Understanding Your Immigration Documents

Your immigration documents are extrememly important as they are evidence of your lawful status in the United States. You will need to present these documents when you enter into the U.S. and will need to carry them with you if you leave the country and wish to re-enter. You do not need to have them will you at all times, but we do recommend that you carry them with you if you are traveling any distance from your training site. Please guard them carefully. Replacement forms can be expensive and can be difficult to get. While MAST International keeps a copy of these documents in your file, we also recommend that you keep a copy. The original is easier to replace if you can provide a copy.

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Scam Warning
Form DS-2019
Form DS-7002
J-1 Visa 
Admission Stamp
Electronic I-94

Scam Warning

Be cautious of scams that target international visitors in the U.S. 

  • The U.S. government will not call your personal phone number. (Even if the phone number appears on your phone as U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement, it has been copied by scammers.)
  • You should never be asked to wire money immediately for any reason. 
  • You should always be allowed to verify the authenticity of a federal agent.  
  • Always contact MAST International if you have been contacted regarding your immigration status. 

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

Sample DS 2019

The Form DS-2019 is issued by MAST to you, the exchange visitor, which then allows you to apply for the J-1 visa. The DS-2019 lists a lot of information, including your training site of activity, program sponsor (MAST), visa dates, and more. You should read and clearly understand all of the information printed on your DS-2019. When you receive your DS-2019, you sign on the first page. When you sign this, you agree to all terms and conditions on page two, so make sure you read through those, as well. 

You are required to keep every copy of the DS-2019 issued to you. Do not discard old copies. 

The expiration date on your DS-2019 (box 3) is the date that your program in the U.S. ends - you cannot work after this date. Contact MAST immediately for any changes to your program dates. 

You must carry your DS-2019 with you whenever you travel outside the United States. Contact MAST prior to any international travel. You will need a travel validation signature on your DS-2019 to re-enter the U.S. 

Form DS-7002: Training/Internship Placement Plan (T/IPP)sample DS 7002

The Form DS-7002 outlines your program activities through phases. The form provides information about your training, supervisor, compensation, amount of work, etc. 

The DS-7002 can range from six to fourteen pages. It is signed by both you and by your host trainer. 

Keep all copies of your DS-7002. 

J-1 Visa 

sample visa

The J-1 visa in your passport is only for entry into the United States. It does not define the length of your stay in the U.S. Your visa shows how many entries you are allowed: M=multiple, S=single, D=double. 

You are allowed to stay in the U.S. with an expired visa if all of your other immigration documents are valid. 

You will not be able to re-enter the U.S. with an expired visa. It is not possible to renew your J-1 visa in the United States. If you travel outside of the U.S. after your visa has expired, you will need to apply for a new visa before you can re-enter the U.S. Note: if you are traveling to Canada, Mexico, or some Caribbean islands for less than 30 days, you will be permitted to re-enter the U.S. on an expired visa. 

If you renew your passport, you will not have a visa in your new passport. Keep your old passport and carry it with your new passport to re-enter the United States. 

Admission Stamp

sample admission stampAn admission stamp is placed in your passport when you enter the U.S. It is usually placed on the page opposite your visa. You will be issued a new stamp each time you re-enter the U.S. 

When you enter the U.S. with your J-1 visa, the stamp should indicate: 

  • Port of Entry: varies
  • Date of Entry: varies
  • Class of Entry: J-1
  • Length of Stay: D/S (duration of stay)

Note: Contact MAST if your admission stamp has F-1 or B-1/B-2 or if there is a date instead of D/S. 

Electronic I-94

The I-94 is a record of your admission into the U.S. You will need this record when proving your immigration status for a driver's license or Social Security card. You should keep a printed copy with your other visa documents. 

A new record is created every time you enter the U.S. If you go on a trip during the MAST program and come back to the U.S., you will need to print a new copy of your I-94. 

Instructions for accessing your I-94:

  1. Go to www.cbp.gov/i94
  2. Click on "Get Most Recent I-94" at the top of the page
  3. Click "Consent & Continue" on the pop up window
  4. Enter your travel information exactly as it appears in your passport
  5. Click "Next." This should provide your I-94 record
  6. Check that "Class of Admission" says J-1 and "Admit Until Date" says D/S
  7. Click "Print" at the bottom of the page

Note: Contact MAST if your admission stamp has F-1 or B-1/B-2 or if there is a date instead of D/S. 

Steps 1-5

I 94 website

Steps 6-7: 

I 94 website


You must keep your passport valid while you are in the U.S. If your passport will expire while you are in the U.S., you should contact your Embassy about renewing your passport BEFORE it expires. You cannot reenter the U.S. with an expired passport. 

If you renew your passport while in the U.S., keep your expired passport with you when you are traveling, because it has your entry visa in it. Your new passport will not have a copy of your entry visa. 

If you lose your passport, you should take immediate steps with your Embassy to have it replaced. Most embassies will require that you file a police report. 

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