citizenship, you may be required to have an entry visa for Canada, Mexico or any of the other Caribbean nations in order to enter those countries. Your U.S. visa does not automatically grant entry into these other contiguous countries. 

You can find more information on Automatic Revalidation on the U.S. Department of State website.