When you travel to the U.S., have your DS-2019 Form, passport, and J-1 Visa available for review. During your flight, an attendant will give you a Customs Declaration Form (Form CF-6059B) to complete before the end of your flight. You must declare items of value before entering the U.S. Personal items, such as clothing, portable electronics, and toiletries should not be declared on this form. You may be required to pay a duty, or tax, on certain items. Some types of goods, including most agricultural products, may not be brought into the U.S. You must also enter your U.S. address on Form CF-6059B.
For further information regarding how to fill out this form, visit the Customs and Border Patrol website.
Upon arriving in the U.S., you will immediately go to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to request admission to the U.S. To facilitate your entry, please tell the CBP official that you are a J-1 Exchange Visitor when presenting the following documents for inspection:
- Your valid passport, including your J-1 Visa
- Form DS-2019
- Form CF-6059B
If you are coming to the U.S. by air or sea, your arrival record will be recorded electronically by CBP. We recommend you access and print your electronic arrival record (I-94 record) from the CPB's I-94 website. You will keep this printed copy with you when applying for important documents like your Social Security number or other forms of identification in the U.S.
Visitors coming to the U.S. through a land border (most common with Canadian or Mexican participants) will receive a paper I-94 record from the CBP officer at the port of entry.
If requested, you may also need to provide InterExchange Career Training USA’s contact info. Please carry the following information with you:
InterExchange 100 Wall Street., Suite 301 New York, NY 10005 212.924.0446 | 888.621.1202 firstname.lastname@example.org
At the border, you will be entered into a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) database, and you may also be fingerprinted and photographed. To learn more about U.S. arrival procedures, visit the Customs and Border Patrol website.
Once CBP’s inspection is complete, the officer will stamp your passport with the date of admission, class of admission, and the time frame you are authorized to stay in the U.S. The officer should write the letters “D/S” as the time frame; this means duration of status. The duration of status includes the program dates listed on your DS-2019 Form, plus 30 days of travel/personal time immediately after your program end date. Though rare, the officer may write an actual date instead of D/S. This is the date by which you are required to leave the U.S.
Note: If the date is before your program end date, you must end your program early and leave the U.S. by this date. Notify InterExchange immediately if this occurs.
It is rare for J-1 Visa holders to encounter difficulties when crossing the U.S. border. However, if you are agitated, act suspiciously, or if you are missing any documents, CBP officials may subject you to further questioning. If you do not have your DS-2019 Form available, you may be detained; you could also be flagged in the computer system, thus causing delays on future trips to the U.S. The best way to ensure a smooth entry is to have all necessary forms completed and ready to present to CBP, be friendly and patient in line and with the CBP official, and answer their questions honestly. If you do encounter any problems, please provide CBP with InterExchange Career Training USA’s contact information so that they can contact us.
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