UMD: A Globally Connected University

Travel Abroad

Before you leave

  • Make sure your DS-2019 is with you and has been signed for travel by an advisor from International Education Services within the last year. Fill out the Travel Form to have your DS-2019 signed
  • Make sure the program end date on your DS-2019 will not expire by the time you plan to return to the US
  • Dependents in J-2 status must also have their DS-2019s signed for travel
  • The visa stamp in your passport will need to be valid for reentry on the date you return to the U.S. (unless you are a citizen of Canada or the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda and do not need a US entry visa
  • Your passport should be valid for 6 months beyond your expected date of re-entry to the U.S.​

To enter the U.S., the following documents are required

  • Valid passport
  • Valid U.S. visa
  • Valid DS-2019 signed for travel
  • Other Information that may be beneficial during this process:
    • Proof of your current enrollment or your transcript (if you are in the Student category of the J-1 visa

If you need to obtain or renew your visa at a U.S. consulate abroad before you return, make sure you can obtain a U.S. visa in the country you plan to visit and within the time limits of your trip. Check for visa application guidelines and wait times at U.S. consulates. Some consulates take applications by appointment only. Others have a drop off process that can take several weeks. Some consulates will not accept third country applicants. Please check on the process of the particular consulate you plan to visit before you go.

Visa issuance can be delayed by security checks. Most security checks now take less than 30 days.

Automatic Visa Revalidation

Special Rules for Travel to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean (except Cuba)

If you are planning a trip to Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean ONLY (Applicable Caribbean islands are listed below) and your trip will last LESS THAN 30 days, then you can re-enter the US using an expired J-1 visa stamp if you meet the following criteria: You are in valid J-1 status, (you are not traveling after the end date on your DS-2019)

  • You have a valid passport (for at least 6 months beyond day of re-entry to U.S.)
  • You have an I-94 marked Admitted J-1 until D/S
  • You have a recent travel signature on your DS-2019 (within 12 months). Please note, the Canadian government prefers to see a more recent travel signature (within 2 months) before they issue a Canadian tourist visa stamp.
  • You have an expired U.S. visa stamp in your passport. It cannot be stamped canceled. If you applied for a new visa and it has not been issued or has been denied, you will not be able to re-enter the U.S. on your expired visa.
  • You are NOT from one of the following countries: Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, or Syria.
    • *Please check with the appropriate embassies to see whether or not you will need to apply for a visa before you enter Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean islands
    • The Canadian Embassy
    • The Mexican Embassy

Caribbean Islands Where Automatic Visa Revalidation is Applicable:
Saint Pierre, Miquelon, The Dominican Republic, Haiti, Bermuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, The Windward and Leeward Islands, Trinidad, Martinique, and other British, French and Netherlands territory or possessions in or bordering on the Caribbean Sea.