Before You Depart and Re-Enter the U.S.

If you are leaving the U.S. for an extended period of time please be sure to read the section of our website entitled departing temporarily.  

If you are traveling to and from the U.S. you will need the following documents for re-entry.

  • Passport (valid for at least 6 months into the future)
  • Valid Visa
  • Valid DS-2019, with travel signature. The travel signature is valid for 12 months or until the end date of the DS-2019 whichever one comes first. To know if you have a valid travel signature, look at your DS-2019 on the lower right hand corner. If you need a travel signature, drop off your DS-2019 at our office during office hours. It takes about one week to get a travel signature. Make sure that you drop off the DS-2019 as early as possible to avoid any travel delays. In order to obtain a travel signature you must have attended a J-1 orientation and have provided UBIS with proof of health insurance.

Renewing J-1 Visa

Prior to your departure, check to see if you will need to renew your J-1 visa. If you need to renew your visa, review the information on the U.S. consulate website  were you will apply for your visa. It is not possible to renew the J-1 visa in the United States. The J visa is only valid for entry into the U.S.  Once in the U.S. you don’t need to have a valid J visa to maintain legal status. The document that gives you legal status in the U.S. is the DS-2019. 

Automatic Visa Revalidation

The automatic visa revalidation program ( allows J visa holders who have expired J visa to enter the U.S. if the following criteria are met:

  • Travel to Canada, Mexico or an adjacent island is for less than 30 days.
  • Have the I-94 electronic information
  • Valid passport
  • Valid DS-2019 with travel signature

Scholars from Iran, Sudan and Syria are not eligible for automatic revalidation. Also if you have applied for a renewal of your J-1 visa and the application is pending and/or denied or if your visit is for longer than 30 days you do not qualify for automatic revalidation.

Please also refer to our office's information on automatic visa revalidation.


The information contained on this web page is provided as a service to the international faculty, researchers, staff, employees and administrators of University at Buffalo, and does not constitute legal advice on any immigration, tax, or other matter. We try to provide useful information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this web site or any associated site. As legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and laws are constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel. Neither the University at Buffalo nor the Office of UB Immigration Services is responsible for any errors or omissions contained on this web page, or for the results obtained from the use of this information.


Email:        Tel. Number: (716) 645-2355