Carnegie Mellon University

Travel Documents for Re-Entry to the U.S.

For J-1 Scholars

Foreign scholars are encouraged to carefully prepare ahead of time when planning to travel outside the U.S. to avoid encountering issues or delays when re-entering. 

To re-enter the U.S. using your Carnegie Mellon DS-2019, you must be currently affiliated with Carnegie Mellon University and be planning to continue your employment or formal affiliation with the university immediately upon your return to the U.S. If you plan on being outside the U.S. for more than 30 days, you must make an appointment with your OIE advisor. Longer absences may result in early termination of your J immigration status and hinder your ability to re-enter the U.S.

If you are planning on traveling outside the U.S. for a temporary absence or vacation, the following documents are required for re-entry back into the U.S. Please remember to keep these documents securely in your carry-on luggage at all times.

  • Current, valid passport.
  • Current, valid DS-2019 with OIE travel signature.
    • Signatures are valid for up to 12 months or until your DS-2019 expiry date, whichever occurs first. For a signature, bring your DS-2019 to the OIE front desk (Cyert Hall, First Floor Atrium). Your signed document will be ready to pick up after five business days. No appointment is necessary.
  • Current, valid J-1 visa sticker in passport.
    • An expired visa is valid for persons re-entering the U.S. from Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean island nations after a visit of fewer than 30 days. See more details.
  • I-94
  • Current, valid DS-2019 with OIE travel signature.
    • Signatures are valid for up to 12 months or until your DS-2019 expiry date, whichever occurs first. Carry all DS-2019 forms you have been issued.
  • Original evidence of financial support
    • This may include personal bank statements, a letter of support from your Carnegie Mellon department, and/or a letter of support from your sponsoring government or home institution.
  • Evidence of your intention to return to your home country upon completion of your program in the U.S.
    • This would include proof of “ties to the home country” such as a job offer in your home country, family ties, or property in your home country.
  • Letter from supervisor or advisor addressing sensitive technology issues if you work in a sensitive field with military or possible military applications.
  • All other documents required by the U.S. consulate overseas.
    • Access country and consulate-specific information at usembassy.gov. Check for fees, application procedures, processing times, holiday breaks, etc.