Travel


Traveling after your initial entry to the U.S. requires you to be aware of the requirements for visa issuance as well as admission and inspection policies when arriving to the U.S. or traveling within the U.S.  While the U.S. Departments of State and Homeland Security are trying their best to minimize potential delays, it is important to remember that security measures have become stricter and tracking programs and electronic systems have been implemented. 

Before you leave the U.S. obtain a travel validation signature from ISSS on your DS-2019.
  • The travel signature is valid for 6 months if you are a J-1 short-term scholar and one year if you are a J-1 student intern, professor or research scholar.
  • The travel signature is required for travel abroad, not within the U.S.
  • The travel signature is required to re-enter the U.S. not to leave the U.S.
  • If your travel signature will expire before you return to the U.S., you will need an updated one.
  • If you have a J-2 dependent traveling outside the U.S., they also need a travel signature on their DS-2019 form.
If you are a J-1 Exchange Visitor (J-1 or J-2) located in Bryan/College Station, you must visit our office with your DS-2019(s) so that we may endorse the travel validation section of the form(s). To obtain a travel signature on your DS-2019 form either come to our office during our walk-in hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 8:30am to noon and 1:30 to 4:30pm OR email Virginie at vblum@tamu.edu to schedule an appointment.

If you are a J Exchange Visitor (J-1 or J-2) and you are located OUTSIDE Bryan/College Station, you must visit your departmental contact so they can arrange for the mailing of your DS-2019(s) to our office. Once we endorse your form for travel, we will mail it back to you at your own expense (we will email you instructions on how to create and pay your air bill). 
Traveling within the U.S. also requires that you carry evidence of your legal status. Besides a valid passport, you must carry a valid I-94 which establishes your authorized period of stay in the U.S.  J-1 scholars must also carry their DS-2019s. In addition, the employing department, as in the case of overseas travel, may want to provide a letter attesting to your current status. Failure to carry these documents while traveling in the U.S. could result in serious consequences if you are asked by immigration enforcement officers (at, but not limited to, Border Patrol checkpoints) to produce evidence of your immigration status.  
If you are a foreign national employee or visiting scholar at Texas A&M University or one of the Texas A&M University System agencies, you can have access to our emergency after-hours contact number. You may call this number if you experience immigration difficulties upon entering the U.S. outside of normal business hours, and you or the U.S. Custom and Border Protection officers need to contact us. This number is only for immigration emergencies and should not be used for any other purposes.
 
Before your trip, contact our office at 979-845-18124 (and press 2) or email isss@tamu.edu for an after-hours emergency.