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Maintaining Your J-1 Status

Maintaining one’s immigration status is the main responsibility of the non-immigrant – you! In general, a non-immigrant must maintain the following documents:

  • a valid passport
  • electronic or paper Form I-94 (or entry stamp)
  • related immigration document (DS-2019)

Each immigration status requires that one follows specific regulations and procedures particular to that status.

The International Faculty & Scholars Office (IFSO) is here to provide you with immigration advising for maintaining your legal status, as well as providing programs and advising that will help you not only adjust to living in the U.S. but to engage in rewarding experiences to remember for a lifetime. If you have any questions, feel free to schedule an appointment with one of our international scholar advisors. We hope that your visit will prove rewarding, both professionally and personally.

General Responsibilities for Maintaining J-1 Status:

212e Waivers

Certain J-1 Exchange Visitors are required to spend two years in their home country after their J program. If you are subject to this requirement, you cannot apply for H, L, or permanent residence status unless you either return to your home country for two years or obtain a waiver of the requirement. You also cannot change to another non-immigrant status while in the United States, except to A status (diplomatic or government official) or G status (international organization). You may apply for a different nonimmigrant visa (except H or L) at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate outside the U.S.

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Bars & Restrictions

Some J-1 Exchange Visitors are subject to a 12-or 24-month bar. 

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Employment & Job Changes

Please Note:

All changes in site of activity, funding amounts or sources, and/or significant changes in job duties, must be reported to the International Faculty & Scholars Office through an Amendment Application. Your department administrator will need to submit this form on your behalf, so please speak to your departmental contact first.

Employment:

You are authorized to stay in the U.S. to pursue full-time the program activity outlined on your DS-2019 at the site of activity(ies) requested by your sponsoring department (sites of activity do not display on the DS-2019). You may not work anywhere else without prior approval from the International Faculty & Scholars Office (IFSO). If you stop pursuing your program activity, your status ends as well.

Job Changes

If there are proposed changes in your program activity, your funding sources, your site of activity, or your job title, you must report them to IFSO; an amended DS-2019 may be required.

Health Insurance

Visitors in J-1 and J-2 statuses are required to maintain health insurance coverage that meets U.S. Department of State requirements for their program duration as a condition of their participation in the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program. 

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Occasional Lectures & Consultations

Scholars may receive payment for occasional lectures or short-term consultations at another institution or company, provided that specific requirements are met and an off-campus activity request form is submitted and approved.

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Study

A J-1 may enroll in classes as long as they are incidental to your full-time program activity and do not delay your program completion.

Taxes

J-1s, non-student category, are not required to pay FICA ("payroll") taxes for their first two calendar years (any portion thereof), and may receive tax treaty benefits exempting them from income tax. All J-1 are required to file tax forms on a yearly basis, however, regardless of tax liability status.

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