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Travel While on J-1 Visa

International airport terminal

Trips outside of the U.S. must be preapproved by the International Center. Trips longer than 30 days are not permitted. 

You must have the following if you are leaving and then re-entering the United States:
  • A valid passport, good for six months after your entry date.
  • A valid J-1 visa. Be sure to check your J-1 visa in your passport. If it has expired, you will have to apply for a J-1 visa renewal. You will not be able to re-enter the U.S. in J-1 status without a valid, current J-1 visa.
  • A current, valid DS-2019 with a current travel signature. Your DS-2019 must be current and must have a travel signature that is not older than 6 months. Only Cal Poly International Students and Scholars staff may provide a travel signature. You cannot enter the U.S. with an expired DS-2019 or with a DS-2019 that does not have a current travel signature. 
If you are renewing your visa while traveling outside of the U.S., please stop by the International Students and Scholars office to obtain a letter verifying that you have been maintaining status as an Exchange Visitor in the U.S., and that you are needed at Cal Poly and are expected to return.

Renewing your J-1 visa is not guaranteed. Exchange visitors from some countries may be subject to a security clearance which can delay visa issuance for a month or more. 

If you do not have a J-1 visa in your passport, you must make an appointment at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate office in your home country. The exception is for Canadian citizens who do not need a J-1 visa. In some countries, you may not be able to get an appointment for several months. Check your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate for more information on visa interview appointments.