Travel and Extended Absence Notification

Travel requirements

You and your J-2 dependents planning to travel outside the U.S. should make sure you have all the proper documentation prior to traveling. View checklist for travel outside the U.S. >>

You should be aware that travel and subsequent application for a visa stamp may trigger security clearance delays at the U.S. consulate. Learn more about delays >>

Departments must write a letter on your behalf verifying your participation in Emory’s Exchange Visitor (EV) program and that you are returning to the U.S. to resume and complete your EV program. You may need two letters, one to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and another to the U.S. consulate, if you are applying for a J-1 visa stamp before you return.


Travel endorsement required

You must notify ISSS at least two weeks before any international travel in order for your DS-2019 to be endorsed for travel, which requires the signature of a Responsible Officer (RO) or Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO). The travel endorsement box at the bottom right corner of the DS-2019 should not be signed by a departmental administrator or faculty member. It must be signed by either an RO or ARO, and ISSS scholar advisors are designated as such by the Department of State (DOS). If the DS-2019 has been signed previously, the signature date cannot be more than one year from the date of return to the U.S. If it has been more than one year, then a new signature is required. 

You should notify an ISSS scholar advisor if you expect to be out of the country for more than 30 days. Any travel plans involving 30 or more days outside the U.S. while participating in an EV program requires "out-of-country permission."


Out-of-country permission

If you are a J-1 EV in the research scholar or professor categories, you may request permission to be out of the country for more than 30 days. The DOS requires that RO/AROs of EV programs report in the Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) any travel of more than 30 days outside the U.S. in order to verify that the department is aware of your absence, the absence is related to the your current EV program objective, and you are expected to return to complete the EV program.

Your SEVIS record will also be kept in active status, enabling you to resume your normal duties once you return to Emory. Time spent outside the U.S. counts towards the total time you are allotted as a J-1 EV. Out-of-country notification is appropriate for the following scenarios:

1) Continuing collaborative research, teaching or consultation outside the U.S. directly related to the J-1 EV program activity.

2) Faculty on nine-month contracts who are performing research or writing abroad during the summer months.

3) Ph.D. candidates who are returning to present and defend their thesis, requiring more than 30 days to accomplish the task.

Remember, out-of-country notification is for the purpose of keeping your J-1 EV record active in SEVIS with the expectation that you will return to the U.S. to resume and complete your EV program activity. Without such notification, your J-1 EV record in SEVIS will be automatically ended, and you would not be able to return to the U.S. in J-1 status for two years.


Out-of country notification procedures

Your departmental administrator should log into ISSS Link and initiate the J-1 Out of Country Notification e-form. Once the e-form has been completed, submitted, and electronically approved by the supervisor, ISSS will receive an alert and initiate out of country notification within SEVIS.