Travel to a Foreign Country
- Immigration Status
- Staying in Status Overview
- Staying in Status Presentation
- Getting into J Status
- SEVIS Fee Chart
- SEVIS Fee Information
- The SEVIS Fee
- SEVIS Helpful links
- Address Updates
- Completion of course of study
- Visa Options Powerpoint
- Visa versus Visa Status
- US Visas & IU
- Enrollment Information
- Travel & Re-entry
- Financial Aid
For the latest travel advisories, visit the US Department of State’s website.
- SEVIS UPDATE: If applying for a new US Visa, you must have a DS-2019. A DS-2019 is necessary to re-enter the United States.
All J-1 Visa Stamp holders MUST have a valid travel signature on the front of their DS-2019 in order to re-enter the United States. Travel signatures are valid for one calendar year, or until completion of program, whichever comes first.
- Note: You need a signature even if you are just traveling across the border into Canada or Mexico.
- At least two weeks in advance of your planned departure from Bloomington, you should check to see that your passport, visa, and Form DS-2019 are valid and will not expire while you are out of the country. You will need to apply for a new Form DS-2019 from OIS (or your sponsor) if there have been any changes in your situation—for example, in your major, degree level or objective, or in the source(s) of your financial support—that are not indicated on your current DS-2019.
- Check section 3 of your DS-2019 to see whether the completion date/end date is about to expire. If it is and you have not yet graduated or reached the end of your exchange visitor program you need to apply for an extension. If your program sponsor on your DS-2019 is IU, you will need to submit an extension request via iStart. If your program sponsor is not IU (for example, IIE), please contact OIS for information about obtaining an extension.
- In addition to reviewing the information on your DS-2019 for accuracy, you should check to make sure that an International Services advisor or your program sponsor has signed the document for travel. Please allow at least two weeks before your planned departure from Bloomington to obtain an OIS advisor’s signature.
- If you are traveling to a country other than your home country, you may need a visitor’s visa. To find out, visit that country’s embassy website at Foreign Embassies of Washington, D.C. and search for the Consular Section nearest you.
Is the US visa stamp in your passport valid up to the date you plan to reenter the United States? If not, you must apply for a new visa. We strongly advise that you carry with you the following documents when applying for a new visa at a US Consulate:
- Official Transcript issued by the Registrar of IU.
- Enrollment Certificate issued by the Registrar of IU.
- Valid DS-2019 issued by OIS of by your program sponsor.
- Current financial certification: documents indicating the source(s) and amount(s) of financial support for your study in the current academic year. This must match the information listed on your DS-2019.
As US Consulates will not be open on certain days during the Christmas–New Year’s holiday period, there may be difficult time constraints on obtaining a new visa during winter break. Reduced staffing in most consulates may mean that applying for a visa now takes much longer than it has in the past.
Note: If you intend to apply for a new US Visa in Canada or Mexico and are not a resident of either country, please contact an advisor at the Office of International Services to discuss this possibility.
If you need to apply for a new US Visa, visit the Department of State's US Embassies and Consulates section for an updated list.
Visitors’ Visas—for Travel to Countries other than your Home Country
If you are traveling to a country other than your home country, you may need a visitor’s or transit visa. To find out, visit that country’s embassy website at Foreign Embassies of Washington, D.C. and search for the Consular Section nearest you.
If you are traveling to the E.U. and your home country is not within the E.U., you may apply for the Schengen visa, which permits travel within E.U. countries.
After completeing your academic program
If you plan to travel to Canada or anywhere else outside of the US during the grace period following completion of your degree requirements, the Office of International Services will not be able to sign your I-20 for travel. If you travel outside of the US, you will not be able to re-enter the US as an F-1 student at IU.