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Travel and Early Departure

The OISS must be notified in certain cases when a J-1 Exchange Visitor intends to travel outside the United States temporarily or is leaving the U.S. because their J-1 program ended early.

Travel Outside the U.S.

J-1 Exchange Visitors traveling outside the U.S. for brief periods of 30 days or less do not need to notify OISS. Required documents and other considerations for international travel can be found under F-1 and J-1 Travel.

For Travel that Exceeds 30 Days

J-1 Exchange Visitors in the Research Scholar or Professor categories traveling outside the U.S. for more than 30 days must complete the J-1 Out of U.S. Request form and return to their assigned scholar advisor, who will create an Out of Country Record in SEVIS. To maintain valid J-1 status while out of the country, the EV must:

  • Maintain J-1 program objectives while outside of the U.S. and resume their objectives upon return to the U.S. 
  • Maintain their active health insurance and Northwestern appointment for the duration of the travels.  
  • Communicate with the OISS and the Northwestern department, reporting any changes while out of the country.
  • Remember to obtain a valid travel signature, necessary for re-entry into the U.S. in valid J-1 status.

Note: OISS cannot extend the out of country period once the return date has passed. Please notify us in advance if plans change.

Early Departure

The J-1 Early Departure/Transfer Out form must be completed and submitted to the OISS when the J-1 Exchange Visitor:

  • Completes their J-1 program 15 or more days early.
  • Changes to another immigration status (H-1B, LPR, etc.).