J-1 Travel Outside the United States
Before a J-1 Exchange Visitor travels outside the United States, certain documents need to be checked to verify eligibility to re-enter the U.S. The J-1 must have a valid form DS-2019, which should have a current endorsement signed by the Responsible Officer (RO) or an Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO) at the Office of International Affairs (OIA). The J-1 must also have a valid J-1 visa for re-entry, or the J-1 will have to get a new J-1 visa at a U.S. consulate outside the United States (Canadians exempted from visa requirements). Many consulates request a new DS-2019 form before issuing a visa, even if the previous form is still current, so the J-1 must consult an International Counselor at the OIA before leaving the U.S. to apply for a new visa. There are also certain other exceptions to the visa rule that should be discussed with an International Counselor at the OIA prior to departure from Lubbock.
Extended periods of travel outside the U.S. may create problems with the J-1 status. Plans to be outside the U.S. for extended periods must be discussed with an International Counselor at the OIA.
Unfortunately, emergency travel is sometimes necessary. Even in these cases when it is not possible to get a signature before departure, exchange visitors should contact the OIA to notify them of the situation as soon as possible.