Traveling Outside the US and DS-2019

DS-2019 Form (Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status):


If an au pair is planning to leave and re-enter the U.S., the DS-2019 form must be sent to the Boston office to be signed by Cultural Care Au Pair.

Please note that the travel validation signature is not required for trips to Canada, Mexico and the adjacent Caribbean islands (except Cuba). The back of the DS-2019 form explains that the travel validation signature is required when returning to the U.S. after a visit to another country “other than a contiguous territory or adjacent island.”

DS 3

Travel Validation Process:

  • Send the DS-2019 form (Certificate of Eligibility) to:
    Cultural Care Au Pair Attn. Travel Validation, EF Center,
    One Education Street, Cambridge, MA 02141
    as early as possible but no later than 3-4 weeks before traveling. Include a note with information about the date of departure along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Do NOT send the passport or I-94 card.
  • If the DS-2019 form is sent to Cultural Care less than 3 weeks before travel, please use Federal Express or a priority mail service and include a pre-paid Federal Express envelope to expedite the return mailing. Please do not include a pre-paid return UPS or DHL envelope- we do not use these courier services.
  • To have the DS 2019 form sent back via Fedex, please include a check for $15 (shipment within the US) or $30 (international shipments) or call 800-448-5753 to pay by credit card.

    Cultural Care will sign the box in the lower right corner titled “Travel Validation by Responsible Officer.” Cultural Care only needs to sign the DS-2019 form ONCE so if there is already a signature in this box (see below), the form does not need to be sent again.


Please note that any au pair traveling outside of the U.S. without a signed DS-2019 form runs the risk of being denied re-entry into the country.


Please notify the Cultural Care office if a DS-2019 form is lost or if any information (such as the address) has changed during the au pair program. If an au pair has transitioned to a new host family or is extending for a second year, Cultural Care will automatically send an updated DS-2019 Form.

I-94 Card:

The I-94 card is a small white card that the au pair fills out on the plane while traveling to the U.S. When the au pair goes through Immigration at the airport, the officer staples the I-94 card to the passport.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • This document will serve as a departure record at the end of the au pair’s year, so it is very important that it is not lost. At the end of their program, if an au pair does surrender the I-94 card upon his/her final departure from the U.S., it will be viewed as an ‘overstay’ of the J-1 visa. This could affect future attempts to secure a U.S. visa at a later date.
  • If the I-94 card is lost or stolen, the au pair must replace it immediately. To apply for a new card, please visit the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) website: The au pair will need to fill out the I-102 form which can be found by clicking on the “immigration forms” tab. The fee for replacing a lost or stolen I-94 card is currently 330 USD and this fee is the au pair’s responsibility. Please keep in mind that is can take USCIS several months to process a new I-94 card and unfortunately Cultural Care has no authority to expedite the return time.
  • If there is a mistake on the I-94 card due to an error by the immigration officer, the au pair should not need to fill out the I-102 form or pay the 330 USD fee. Instead, the au pair will need to visit a Customs and Border Patrol office to request a new card. Please see for a list of Border Patrol Office locations.


Travel during the 30 day Grace Period (Additional Month):

Travel outside of the U.S. during the au pair’s 30 day grace period (Additional Month) is not permitted by the J-1 visa.  If an au pair leaves the continental U.S. during this month, re-entry to the U.S. will likely be denied. Cultural Care has no authority in this case. The only exception to this rule is travel to Hawaii. An au pair may travel to Hawaii during the additional month.


Friday, 18 November 2011 7:04 PM


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