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J-1 Status

First Step to Applying  
J-1 Program Information  
Know your Immigration Documents  
Maintaining J-1 Status     Print
Driver's License for Non-US Citizen Print 
J1 Two Year Residency Requirement or Waiver Print

First Step to Applying

If you are planning to enter SPSU on a J-1 Visa, please contact International Programs prior to the application process.

Office of International Programs

 J-1 Program Information

SPSU welcomes you as an exchange visitor!  This information is designed to help you understand the purpose and operation of the Exchange Visitor Program regulations that are most relevant to you.

Responsible Officers
Sponsors appoint individuals as responsible officers and alternate responsible officers to advise and assist exchange visitors.  These officers issue the Certificates of Eligibility (Form DS-2019, formerly IAP-66) and conduct official communications with the Department and the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) on your behalf.  Should you have any questions about the regulations or any aspect of your exchange program, please contact the Coordinator of International Student Services.

Rules & Regulations
It is important that you understand and abide by the Exchange Visitor Program regulations.  U.S. laws and sponsor rules.  Regular contact with your responsible officer will help your keep current of any changes which may affect your J status.  The Responsible Officer for SPSU is Dr. Richard Bennett.

Activities and Program Provisions
You entered the United States in one program category, and are required to engage in that category and subject/field of activity listed on your form DS-2019 (formerly the IAP-66). You must comply with the specific program provisions of the regulations relating to your program category.

Maintenance of Status
You are required to have a valid and unexpired Form DS-2109 (formerly IAP-66).  Sponsors may terminate an exchange visitor’s program for violating U.S. Laws.  Exchange Visitor Program regulations or the sponsor’s rules governing their particular program. 

You must inform your responsible officer if you change your address or telephone number, or complete or withdraw from your program early.  Doing so assists your sponsor in complying with their notification and reporting requirements to the U.S. Department of State.
Current Regulations
The Exchange Visitor Program regulations are located in the Code of Federal Regulations, (22 CFR, Part 62-formerly Part 514). The regulations are generally available for review at the officers, universities, law schools, or large public libraries.  They are also available on the Internet at:

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Know you Immigration Documents

PassportVisa image courtesy of Wikipedia

You should keep your passport valid at all times.  Your passport is your own government’s permit for you to leave and re-enter your country.  Most passports contain an expiration date.

Renewing your passport

Contact your own consulate or embassy in the U.S. to renew your passport.  The officials there will tell you what forms and fees are required. 

Click here to find your embassy

VisaImage of Passport Courtesy of Wikipedia

The visa stamp put in your passport by the U.S. Consulate is to enter the U.S. It does not show how long you can stay here.  It can expire while you are in the U.S., but must be valid to enter the U.S.

Renewing your U.S. visa for re-entry:

If your visa has expired, and you plan on traveling outside the United States, it must be renewed in order for you to re-enter. You can do this at the U.S. embassy in your home country.  F-1/ J-1 visas cannot be renewed in the United States. The following documents are usually requested to renew your visa:

  • SEVIS Form I-20/DS-2019 endorsed for travel
  • Proof of Financial support
  • SEVIS fee receipt
  • School Transcript/Verification of Enrollment

If your F-1/J-1 visa expires while you are in the U.S., you do not need to leave the country to renew it.  As long as you are here attending school you are here legally.

Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record)

The I-94 shows that you have been admitted to the U.S. The I-94 is usually stapled across from the U.S. visa page of your passport.  It has an eleven-digit identification number (departure number) the USCIS uses to keep track of your arrival and departure from the U.S. The USCIS sometimes refers to the “departure” number as the “admission” number. 

I-94 visas have been electronic since March 2013


There should be a date stamped on the I-94 indicating the date that you arrived in the U.S. You should also see the “D/S” is written below the date stamp.  This “D/S” indicates “duration of status” which means that you are admitted for the length of your program plus any period of Optional Practical Training, plus 60 days.

Form DS-2019

The Form DS-2019 or “Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status” is the basic document used in the administration of the exchange visitor program. This form permits a prospective exchange visitor to seek an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in order to obtain a J visa to enter the United States.

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Maintaining J-1 Status

Below are the rules and regulations set forth by the U.S. Department of State. Failure to adhere to these rules and regulations can jeopardize your J-1 visa status.

J-1 Status students must:

  • Report to the Coordinator of International Student Services no later than 30 days after the program start date

  • Have a valid passport at all times

  • Have a valid DS-2019 (Dates in section 3 on DS-2019)

  • Register/maintain a full-time course of study

  • Work with authorization from the Coordinator of International Student Services

  • Have adequate health insurance coverage

  • Report any address changes to the Coordinator of International Student Services

Two-Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement 212(e)
Some Exchange Visitor Program participants and family members who were admitted to the U.S. or who adjusted their visa status to J after admission must return home for a minimum of two years after completing their educational or cultural exchange program before they can change or adjust their status. This requirement applies to those whose:
 1.      Exchange program was financed to some extent by the U.S. Government or your home country government;
2.      Skill appears in the Exchange Visitor Skills List as identified by their home country government; or,
3.      Purpose in coming to the United States was to receive graduate medical education or training.

This requirement is stamped on your DS-2019 during your visa interview.

If an Exchange Visitor subject to 212(e) does not wish to fulfill the residence requirement, he or she may be able to obtain a waiver of the home residence requirement. All waivers are initiated by filing an application for a waiver with the Waiver Review Division of the Bureau of Consular Affairs of the Department of State.  Please click the following link for more information on waivers:

Medical insurance: SPSU requires international students on J-1 visas to purchase the endorsed SPSU International Student Insurance policy. Payment of this fee is mandatory and should be paid directly to the Office of Business and Finance along with payment of tuition and miscellaneous fees. Purchase of this insurance policy is mandatory each semester.

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J-1 Employment

The J-1 college and university student regulations establish two bases for employment:

  • Student employment, which includes employment done as part of an assistant ship or fellowship, employment done on-campus, and employment done off campus due to unforeseen economic difficulty, and

  •  Employment done as Academic Training, in the field of study

Each type of employment has its own specific criteria and limitations.

On Campus Employment


A J-1 student is eligible to assume any on-campus employment as long as she/he meets the following conditions:

  • Remains in good academic standing

  • Continues to engage in a full course of study

  • Limits total employment to no more than 20 hours per week while in school, 40 hours per week during vacations

  • Has approval in writing from his/her Responsible Officer (RO)

 * Note: A student may not begin to work without a social security card.  Please see the Coordinator of International Student Services for more information. 

Off Campus Employment Due to Severe Economic Hardship


A J-1 student is eligible to engage in off-campus employment as long as she/he meets the following conditions:

  • Remains in good academic standing

  • Continues to engage in a full course of study

  • Limits total employment to no more than 20 hours per week while in school is session

  • Can document unforeseen changes in her/his economic circumstances

  • Has approval in writing from his/her Responsible Officer (RO)

For more information, contact the Coordinator of International Student Services

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