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Scholars Abroad

Visa & Documents

Passport

Your passport must always be valid at least six months into the future.

J-1 Visa Stamp

A J-1 visa stamp that U.S. consular officials place in your passport allows you to apply to enter or re-enter the United States. It does not guarantee admission to the United States.  Nor does it determine your length of stay.

If your J-1 visa expires while you are in the United States

It is not necessary to renew your visa as long as you remain in the country. A visa can only be secured at a U.S. embassy or consulate overseas.

I-94 Departure Record

An immigration official at your U.S. port of entry will staple the I-94 into your passport. This small white card, along with a valid DS-2019, permits you to stay temporarily in the United States as a J-1 student or J-1 student intern.

The I-94 card shows:

  • Your non-immigrant status
  • Place and date you entered the United States
  • Length of time you have permission to remain temporarily in the United States (known as your Duration of Status)

A New I-94 Each Time You Enter the United States

Each time you enter the United States, you will be issued a new I-94 card with a new admission number. The exception is when you re-enter the country after visits of 30 days or less to Canada, Mexico, and adjacent islands.

Renewing or Replacing Your Passport

Lost or stolen? Report a lost or stolen passport to the police. Your home country government may require a police report before issuing a new passport.

Renewing or Replacing your Passport: Contact your country’s consulate in the United States.

DS-2019

The DS-2019 form is issued to you by Washington State University. It indicates that you have been screened and selected for participation in the Exchange Visitor Program with WSU as your sponsor. This document lets you apply for a J visa to enter the United States.

Present your DS-2019 when entering the United States. You must present the DS-2019 along with your passport and visa every time you enter the United States. At the port of entry, the immigration officer will stamp your DS-2019 and return it to you.

Keep your DS-2019 valid at all times. Your DS-2019 remains valid until the program end date indicated. Do not let your DS-2019 expire.

Update your DS-2019 through your WSU advisor. Information on the DS-2019 is also stored in the SEVIS database. Updates must be made through your advisor at WSU.

Keep All Your Documents

Do not throw away old copies of your visa documents. They provide proof that you have been maintaining legal status, and you may need them in the future.

Provide Copies to WSU

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security requires WSU’s Office of International Programs to keep a copy of your documents in your student file. When you renew your documents, provide Global Services with a copy. This includes passports, visas, I-20 and I-94 forms.

Keep Your Documents Safe

Store your important documents in a secure location in your home, in a bank safe-deposit box, or in another secure location.