If you plan to travel outside the U.S. during your program, you must submit your DS-2019 Form to InterExchange Career Training USA for a travel validation signature before you leave the U.S. Failure to obtain a travel validation signature may result in additional questioning or even denied entry into the U.S. upon your return. The signature is valid for six months, so if you travel multiple times within a six-month period, your form won't need to be signed each time. Once the six-month period is complete, be sure to have your form signed again before leaving the U.S. Also note that you may not be outside the U.S. or away from your internship/training program for more than 30 consecutive days.
You can mail your DS-2019 Form to us or you may visit our office if you are in New York City. If mailing your form, please include a self-addressed envelope with the address where you would like your form returned. If you need your form returned via express mail, you must also make a payment of $20 through our website to cover the express shipping fees. To ensure there are no delays in obtaining a signature, we recommend you send us your form two to three weeks before your intended travel date. If you are coming to the InterExchange office for a signature, you must call in advance to schedule an appointment.
When traveling internationally, use the following tips to facilitate smooth border crossings and ensure your safety:
Keep your DS-2019 Form with your passport at all times and in a safe place.
Ensure your visa is a multiple entry M visa. If a specific number of entries is listed on your visa, that is the number of times you may enter the U.S. on that visa. If you do not have a multiple entry visa, you will need a new visa to re-enter the U.S.
Determine if you will need a visa to enter other countries. To obtain a country’s visa entry requirements, you should contact an embassy or consulate of that country, located here in the U.S.
Check for any travel alerts or safety advisories for the countries you will visit. You can find travel alerts on the U.S. Department of State website.
In most cases, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) grants a 30-day period to settle your affairs and travel within the U.S. after your program ends. However, you are NOT permitted to continue interning/training during this time. Your grace period begins the day after the program end date on your DS-2019 Form. You must exit the U.S. by the 30th day of your grace period in order to remain in good standing. To see if you have been granted a grace period, confirm that the arrival stamp in your passport says “D/S”. This means Duration of Status, which denotes your program dates plus 30 days. If your arrival stamp does not say D/S and instead has a date written on it, you must leave the U.S. by that date, even if it is before your program end date.
Note: During your grace period, you may only travel in the U.S. If you leave the U.S. during your grace period, you will not be able to re-enter on your J-1 Visa; it will have expired in most cases. We do not recommend traveling internationally during your 30-day grace period even if your visa has not expired. If you intend to return to the U.S. after traveling, U.S. Customs may question why you are re-entering the U.S. after your program has already ended, and they could deny you entry.
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