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I'm a J-1 Visa holder, what do I do if cannot return home?

If you are unable to return home within the 30-day grace period after your program ends, here are some of the things you need to do according to the U.S. Department of State:

  • Stay in touch with your sponsors. Your sponsors should note that you have been in contact with them and you are actively finding ways to leave the United States.
  • Keep a record of flight cancellations and travel advisories from your home country, if available.
  • Your sponsors should seek advice from the Office of Private Sector Exchange’s website so that they could contact the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines for assistance.

For more information, see the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) communication dated February 7, 2020 for additional details on exchange visitors currently inside the United States. Ongoing updates can be accessed on the ECA website. See also special situations for extensions and change of visa status, including for those individuals subject to INA 212(e): Two-Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement.

This article was written and edited by the Tayo editorial desk and has been reviewed by an independent panel of subject matter experts.

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