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COVID-19 Immigration-Related FAQs

It is important that you review these FAQs prior to travel.  If you have any questions, contact OIS.

Travel Outside the U.S. and Re-entry to the U.S.

In the past few years, there have been a number of changes that may affect international students and scholars who plan to leave and re-enter the United States. The U.S. Department of State and the Customs and Border Protection bureau of Department of Homeland Security have increased the level of review that international visitors face at U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad, at airports, and at border crossing posts with Canada and Mexico.

If you plan to travel outside the U.S., you will need to be aware of important immigration and security regulations to ensure that you can leave and re-enter the U.S.

Visa Information

Prior to travelling abroad you should check the validity of your visa stamp in your passport to confirm that it is valid for re-entry to the U.S.

Travel Signatures 

All F-1 & J-1 internationals are required to obtain a travel signature in order to return to the U.S.  For F-1 students and J-1 students and research scholars, the signature is valid for one year or until the I-20 or DS-2019 expires, which ever is earlier.  For J-1 short-term scholars, the signature is valid for 6 months or until the DS-2019 expires, which ever is earlier.  During F-1 OPT, the signature is valid for 6 months.  

F-1 AND J-1 STUDENTS

  1. F-1 students may request a travel signature or I-20 reprint by submitting the “Travel Signature/I-20 Reprint Form” in iHopkins under the F-1 Student Services section.

    OIS will process your request and issue the I-20 electronically. To receive the I-20 to your non-JHU email address, you will be prompted to set up an account with Cisco Registered Envelope Service (CRES). Instructions for creating an account can be found here.
     
  2. J-1 students may request travel signature or DS-2019 reprint by submitting the "Travel Signature/DS-2019 Reprint Form" in iHopkins under the J-1 Student Services section.

    J-1 students can select either U.S. Postal Service (U.S. addresses only) or eShip Global to receive their DS-2019. If you need to receive your DS-2019 immediately, then eShip Global is strongly recommended. 

Students should plan ahead and allow up to 10 business days/2 weeks for issuing the I-20/DS-2019.

J-1 SCHOLARS

J-1 Scholars may request a travel signature or DS-2019 reprint by submitting the "Travel Signature/DS-2019 Reprint Form" in iHopkins under the J-1 Scholar Services Section. Please plan ahead and allow up to 10 business days for issuing and shipping your new DS-2019. You will have the following options for receiving your DS-2019.

  1. U.S. Postal Service (U.S. addresses only)
     
  2. eShip Global

For J-1 Alien Physicians sponsored by ECFMG, only ECFMG personnel can provide the required travel validation signature.  Please consult the ECFMG travel page for more information.