COVID Travel Guidelines

NOTE: There is no longer a requirement to show proof of vaccination in order to board a flight to the US. For more information see the CDC website.

General Travel Information

J scholars may travel outside the US for periods not to extend 30 days. The scholar and dependents will need the following for re-entry into the US:

  • A valid passport (if subject to passport requirement)
  • A valid J-1 visa (if subject to visa requirement)
  • A travel signature from International Services.
  • Proof of financial support as indicated on the DS-2019
  • Dependents: Dependent J-2 spouse and children must have their own DS-2019 and follow the same procedure as the exchange visitor for re-entry.

Travel Signatures

J scholars may request a travel signature for travel of less than 30 days by submitting the Travel Signature Request E-Form. Documents will be signed within 5 days. 

Travel Outside the US for 30 Days or More

Travel outside the US for 30 days or more that is unrelated to the exchange program activity will result in termination of immigration status.

J scholars in the Research Scholar or Professor category who will be participating in their exchange program during an absence outside the US of 30 days or more must request “Out-of-Country” approval prior to leaving the US. To request “Out-of-Country” Approval, the scholar must submit the Travel Signature Request E-Form in iStart and include the following:

  • Expected date of departure from US
  • Expected date of return to US
  • Name of foreign institution in which the scholar will continue to pursue the program activity while outside the US.
  • Foreign institution full address
  • An explanation of how the scholar will be an active participant in USF’s J Exchange Visitor Program and will be pursuing the original program objective/activity outside the US.

After the Travel Signature Request E-Form is submitted the scholar's department will be asked to confirm that the scholar will be an active participant in USF’s J Exchange Visitor Program.

If the “Out-of-Country” is approved, International Services will create a SEVIS “Out-of-Country” and sign the DS-2019 for travel. Upon return to the US, the scholar should report to International Services.

Non-USF Sponsored Exchange Visitors

J scholars and visitors with a non-USF DS-2019 should contact their sponsoring agency for travel signatures on the DS-2019.

Obtaining a New J-1 Visa

New visa stamps are issued at a US Embassy or Consulate outside the US. J scholars will need a valid passport, signed DS-2019, evidence of financial support, and a letter from their department detailing their research for the visa application. Scholars should contact the US Embassy or Consulate directly for additional requirements since the procedures and protocols may vary from Consulate to Consulate. Visit the US Embassy's website for a current list of all US Embassies and Consulates.

Automatic Revalidation

Some exchange visitors travelling to Canada, Mexico, and Caribbean countries excluding Cuba for fewer than 30 days may be eligible for automatic revalidation of their expired J-1 visas.

For information see here.