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J-1 EV Scholar Travel Authorizations

If you intend to travel internationally and re-enter the U.S. in J-1 status, you will need to request and obtain a travel authorization, or "travel signature,” on your DS-2019 form from OIS. Travel authorizations are also necessary for your J-2 dependents. While you may leave for an emergency at any time, our office encourages you and your dependents to not re-enter the U.S. without proper documentation.

Steps to request a travel authorization signature Heading link

To request a travel authorization signature, submit the J-1 Travel Signature Request E-Form in myOIS at minimum three weeks before traveling. When submitting your e-form, please also confirm that OIS has a copy of your current and unexpired medical insurance coverage that meets J-1 Exchange Visitor Program health insurance requirements.

After you submit your e-form, it will be reviewed by OIS and routed to your supervisor for approval. OIS will process the request within three business days of your supervisor’s approval and email you when your updated Form DS-2019 is ready.

Tips for returning to the U.S. Heading link

When re-entering the U.S., you will need the following documentation with you:

  1. Form DS-2019 including travel authorization from OIS
  2. Valid passport
  3. Valid J-1 visa stamp or J-2 visa for dependents (Not required for Canadian citizens)
  4. UIC offer letter or UIC I-card (recommended but not required)

For more information and tips on international travel, visit our travel guidance page.


Additional considerations for Research Scholars and Professors Heading link

If your J-1 Exchange Visitor Scholar category is Research Scholar or Professor, and you plan to be outside the U.S. for longer than 60 days, you must request an “Out of Country Authorization” from OIS. To request this authorization, please submit the J-1 Travel Signature Request E-Form in myOIS.