EXPIRED VISAS: Can an exchange visitor in “Active” status whose visa has expired and who departed the United States apply for another visa to reenter the United States to return and continue their programs?
Yes, if the program dates on the Form DS-2019 are still valid. U.S. Embassies and Consulates are phasing in resumption of routine visa services on a country-by-country basis. For more information on the phased-in resumption of visa services, please refer to the following website: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/phased-resumption-routine-visa-services.html. For country-specific travel information (including scheduling visa appointments), please refer to the following website: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/COVID-19-Country-Specific-Information.html.
RENEWAL OF J-VISAS: Can special exceptions be made to allow exchange visitors to renew their J-1 visas without traveling back to their home country?
Exchange visitors currently in the United States and actively participating on BridgeUSA programs can remain in the United States even if their visas have expired. They do not need to renew their visas if they do not plan to travel outside of the United States.
If exchange visitors continue to experience difficulties with travel, sponsors should contact the appropriate branch of the Office of Private Sector Exchange Program Administration:
IMPORTANT: Exchange visitors must keep their U.S. sponsors notified of all travel plans.