Form I-94 – what does “D/S” mean?

Form I-94

Form I-94 is the “Arrival/Departure” record that J-1 visa holders receive when the enter the United States. The I-94, together with a Form DS-2019 and J-1 visa stamp determine the legal status of the J-1. All J-1 visa holders should keep their I-94 and DS-2019 in a safe place. when they leave the United States, J-1s must surrender their form I-94.

D/S notation on I-94

J-1 Interns and Trainees are allowed to stay in the United States for a specified amount of time. The program dates are listed on Form DS-2019. When entering the United States, an Immigration Officer will stamp their form I-94 and add a notation “D/S”. The D/S notation means Duration of Status and refers back to the dates listed on the DS-2019. The J-1 is allowed to stay to the end date on form DS-2019 plus the 30-day grace period (as long as they have successfully completed their program).

Leaving the United States on time

It is imperative that J-1s leave the United States before they go out of status. The D/S notation provides no specific date. The date by which they must leave the United States is 30 days after the program completion date listed on Form DS-2019.

35 Responses to “Form I-94 – what does “D/S” mean?

  • Kleopatra Tsompani
    5 years ago

    Dear Mr Janssen,

    I would like to ask you if while we are having the J-1 Visa, is possible to change our Status to another Visa? For example if the company that i will be working, is satisfied by my work and they want to extend my stay, this will be possible? or if any other event happens is possible to make the change? and one more question. After the expiration of the J-1 I need to leave the country for 2 years and do not come back even as a Tourist?

    Thank you for your reply

    Warm Regards,


    • Hi KT. You should not change status to another visa during the program. Once you return to your home country you can immediately visit the U.S. for tourist purposes. No need to wait 2 years šŸ™‚

  • My DS2019 expires on 12th July 2013
    My J1 visa also expires on 12th July 2013.
    Will I be able to stay in the US after 12th July 2013. Isn’t there a rule about 30 days grace period. Do you always get the grace period?

    • Hello Adi. The grace period is automatically awarded to those J-1 visa holders who successfully complete their program. The grace period is extended to allow participants to settle their affairs and to prepare to return to their home countries. During the 30-day grace period, Program participants may no longer continue and/or complete exchange activities. Although participants may travel in the United States, it is recommended that they do not travel beyond the borders of the United States as they may not be permitted reentry.

  • Dear Mr. Janssen,

    I am a J1 scholar entering the US on July 18, 2013. The expiration date on my I-94 is D/S, which is correct I assume. But on the visa stamp in my passport the officer wrote “F/E J1” instead of “J1 D/S”. What does this mean? Is this a problem?

    Thank you.

    Best Regards,


  • My DS 2019 is going to get expire and the electronic I94 expires on NOV 2014 is possibility stay for some more time here

    • You must leave the U.S. within 30 days of the program end date on your form DS-2019. Please make sure you don’t overstay.

  • Hi,
    I was in USA in 2012, with a H2B visa.
    I left my employer during my contract. It was not what they promised. It seems that he reported me to USCIS. I stayed like 6 months in the US, after that.
    I left the country with 1 month before my I 94 expired.

    In March i tried to get a B1 visa, for a HAZMAT training course in Atlanta, when I was sent by my actual employer in Romania. The embassy told me that I was “out of status”, because my employer turned me on and they denied my visa. 214 (b)
    Now i have a contract and a work permit in Canada as a Long Haul Truck Driver, and I need the U.S B1, for crossing border in U.S. What are my chances? Do I have to apply in Canada or is it better to do it in my country ?!
    Thank you in advance,

    4 years ago

    I quit the program before my second year of being an au pair (J1) ended. My DS-2019 was supposed to expire on MAY 2014. I got married the same day I quit the program. Now my husband and I are filling the papers for Adjustment of my status. I would like to know my current status ? since I didn’t complete the program.

  • Irene
    4 years ago


    I have a J1 visa because I am in an exchange program for a year. Tomorrow I have a flight to Spain where I will spend 10 days, then I will be back in the US. My visa is valid until the end of next may.
    I have with me my DS 2019 but I don t know what the form i-94 is. Apparently I need this document but I read on a website that CBP has an electronic version of it, is this right? What should I do?

    Thank you very much

    • Hi Irene. The I-94 arrival/ departure record is now an electronic file. You do need your Form DS-2019 and it must be validated for travel. Check with your program sponsor for details.

  • Where can I get this i94 card ?

  • if I have B1 or B2 visa do I still need i94?

  • Martin Schlie
    4 years ago

    Dear Mr. Janssen,

    I have a very particular question about travel outside the US, re-enter and finally leaving the US permanently all within the Grace Period…
    My internship will end at 11/29/2013, which is also the expiry date of my Visa and DS-2019. I plan to go on a trip to the Netherlands Antilles and Antigua and Barbuda (“adjacent islands”). After that I would like to re-enter the US to meet a friend from Germany and cancel my bank account, etc. As this is not possible with my expired J-1 Visa, I am seeking either to apply for a tourist travel admission (Germany is eligble for the VWP) or make use of the “automatic visa revalidation”. Note, that my final departure to Germany lies within the Grace Period, so I am not seeking to extend my program or the Grace Period, neither do I intend to work in the time, when I have re-entered the US.

