J-1 exchange visitors are expected to participate fully in their program and be actively engaged in activities appropriate for their J-1 category. Scholars cannot be absent outside the U.S. for personal reasons for more than 30 days.

Scholars wishing to take extended leave from the University of Iowa for reasons related to research or other work for their University of Iowa appointment must first obtain ISSS approval and submit documentation from the department that the travel is work-related.  Information regarding the nature of the research, the address, and the anticipated return date must be provided.  University of Iowa health insurance must be maintained.

J-1 scholars who have J-2 dependents cannot leave them in the U.S. if gone more than 30 days.  The J-2 dependents will have to leave the U.S. with the scholar.

Failure to obtain ISSS authorization to travel more than 30 days, or if found to leave J-2 dependents in the U.S. when gone for more than 30 days, is grounds to have legal status terminated.

Permission for travel outside the U.S. for more than 30 days may be sought through the Scholar Travel Signature Request e-form in the J-1 Scholar Services section of iHawk.