Published: March 18, 2020

If you would like to leave the U.S., ISSS recommends you consider making plans to leave soon, as future travel restrictions could impede your ability to travel internationally. You will need to carefully consult both the airline and the travel restrictions for the country to which you will be returning. Travel restrictions may change at a moment’s notice. Before you leave, you must make sure you have the most up-to-date information. 

Per guidance from the U.S. Department of State, any international student or scholar with a J-1 visa is permitted to leave the U.S. and continue their studies or research program objectives during their absence from the U.S. Before leaving the U.S., please keep in mind the following:  

  • Students with J-1 visa status can complete their classes online. Full-Time enrollment (at least 12 credits) continues as a requirement to maintain your J-1 status. Students who wish to depart now or before the semester ends can complete classes online outside the U.S. ISSS recommends you reach out to the Office of Information Technology Services ( to make sure you will be able to fully access your classes from outside of the U.S.  J-1 students wishing to pursue Academic Training should email ISSS to discuss how leaving the U.S. will affect the ability to apply for this benefit. Also, keep in mind your Fall 2020 registration date and make sure you register in a timely manner. 
  • J-1 Scholars (Research, Short-Term, Specialists, Professors, or Student Interns) can leave the U.S. and continue their research while outside of the U.S. Scholars are encouraged to discuss the remote work situation with their sponsoring departments. You may return to the U.S. before your current program end date noted on your DS-2019 to resume your research or teaching duties. A Temporary Absence/Out of Country request form is not required at this time, no matter the length of your stay outside the U.S. You must continue to work towards your program objectives and/or research while you are outside of the U.S.  

J-1 Exchange Students: Any exchange student who decides to depart the U.S. to finish classes for the semester from home should notify Kim Schorr via email. Any exchange student who was planning on using Academic Training after completing their J-1 program, please note that Academic Training is not possible while out of the U.S.  

All J-1 Students and Scholars:  J-1 students and scholars should note the end date on their DS-2019 and the expiration date of their J-1 entry visa. If, during an absence from the U.S., the DS-2019 becomes within 30 days of expiring, J-1 visa holders should please notify their sponsoring department and ISSS immediately. An extension may be possible if the J-1 exchange visitor can return to the U.S. and continue their original program objectives, but it is necessary to discuss this with ISSS as soon as possible to confirm. If a DS-2019 expires during an out of country absence, it is not possible to extend after the expiration. Any J-1 student or scholar with a J-1 entry visa that expires before their return to the U.S. must get a new J-1 visa prior to re-entering.  

Returning to the U.S.: All J-1 visa holders who plan to return to the U.S. after a departure must have a valid DS-2019 with a valid travel signature (no more than 12 months old) and a valid J-1 entry visa. f you are leaving the U.S. and if you need a new travel signature on your DS-2019, then please complete the Document Reprint Request FormEmbedded in this form is a mailing request. You will need to set up an account with Eship Global in order for us to send your DS-2019 via DHL, UPS, or FedEx or to mail your DS-2019 outside of the U.S. We will send it to the address you indicate when you complete the E-Ship Mailing process.  Please make sure you will be at the address you indicate when you complete the mailing request form, we cannot send your DS-2019 to a friend or family member.   

Please make sure you review the Travel Handout: Re-entry from Travel Outside the U.S. & Printing Your Electronic I-94 before re-entering the US.  

At this time, ISSS is closed for walk-in advising and document pick-ups; we are assisting our international student and scholar community via remote advising. 

Please do not hesitate to reach out to ISSS if you have any questions.