Maintaining J-1 Status

In order to maintain status, J-1 exchange visitors must:

  • Report to the Responsible Officer (RO) for Registration in SEVIS. This must occur shortly after arrival, as ROs must complete registration for all J-1 visitors within 30 days of the Program Start Date on your DS-2019.
  • Carry a valid passport with you at all times. Passports can be renewed at your country's consulate or embassy in the U.S. Be sure to plan ahead. Renewing a passport can take several months.
  • Engage in appropriate activities.
    • Degree seeking students: Maintain a full course of study during the academic year (August-May). You must take a minimum of 12 semester hours of credit per semester, with a normal load of 15 semester hours. If at any time, for any reason, you suspect that you may be in danger of falling below 12 semester hours, you must contact an International Student Adviser prior to dropping below the 12 semester hour minimum. Students in their final semester may enroll in fewer than 12 hours if they can still meet all of their graduation requirements.
    • Language Assistants in Student category: Must maintain a full course of study, including enrolling in a specified number of academic courses and teaching in the Department of Languages and Cultures as outlined in their contract.
    • Language Assistants in Professor category: Work only at Earlham College in the field for which you were hired and, if applicable, in other teaching positions for which you have permission and which are listed on your DS-2019.
  • Never work without authorization. Do not accept employment that is not outlined on your DS-2019 without receiving official permission from an International Student Adviser prior to beginning any such work.
  • Maintain a valid DS-2019. The validity date is under #3 on the DS-2019. If you cannot complete the requirements of your exchange visitor status (for valid reasons) by the date noted on your DS-2019 you may apply for an extension of stay, transfer of program or change of category. You must apply for these changes 30-45 days prior to the expiration date. See an International Student Adviser for details.
  • Complete a Personal Information Update request  when you have changed of addresses within 10 days of the change occurring.
  • Complete a Personal Information Update request within 10 days of any changes in your biographical, academic (major/minor), and residential data.
  • Maintain health insurance at the required levels.
  • Carry the appropriate documents when you travel outside of the U.S: Form DS-2019 endorsed for travel, valid passport, valid U.S. visa, and proof of financial support. It is also a good idea to have a copy of your academic transcript with you upon re-entry into the U.S.