​​Travel Documents

A valid passport and visa are required for all non-immigrant students. A passport should be valid for at least six months beyond the expiration date of the Certificate of Eligibility issued by Purdue University. Exchange students are responsible for maintaining validity of their passports throughout their stay in the U.S.

Certificate of Eligibility – DS2019

Once exchange students have been approved to study in the United States and officially admitted to Purdue University, a Certificate of Eligibility (DS-2019) will be mailed. The DS-2019 is valid for 30 days before and after the academic program. Exchange students can arrive in the United States 30 days before Purdue's semester begins and depart the home country 30 days after the semester ends.


Effective September 1, 2004, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requires collection of a one-time fee to cover operational costs of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Students who receive their DS-2019 for initial entry to the U.S. must pay the SEVIS fee before they can apply for their J-1 exchange visitor visa.

J1 Visa

After paying the SEVIS fee, take the SEVIS receipt, the Form DS-2019, valid passport, and evidence of financial support to the nearest US Embassy or U.S. Consulate to obtain a J-1 exchange visitor visa. When students depart for the US the above documents should be taken. A US immigration officer will review these items at the US city of arrival.

Arrival into the US

At the US port of entry, students pass through US Customs and Immigration. Immigration officials will check the passport, J-1 visa, SEVIS receipt, and Certificate of Eligibility and activate the Arrival/Departure record (Form I-94) that is filled out on the plane prior to landing. The immigration officer will stamp the arrival date and duration of status on the Form I-94 according to the dates listed on your Certificate of Eligibility.

Travel Outside the US

Before leaving the US for any reason during the exchange program at Purdue, check first with the Office of International Students and Scholars to make sure the travel documents are in order. A document needs to be signed to return to the US. 

International Programs in Agriculture, 615 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907 USA, (765) 494-6876

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