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Immigration Documents


Your passport, issued by your country of citizenship, should always be valid at least six months into the future at the time of your arrival into the U.S.

Form DS-2019: Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status

The form DS-2019 is a U.S. Dept. of State (DOS) document which the Office of Global Services issues to you for the purpose of obtaining exchange visitor status under the sponsorship of New York University. DO NOT use another institution’s DS-2019 for entry to the U.S. Upon entry to the U.S. or upon a transfer, extension, or change of status, you should always be given an original DS2019.

You may remain in the U.S. for the duration of your status as an exchange visitor, which means until the end date shown in #3 of your DS-2019 PLUS a 30-day grace period during which you may prepare to leave or travel within the U.S. During the 30-day grace period, you are NOT allowed to work for wages, or leave and return to the U.S.

Dependent family members in J-2 status are each issued their own DS-2019 forms. Individuals should retain all original DS-2019 forms for travel purposes and for their own records.

Please sign and date page 1 of the form at the bottom.

Visa Stamp

To enter the U.S. as a J-1 exchange visitor, you will need a valid J-1 visa stamp in your passport. The validity period of a visa stamp pertains only to the period during which it may be used for admission to the U.S. – it does not indicate how long you may stay in the U.S.

Note: Canadians do not need visa stamps to enter the U.S.

Form I-94 (arrival/departure record)

The form I-94 is the Arrival/Departure Record issued by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) when you enter the United States. Beginning April 30, 2013 CBP will automate this process by issuing digital I-94 records at all airports and seaports. Instead of receiving a paper I-94 record when you enter by air or sea, your I-94 information will now be made available online. It is important to note that USCIS and other government departments in the U.S. will continue to require students to submit a paper copy of Form I-94 when requesting certain benefits. Therefore, the OGS advises you to print and save a paper copy of the electronic I-94 soon after arrival.

As an exchange visitor, your visa classification should be notated as “J-1” (“J-2” for dependents) and your length of stay as “D/S” as described above.

WARNING: Do NOT enter the U.S. on a B-1/B-2 Visa (Visitor for Business/Tourism) or on the Visa Waiver Program in WB/WT (Waiver for Business/Tourism) status. Neither allows you to earn a salary or wages in the U.S., and the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) does not allow you to change your status once in the U.S.

Important Immigration Documents
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