Traveling In J-1 Status

Below are some basic guidelines you should know about. However, it is recommended that you check with your adviser before you travel if you have any questions about your situation.


All international students, scholars and family members planning to depart temporarily from the U.S. and return to the Yale area 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. Some countries have an agreement with the U.S. that automatically extends passport validity for 6 months, for U.S. entry purposes only.

Visa Stamps

Except for Canadian citizens, all international students and 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 J-1 visa document is called 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 residency, 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 Checklist

  • Valid DS-2019 (not expired in Section #3) with OISS signature in the Travel Validation section at bottom
  • Valid J-1 visa stamp
  • Valid passport