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International Exchange Students

Prior to Arrival

  • Official Dartmouth Exchange programs are administered through the Guarini Institute.
  • Upon admission to the program, the Guarini Institute sends forms and information to the exchange student.
  • Students complete the forms and return them to the Guarini Institute together with copies of passport and financial documents as may be required by OVIS.
  • OVIS prepares the DS-2019 form and a cover letter containing complete instructions for how to obtain a J-1 visa from the consulate in the student’s home country.
  • The Guarini Institute mails the DS-2019 package to the student.


  • J-1 students may arrive up to 30 days prior to the program start date as listed on the DS-2019 form.
  • Check-in
    • Students must report to OVIS within ___ days of the program end date.
    • At check-in OVIS will check the students’ visa documents and copy them, a travel signature will be given by OVIS.
  • Orientation
    • Students beginning their studies in fall term will be invited to attend the International Orientation.
    • Students beginning their studies in all terms will be required to attend the Off-Campus Programs’ Orientation the day before classes begin.

Maintaining Visa Status

  • Check-in at the start of every term on Bannerstudent.
  • Full course enrollment every term.
  • D-plan of 3 consecutive terms of enrollment every year prior to a leave term.
    • D-plan codes R O X (and sometimes T) count as enrolled terms.
  • Report any changes in address to OVIS within 10 days of a change.
  • No unauthorized work.
  • Travel signatures every year.
  • Passport unexpired for at least six (6) months into the future.


  • During the academic term
    • On-campus work authorization may be granted for no more than 20 hours per week.
    • Students must receive pre-approval from their OVIS advisor before beginning any on-campus work.
  • After the program end date
    • Off-campus work authorization known as Academic Training may be granted for a maximum of 18 months unless the academic program was less than 18 months; if so, the AT may be granted for no more than the total months in the academic program.
    • Students must receive pre-approval from the OVIS advisor before beginning any off-campus work.

Loss of Visa Status

  • Anything that stops a student from enrolling (e.g. suspension) will cause a termination of the visa status.
  • Not maintaining status will cause a termination of the visa status.


  • Documents: travel with an unexpired passport, unexpired visa stamp (exception: Canadians do not need a visa stamp), valid DS-2019 with up-to-date travel signature, and Form I-94.
    • I-94 cards should be taken by a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at the point of departure.
  • Always get a new I-94 card when re-entering the U.S by land, and a new Admission stamp when re-entering the U.S. by air or sea.  After re-entry by air or sea, access and print a copy of your electronic Form I-94 here.
  • Travel to third countries (not the U.S. and not the home country)
    • Find the Embassy website for the destination country.
    • Find out if the destination country requires people from your country to have a visa or not.
    • Make sure your intended activity in the destination country matches the visa you get for travel to that country.
    • Make sure your U.S. visa documents are unexpired so that you can return to your school in the U.S.


  • Students must depart the U.S. within 30 days of their program end date.
    • During the 30 day grace period:
      • Students may
        • travel in the U.S. and
        • prepare to depart the U.S.
      • Students may not
        • work without Academic Training authorization.
        • leave the U.S. and try to re-enter on the J-1 visa.

Last Updated: 11/28/17