Immigration Changes and Travel Warning

It is important to understand immigration changes the new Presidential administration is implementing, including a temporary travel ban for people from certain countries. OISS has a separate webpage analyzing and tracking the changes.


All international students, scholars and family members planning to depart from the U.S. and return after a temporary absence must have a valid passport in order to exit the U.S. The passport must also be valid for a minimum of six months into the future at the time of re-entry to the U.S. There are a few exceptions to this passport rule outlined by the State Department here.

Visa Stamps

Except for Canadian citizens, all international scholars will also need to have a valid J-1 visa stamp in their passport issued by a U.S. embassy or consulate. Visa stamps cannot be obtained or renewed inside the U.S.

Visa Document

The visa document for J-1 scholars is called the Form DS-2019.

I-94 Record

Every nonimmigrant entering the U.S. on a sponsored visa will have what’s called an I-94 record created by the authorities upon entry. It is the responsibility of international students, scholars and family members to look up their I-94 record after entering the U.S. to ensure there are no errors.

Third Country Visits

When planning to visit a country outside the U.S. which is not your country of citizenship or legal permanent residence, be sure to research whether or not you will need a visa to enter that country

Canada, Mexico and contiguous islands

If you are traveling to Canada, Mexico or the contiguous islands for less than 30 days you may be eligible for a visa renewal exemption.

Travel Check List

  • Valid DS-2019 (not expired in Section #3) with OISS signature in the Travel Validation section at bottom
  • OISS signature should not be older than 12 months, but is valid for multiple entries to the U.S.
  • J-2 dependents must have their own valid DS-2019 forms
  • Valid J-1 or J-2 visa stamp
  • Valid passport
  • If graduated and authorized for Academic Training, a copy of your authorization letter
  • If Yale University is not your J-1 program sponsor (e.g. IIE or Fulbright), please contact them directly for your travel requirements.

You may contact your OISS adviser if you have any questions about traveling in J status.