Travel Outside the U.S.

Get a travel signature on your DS-2019

Before you leave the country, make sure you have a valid travel signature from an OIS advisor or your program sponsor on your DS-2019. You will not be able to re-enter the United States without one.

To get a travel signature, make a request through Atlas at least two weeks before you plan to travel.

Travel signatures are valid for one calendar year, or until the completion of your program, whichever comes first.

Description of the video:

Hi, I am José Mendez from the the Office of International Services. Today, I will be talking about travel signatures, the signature on page two of a continued-attendance I-20 is required by the US government to request entry into the US in F1 status. If you arrive to the US to start your program at IU, your initial or transfer-pending I-20 will not have a travel signature on page two. While you are enrolled in your program of study, the travel signature is valid for one year from the date it is signed, or the date you complete your program of study, whichever date comes first.

You need a travel signature even if you are just traveling across the border into Canada or Mexico. Read more below.

Make sure your DS-2019 will not expire while you are out of the country

Check the completion date in section 3 of your DS-2019 to see whether it is about to expire. If it expires while you are outside the United States, you will not be able to re-enter the U.S.

If your DS-2019 is about to expire and you have not yet completed your program, you can apply for an extension on Atlas if IU is your program sponsor. If IU is not your sponsor, please discuss your extension needs with your program sponsor contact.

Travel and your J-1 visa

Is the J-1 visa stamp in your passport valid beyond the date you plan to re-enter the United States? If not, you must apply for a new visa while you are abroad. We strongly advise you to carry the following documents with you when applying for a new visa at a U.S. consulate:

  • An Official Transcript issued by the registrar
  • An Enrollment Certificate issued by the registrar
  • A valid DS-2019 issued and signed by OIS or your program sponsor
  • Current financial documentation: 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.

Note: if you intend to apply for a new U.S. visa in Canada or Mexico and are not a resident of either country, please discuss your plans with an OIS advisor.

See also the U.S. Department of State’s website on information for nonimmigrants present in the United States, and visiting Canada or Mexico.

If you need to apply for a new U.S. visa, visit the Department of State’s U.S. embassies and consulates website for an updated list of visa application locations.