No travel validation – no entry?

Last week we talked about a J-1’s travel outside the U.S. We concluded that the DS-2019 must be validated before re-entering the U.S.

So what happens if – despite the best intentions – a J-1 Visa holder did not get their DS-2019 validated by the program sponsor?

Not to worry, there is a process for that…

If a J-1 Exchange Visitor re-enters the U.S. without a validated form DS-2019 (or if they forgot their DS-2019 altogether), they will most likely be admitted with a Form I-515A, “Notice to Student or Exchange Visitor” for a period of 30 days. Within those 30 days, the J-1 participant is required to send to the address indicated on the Form I-515A the following:

  • The completed Form I-515A;
  • An original, signed Form DS-2019 signed by the program sponsor; and
  • The original I-94 Arrival/ Departure Record.

A DHS official will review the documents and will return the DS-2019, I-94 and a short letter of confirmation to program sponsor. The Form I-94 will have been amended by the DHS official to reflect an entry that is valid for “D/S”, or the duration of the J-1’s program as reflected on the DS-2019.

At the time that a J-1exchange visitor is admitted with a Form I-515A, he or she maintains status (and is permitted to continue their Trainee or Intern program), but only if Form I-515A is properly filed with DHS within the initial 30-day admission period.

Note that the J-1 participant MUST file the required paperwork within 30 days. The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) will terminate the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) record status of any J-1 nonimmigrant who does not comply with the Form I-515A directive within the 30-day response period. If this happens, the J-1 participant will have to depart the U.S. immediately.

6 Responses to “No travel validation – no entry?

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  • Claudia
    5 years ago

    How does that work when you under a J-1 Visa that is a mistake.
    Explaining: I got back in the US my visa was suppose to be 90days tourist but the Douane at the aiport put me under a J-1 without asking me anything as he’ve seen the previous visas in my passeport he just deducted I was still under.

    Anyway so no DS2019.
    If I get out of the US I won’t be able to re enter under it correct?
    Would I have to go back to France my home country and then be able to go back?
    Can I be lucky and no be ask for the DS2019 I want to do a cruise…

    Pretty complicated I know.

    • Check your I-94 arrival/departure record online. What does it state? Where you admitted on B or J status?

      • Claudia
        5 years ago

        Thanks for answering,

        My online record does not give me a departure date.
        It gives me Admit until date (MM/DD/YYYY).
        I was admitted as a J-1 au pair visa So on my I-94 the “Until” part is filled with D/S which I don’t have knowing I’m not an au pair anymore.