During an internship or period of study in the United States, J-1, F-1 and M-1 visa holders are permitted to travel both within the U.S., from the U.S., as well as to reenter the country. Trips may only be made across U.S. borders in consultation with the J-1 visa sponsor or the designated school official (DSO) and must be announced in advance. In order to travel outside the United States, the J-1, F-1 and M-1 visa holder must have a “travel validation signature on their completed DS-2019 or I-20 form. The travel validation is mainly intended to be presented upon re-entry into the United States.
In order to obtain the travel validation, the DS-2019 must be sent to the respective J-1 visa sponsor, and the I-20 must be submitted to the DSO, who must confirm on the form that the program participant is in good standing and is allowed to legally reenter the country with the visa. The holder of a J-1 visa should therefore provide sufficient time before their scheduled departure, as this process can take several days due to the time needed to allow forms to be delivered in the mail.
Note also that during the 30-day grace period after the program of study has ended, the visa holder shall only be allowed to travel within the United States regardless of whether they have a travel validation or not.