Maintaining J-1 Status: Know the Rules and Regulations

As a J-1 exchange visitor you must understand the immigration rules and regulations that affect your stay in the U.S. The Alternate or Responsible Officials can guide you with the rules, procedures and regulations. Exchange visitors must meet certain obligations in order to maintain legal immigration status. Maintaining status is necessary in order to receive the benefits of J-1 status such as employment and program extension and can be crucial to a successful application for a change or adjustment of status. Failure to maintain nonimmigrant status can result in serious problems with immigration and could lead to deportation form the U.S.

Maintenance of Status

To maintain J-1 status, exchange visitors must:

  • Attend the school they are authorized to attend. This is indicated on the DS-2019.
  • Attend the required check-in programs and orientation program offered by the International Office.
  • Complete the immigration school transfer procedure when necessary.
  • Be in good academic standing and make progress in academic program.
  • Extend the DS-2019 prior to its expiration date if unable to complete academic program by original expiration date.
  • In the event of change of academic program or level, update the DS-2019 in a timely fashion in accordance with immigration regulations.
  • Maintain academic enrollment during the academic year.
  • Limit on-campus employment to 20 hours per week during academic year.
  • Do not accept unauthorized employment; Do not work off campus without authorization.
  • Keep your passport valid at all times. The passport must be valid for at least 6 months into the future on the day you return to the U.S. from a trip abroad.
  • Maintain required health insurance coverage.
  • Email and inform OIA if you leave the program 30 days or more before the end date of the DS-2019.
  • Formally change your address with the university and International Office if you move.
  • Report your temporary out of country status to the International Office.
  • For International Exchange Visitors, please see Two Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement


Office of International Affairs

108 -
The Union at Dearborn
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