Departing the U.S. and Ending J-1 Program

Please keep the following in mind when planning your departure from U-M:

  • If you decide to leave your J-1 program more than 30 days before the end date of your DS-2019, you must notify the IC in writing. Please complete the J-1 Scholar Notice of Departure form and return it to the IC prior to your departure. The form may be submitted in person or via postal mail, fax, or email.
  • J-1 scholars are given a 30-day grace period at the end of the program. This means that you have until 30 days after your program end date to depart the U.S.

Many scholars choose to spend the 30-day grace period sightseeing around the U.S. prior to returning to their home countries. If you choose to do this, please remember that once you cross the border into another country, your J-1 grace period is over and it is no longer possible to re-enter the U.S. with your J-1 visa.

For example, many North American sightseeing trips include a visit to Canada. If your travel plans during the 30-day grace period include a visit to Canada and then a re-entry to the U.S. before returning home, you must plan to re-enter in tourist visa status, not J-1 visa status. Depending on your country of citizenship, you may be required to have a B1/B2 visa stamp in your passport in order to re-enter in tourist visa status. Citizens of countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program do not need a visa stamp in order to re-enter the U.S. in tourist visa status.