J-Visa Program Dates

Your program start and end dates are listed on your DS-2019 #3.

Selecting Travel Dates

  • You may enter the U.S. up to 30 calendar days before the start date on your DS-2019.  However, campus housing is not available until your program start date.  VLIs arriving prior to the program start date will be responsible for their own transportation and lodging.  VLIs arriving on the program start date at Washington Dulles International Airport will be provided with transportation to campus.
  • You must arrive in the U.S. on or before the start date on your DS-2019.
  • If your travel will be delayed, causing you to arrive in the U.S. after the start date, you must notify CIE.
  • If you are planning to travel home either over winter break or at the end of the academic year, know that exams continue several days after classes end. You should not leave UMW until after the end of exams and all of your teaching duties have been completed. You can consult the academic calendar for this information.
  • VLIs are permitted to remain in their residence hall during all school holidays and breaks.
  • Typically, VLIs are permitted to remain in their residence halls for approximately two weeks after the end of the spring semester.  Please plan your departure itinerary with this in mind.

Traveling to the U.S.

At the port-of-entry (the airport or border where you officially enter the U.S.), be prepared to present your documents:
• Passport
• J-1 visa stamp (located in your passport)
•  DS-2019
• UMW contract and welcome letter
• Receipt of SEVIS fee payment
• Financial documentation (such as bank statements, scholarship details, etc.)
• U.S. Customs Declaration Form (you will receive that on the flight to the U.S.)

Keep these documents in your carry-on luggage. An immigration officer will review your documents and ask you some questions regarding the purpose of your stay in the U.S.

A digital photo and fingerprints will be taken, and then your passport will be stamped and annotated J-1 and D/S.  D/S stands for “duration of status,” meaning you may stay in the U.S. as long as your documents are valid and you maintain your visa status.

Note: If you have any problems entering the U.S., call CIE at 540-654-1870 or on weekends and evenings, call 540-419-9781 (CIE 24/7 Emergency).