My daughter will be studying in the United States on a J1 visa. After her course finishes she has 30 days left on her J1. Can she then stay for a while longer to travel using ESTA?

  • 2
    No. She has to leave first then enter on ESTA IF they allow her in so soon. Mar 6, 2019 at 2:12
  • Are you asking if she can stay longer than the 30 day grace period? The answer you've received so far assumes that you want to know if she can spend the 30 day grace period as a tourist but your question reads as though she wants to some some more time in addition. Mar 6, 2019 at 8:21

1 Answer 1


Yes, your daughter can travel within the United States for 30 days after completion of her program. This is not "using ESTA", this is a grace period granted by USCIS for people who have completed their J1 program. From Adjustments and Extensions:

Travel Grace Period

Following the completion of their program, the period defined on the Form DS-2019, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) allows participants a 30-day travel period commonly referred to as the "Grace Period." During this 30-day grace period, participants are no longer in J-visa status, and are under the jurisdiction of the USCIS. The USCIS grants this period to allow participants to settle their affairs and to prepare to return to their home countries. Program participants may no longer continue and/or complete exchange activities, nor may they work. Although participants may travel in the United States, it is recommended that they do not travel beyond the borders of the United States as they may not be permitted reentry.

  • Thanks Greg. Is it unlikely they will let her back in if she leaves to go to Mexico for a few days? Mar 6, 2019 at 4:25
  • 2
    @NickAtherden: I would not recommend leaving the US for a short while during the grace period. As the quoted page says, she may not be let back in. Mar 6, 2019 at 4:27

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