    Can you say, which of the options is the best and if I am eligible for the automatic visa revalidation at all? I have not very much information about that, but it seems that it matches my cases pretty well. Although it says, I will need a valid I-94, but my current one indicates D/S and will expire with my Visa?! Can I get a new one?

    Thank you so much!

    • Hello Martin. The 30-day grace period was designed for travel inside the U.S. Once you leave the U.S., you can return as a tourist. Just be prepared to explain to a port of entry officer why you are returning. It also helps to have proof that you are leaving again, ie copy of a flight ticket back to Germany.

      • Martin Schlie
        4 years ago

        Thank you very much. All my documents are “clean” and I do have a flight ticket back home and I will go for the Tourist Visa Waiver option. I was just wondering, if you know about the outcomes of such intentions…I just do not know, how likely it is to be denied…

  • Hello Mr.Janssen, My sister got a G-2 visa in order to attend a seminar here in USA for 4 weeks. At at the airport she received a D/S I-94. She’s 8 month pregnant and scare to take a flight back during her last month of pregnancy for the saftey of her baby and herself. Would it be possible to stay over? Any penalty for that? I am reading websites imdicating there is no need to apply for extension. Thank you so much in advance for your help in this matter.

    • Adam, don’t overstay without making proper arrangements. She should reach to the party who helped her obtain the visa; they will be able to help.

  • I am a j1 student and there are mark d/s on my passport as well as on the I 94.i wanna know if I can stay in the us until june because my visa ends at that month

    • Hello Bibs. Upon successful completion of your program, you are allowed to stay up to 30 days (“grace period”). You must leave the U.S. within 30 days after the Program End Date on your form DS-2019.

  • Ahsen
    4 years ago

    Hello Mario,

    I have a question about my J-1 extension. Currently I am on a J-1 visa which will expire on December 27th. I had applied for J1 extension and have the updated DS-2019 form with the updated extension dates (till April 2014). Last time, I went through the consulate I was put in administrative processing which took 8 months. In order to renew my visa stamp, I had to go through the consulate again. Now, I have an apprehension that my file may go through administrative processing again.

    I would like to ask that if my file is put in Admin processing again if I visit the consulate next week would I be able to travel back to US for the period I currently have the visa. That is to say, my current visa stamp is valid from August 2013 – December 27th. If I go to the consulate next week for renewal (new dates are August 2013- April 2014) and the file is put into admin processing, would I be able to travel back to US before December 27th (for which I already have the visa)?

    I will really appreciate your help.


    • If travel is not required, I recommend staying in the U.S. until Apr 2014. If you have a valid DS-2019 with a new program end date of Apr 2014, then your legal J status will be valid until then. If you leave the U.S., you never know what happens, especially considering the earlier admin review.

  • Aysar
    4 years ago

    Hi Mr. Janssen,

    My J1 visa expires on 20/may/2014
    My DS 2019 duration is also on 20/may/2014

    Do I still get to stay for 30 days after the that date , or do I need to exit immediately since my Visa expires on that exact date ?!

    Kind Regards.

    • Hello Aysar. You are allowed to stay in the U.S. for 30 days after the program end date on your Form DS-2019. To learn what the date on the visa stamp means, see here.

  • When I entered in the USA, at the airport, they took and kept me the I-94 form. I came back to my homecountry, but if I want to return to the States and get a new visa, I have got no proof that I respected my program and returned at the right time. What is to be done?

    • Hi Cat. Your arrival and departure is logged in CBP’s system. You should not need further evidence that you left the U.S.

  • Ivett
    4 years ago

    Hi, I went to the US last year by plane, when I returned to Mexico City I did not surrender my I-94 format because none of the custom agents told me to do so and they usually do it. I want to go to the US next year but I want to know if I will have problems when I arrive.

    • Hello Ivett. I am sorry, I am not familiar with situations where an I-94 was not surrendered.

  • Carlos Arana
    4 years ago

    Hi, I have a hesitation and hope you can help me out,I came to the USA on December 22nd, 2013. And I remember I Was given a paper twice during my trip( one in the plane and one on land), and They told me to complete the papers by pen, but now I can not find any of theese papers, I guess I gave them to the guards and they didn’t give it back to me,now my question is: Is it possible that one of those papers was I-94 ? I read everywhere that now the I-94 is not given in paper, and that you don’t have to give anything when you leave the USA, but my i-94 is not found online, I only have a stamp in my passport that says J1 until D/S?

    Is there a possibility I was given a I-94 paper? Even when my departure to the United Sates was on December, 2013?

    I will be looking forward to receive your answe. Thank you

    Carlos Arana

    • Hello Carlos. The white form you were given is a customs declaration form. It looks like this. Your I-94 record is online and can be found here. If you have issues retrieving the I-94 number, there is a link at the bottom of the page. Please see this article for an explanation on the notation “D/s”.