Prior to travel outside the U.S., J-1 scholars and their J-2 dependents must schedule a Travel Appointment for a travel signature on their DS-2019 for re-entry to the U.S. In addition, see the following list for additional requirements for re-entry, travel and post arrival responsibilities.
- Most recent DS-2019 form(s) which must be still valid at time of entry
- A valid travel signature on the DS-2019(s) less than 1 year old
- Passport(s) valid for six months beyond the expected date of return
- A valid J-1 visa stamp for the scholar or J-2 visa stamp for dependents. (*For exceptions see Automatic Revalidation below. Canadian citizens are exempt from visa requirements)
- A letter from the host department verifying J-1 status, Ohio State payment if applicable, and travel dates for the scholar
- Proof of financial support if receiving funding outside of Ohio State (i.e. a bank statement, government funding letter, home institution support letter)
- Copies of marriage and/or birth certificates for J-2 dependents traveling with you. If J-2 dependents are traveling without the J-1, it is recommended they carry copies of the J-1’s D-2019
- J-1 scholars who wish to be away from Ohio State more than one month must apply for approval prior to making their travel plans due to Department of State requirements to be continually engaging in their program activity. Bring a completed Away from Ohio State More than One Month Request Form to the travel appointment well in advance of the proposed travel dates for a determination of the request
- Check if you need a visa stamp for the country you are visiting.
- Check if you need a transit visa for countries you will travel through by looking up visa rules on a country's official websites or by visiting TravelDoc.
- If you enter the U.S. by air or sea, go to cbp.gov/I94 to print your automated I-94 record. If you enter by car or bus via a land border port of entry, you will receive a paper I-94 card.
- Check the electronic I-94s or paper I-94 cards and passport entry stamps for “J-1 D/S” for the scholar and “J-2 D/S” for dependents. If there is an error or missing information, make an appointment with an OIA scholar advisor.
*Re-entry on any expired U.S. visa stamp that has not been cancelled (or marked "CWOP"—cancelled without prejudice) is allowed under Automatic Revalidation only for trips to Canada, Mexico or adjacent islands other than Cuba lasting 30 days or less. This is not applicable to citizens/ nationals of Iran, Syria, Sudan, or Cuba. If you received a paper I-94 card then keep it when leaving the U.S. and show it upon re-entry.
If you choose to apply for a U.S. visa in Canada and are denied a new visa, you will not be readmitted to the U.S. under Automatic Revalidation. You will need to travel directly to your home country to obtain a new visa in order to reenter the U.S.
221(g) administrative processing
Some individuals may be subject to further administrative processing under the 221(g) section of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act. Please note that this can cause significant delays in your travel plans.
Consulates indicate that this processing takes a minimum of two weeks, and may require substantially longer. We are unable to provide a more specific completion date.
Below find some recommendations that will help you prepare for this process.
Be prepared to have the following documents with you for the interview:
- Invitation: An invitation letter from the sponsoring organization in the US. For graduate students, workers, and exchange visitors, this letter should include your supervisor or advisor and details about your work.
- Resume: A detailed resume/CV, including your professional academic background, three professional references, and a list of all your publications
Prepare a written statement addressing the following information:
- Research: A complete and detailed description of 1) your past research; 2) your current research; and 3) any research you intend to conduct in the US. You must include a description of the practical applications of your research or study.
- Position: Your current job title and a full description of you work.
- Purpose: A detailed statement of the purpose of your visit to the US.
- Itinerary: An itinerary of all locations you will visit in the US, including dates, contact names, organizations, addresses, and telephone numbers.
- Funding: Name of the person or organization who is funding your trip.
- Travelers: A list of all the travelers who will accompany you, including family members and colleagues.
- Travel: Dates and locations of all your international travel for the last ten years, except for the US travel.
- Letter of offer from the department (have a copy of it as well as the original) (suggested)
- Copy of the position description (suggested)
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Additional information about traveling, including insight into what to expect at the Port of Entry, can be found on these Immigration and Customs Enforcement websites: