The J-1 Scholars - Out of Country Form is to be used by J-1 visa holders in the categories of Research Scholar and Professor, when their SEVIS records are in Active status, and due to plans to be outside of the US for 30-days or more but less than one year. The Out of Country process will inform program sponsors of periods of collaborative activity conducted by an Exchange Visitor while outside of the US. The Out of Country authorization also can assist with a smoother US re-entry process with US Customs after being outside of the US for 30-days or more. Within the extended absence the Exchange Visitor is to continue to pursue the original UF sponsored J-1 program objectives. By the UF faculty supervisor and designated EVS departmental administrator signing the Out of Country form, this informs EVS the supervisor/department approve and are aware of the extended collaborative absence. If the J-1 Exchange Visitor is not UF-sponsored (UF did not issue form DS-2019) then the Exchange Visitor’s sponsor will have to provide any advising and/or authorizations.
Instances That Do Not Require Out of Country Authorization
- If a J-1 Research Scholar or Professor is outside the US for less than 30-days in agreement with the department.
- If a J-1 has a need for time outside of the US for 30-days or more for any non-collaborative function which would not be directly related to the UF J-1 program at hand, such as vacation, visiting family in home country, visa renewals, etc. For time away from the UF program in a non-collaborative function in which the J-1 will be outside the US for 30-days or more, a letter on departmental letterhead will be required from the UF faculty supervisor on departmental/center letterhead indicating: 1) the intent of the hosted J-1 Exchange visitor, 2) approval for the extended period of absence, 3) the J-1 is expected to return to the UF program with an expected departure date and return date.
- If a J-1 Research Scholar or Professor is an instructor and will be outside of the US during a term in which the host department does not require the Exchange Visitor to teach, and will return the following term to resume teaching responsibilities.
- If a J-1 Research Scholar or Professor is ending their UF sponsored program as scheduled or early. If an Exchange Visitor will be ending the program early please refer to the Amending a J-1 Visitor’s Program.
- If the J visa holder is a dependent of a J-1 (J-2).
Responsibilities of the Exchange Visitor
During the absence, the J-1 Research Scholar or Professor must:
- Continue to maintain appropriate J-1 status and comply with the regulations of the University of Florida and the Exchange Visitor Program.
- Report to their department administrator any changes in activities or dates as indicated in the Out of Country Request form or supervisor’s confirmation letter. Any updates will then need to be communicated to EVS. If an update to dates (extended time) is reported within an active Out of Country authorization, an update via an email from the UF host department is sufficient. If the Out of Country authorization has expired, a new Out of Country form is required. Updates to an extended return time for a non-collaborative absence can be made by email.
- Maintain an active UF email address.
- Maintain appropriate health insurance at all times, including any J-2 dependents, for all absences from the UF program in which the SEVIS record remains Active. Health insurance cannot expire during any absence from UF.
- Not leave J-2 dependents inside the US for extended absence periods. J-2 dependents should exit with the primary J-1.
To re-enter the US during an active UF-sponsored program, J visa holders will need:
- A valid, original version DS-2019 (program end date must expire after your re-entry date).
- A valid Travel Authorization on current original DS-2019:
The Travel Authorization can be obtained from any EVS staff member. Travel Authorizations are
valid for up to one year, or until your DS-2019 expires, whichever comes first. A valid Travel
Authorization may be used multiple times. If a J visa holder is stationed at an off-campus site, please
contact the department’s/center’s designated EVS departmental administrator for guidance on the long-distance process.
- A valid passport (must be valid for at least 6-months from any entry date to the US).
- A valid J visa:
Some exceptions apply. Automatic Revalidation can permit the use of an expired J visa for the purpose of re-entering the US (limitations and restrictions apply). More information can be obtained from EVS.
- Information on any medications the J visa holder is carrying with them.
- Check for any travel advisories.
Additional Travel Considerations
- If traveling to a country other than the J visa holder’s country of citizenship, check to see if a visa will required to enter the country of destination.
- If a layover for travel is required, check to see if a transit visa is required for the country in which the layover or short-period of stay will take place.
- Have supporting documents, such a J-1’s UF invitation or offer letter and support letter from a third party financial sponsor.
- Make sure the passport is stamped J-1 or J-2, as appropriate, when passing through US Customs. Check your I-94 for the correct status and admission date upon each entry to the US. The I-94 number will change during each entry to the US. Some exceptions may apply such as re-entering the US by a Canadian land crossing or by sea (taking a cruise).
- If taking a cruise ship, have your documents ready when you board the ship. Most cruise lines will check your documents prior to boarding the ship. Of course US Customs will check again when re-entering the US.
- If a J visa holder exits the US during their grace period (30-days after the expiration of their DS-2019) they will not be able to re-enter on the current J status.
- Inform credit card companies of travel to reduce any issues of your card being blocked or frozen due to suspected fraudulent activity.