You may travel anywhere within the United States without restriction. However, if you would like to travel outside of the United States, you will need a travel signature from one of the Exchange Program Advisors. We also do not recommend travel outside the United States after your DS-2019 expires.
In order to re-enter the U.S. after a temporary absence (not exceeding 5 months) you must carry the following documents:
- Valid Passport
- Valid J-1 visa stamp (except for a short trip to Canada, Mexico and Adjacent Islands)
- Valid DS-2019 with travel endorsement from one of SF State's Exchange Program Advisors.
- Evidence of adequate finances
To travel outside of the country and re-enter the U.S. as a J-1 student, you must have a valid DS-2019 which has been endorsed by an Exchange Programs Advisor.
When requesting a signature, bring your original DS-2019 with you to OIP during exchange student drop-in hours.
Allow one week for processing. A travel signature is valid for one year from the date of issuance.
To facilitate entry into Canada or Mexico as a visitor, you must carry all the documents listed above except for a valid J-1 visa stamps for some students. In addition, a visitor's visa may be required depending on your country of citizenship.
Visitor's Visa to Canada and Mexico
J-1 students or their dependents who are planning a trip to Canada or Mexico should contact the respective consulate offices to determine whether a visitor's visa to the country is needed prior to your trip.
Mexican Consulate www.sre.gob.mx/acerca/directorio/consulados/seattle.htm Canadian Consulate www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca
The US-VISIT program is operational at most major U.S. airports and seaports and tracks foreign visitors to the U.S. through the use of biometrics (measurable, physical characteristics used to recognize identities such as fingerprints and facial features.)
When you enter the U.S., immigration officers will continue to review your travel documents (i.e. passport, DS-2019, visa, etc.), and in addition, they will use an inkless fingerprint scanner and take a digital photograph of your face in order to record your information.
When you depart the U.S., you are required to "check out" at an exit kiosk at the port of departure. The exit procedures have not been fully implemented, but you may be required to complete the exit procedures in some major U.S. ports.