Traveling Here and Abroad

You can travel both domestically and internationally during your program. Remember, too, that your J-1 visa allows up to 30 additional days for domestic travel after your DS-2019 expires. However, if you leave the U.S. during this 30-day period, you will not be allowed back into the country.

Please note: If you plan to travel after your DS-2019 end date, make sure to discuss this with your international representative. That way your insurance will be sure to cover this extended travel period.

TRAVELING WITHIN THE U.S.

There are so many things to discover, people to meet, and places to see in the U.S.! While you are exploring, please keep the following advice in mind to make sure your travel experience is the best and safest it can be:

  • Travel with friends whenever possible.
  • If traveling alone, tell friends and colleagues where you are going, when you will be back, and how to reach you.
  • Make sure you have contact information for your friends and your host organization.
  • Plan ahead. Know where you are staying, how you are getting there, where you will eat, etc.
  • Take important documents (like your passport and your DS-2019) with you.
  • Never leave your bags or other personal property unattended.
  • Never hitchhike. In addition to being unsafe, it is illegal in many states.

TRAVELING OUTSIDE THE U.S.

If you intend to travel internationally and return to the U.S. after your trip, you can only do so during your program – that is, while your DS-2019 is still valid. If you leave the U.S. and your DS-2019 expires while you are away, you will not be allowed back into the country.

A few other guidelines you will need to follow:

  • You can travel outside the U.S. only during the training dates in Box 3 of your DS-2019, and for no longer than 30 days at a time.
  • You must be authorized to enter the U.S. on more than one occasion. The number of times you are allowed to enter the U.S. is indicated on your J-1 visa under the “entries” section. If the letter M appears here, you have multiple entries; if not, you are only allowed to enter the U.S. the specific number of times indicated – usually one or two.
  • If you travel outside the U.S., you must have your original DS-2019 signed for travel by CIEE and receive a Letter of Good Standing. To receive these, mail your DS-2019 and a note explaining your travel plans to CIEE at 300 Fore St., Portland, ME, 04101. Include a prepaid UPS or FedEx return envelope (addressed to your U.S. mailing address) so we can return your DS-2019 form and Letter of Good Standing. For questions or more information, call 1-888-268-6245 or email us at contact@ciee.org.
  • Notify CIEE by phone or email two weeks before your trip to ensure you get your DS-2019 signed and returned on time.
  • Travel to Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas) is covered by CIEE insurance. Travel anywhere else outside the country is not. If you are traveling to a country that is not covered by CIEE insurance, we recommend purchasing separate travel insurance for the duration of your trip.
  • Your J-1 visa must be valid and the dates on your DS-2019 must be current when re-entering the U.S. You will not be allowed back into the U.S. with an expired DS-2019, even for connecting flights. It is your responsibility to make sure you meet reentry requirements.
  • Do not travel without your signed DS-2019 form. Doing so may result in a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer denying your re-entry into the U.S.
  • Depending on your home country, you may be required to have a visa for the country you are traveling to. Be sure to check with your embassy before traveling anywhere outside the U.S.
  • If you have planned multiple trips outside of the U.S., you may not need to get an updated travel validation for each one. Please contact CIEE at 1-888-268-6245 or contact@ciee.org for more information.