Maintaining your J-1 status

  1. Maintain accurate Important Documents. Your official government documents must be accurate and valid at all times – see list of documents below
  2. All J-1 Scholars and their J-2 dependents must be covered by UWL’s Student Assurance Services (SAS) Student/Scholar Health Insurance policy from the date of their arrival in the U.S. No waivers will be granted. All J-1 scholars and their J-2 dependents that are on a UWL DS-2019 must purchase and maintain the SAS International Student/Scholar Health insurance for the duration of their J program.
  3. Report to IEE for J-1 scholar check-in and orientation within 20 days of your DS-2019 start date. You will need to report your local address at this check-in.
  4. Engage in appropriate activities. You must participate in the specific program or purpose for which your department invited you. Other activities (including enrolling in classes) must be approved by your faculty supervisor and by your J-1 scholar advisor. Full-time enrollment is not allowed and any part-time enrollment cannot interfere in any way with your J-1 program.
  5. Work only with appropriate authorization. You are only authorized to engage in employment which is listed on your DS-2019 form. Employment must be part of your original purpose as a J-1 scholar at UWL.
  6. Maintain current information on your DS-2019 form. If any information on your DS-2019 changes, you will need to meet with your J-1 scholar advisor. Refer to OIE’s website for information about the advisor walk-in hours and appointments. Information requiring updates include change to actual physical address in the U.S., mailing address, telephone number and email address. Scholar must report any changes within 10 days to the International Scholar Coordinator in IEE.
  7. Have and maintain your funding. You are required to have and maintain enough funding to cover the minimum expenses as outlined in your DS-2019 for yourself and any J-2 dependents for the duration of your J program. IEE’s minimum cost of living is low. Scholars’ and their family’s actual expenses can vary quite a bit depending on lifestyle choices and events. It is strongly advised that you plan your finances accordingly to have access to more funding than the minimum stated on your DS-2019.
  8. Request IEE authorization if you intend to transfer your J program to another institution in the United States.
  9. End of program. Your J SEVIS record will automatically complete after the end date on your DS-2019. If you complete your program as expected, please email your J-1 scholar advisor at least two weeks prior to your program end date and include the date you plan to depart from the U.S. However, if you will be unable or do not intend to return home within the allotted Grace Period, you must discuss your plans with your J-1 scholar advisor to ensure you maintain legal status in the U.S. Additionally, if you complete or end your program more than 30 days prior to the end date on your DS-2019, you must notify your advisor in IEE.
  10. Comply with the 30 day grace period. As a J-1 visa holder, you are given a 30 day grace period after the end date on your DS-2019 to prepare for departure and/or travel within the U.S. Once you depart the U.S. during this grace period, you are not able to re-enter in J-1 status.
  11. Notify IEE when travelling outside of the U.S. and upon your return. Obtain necessary travel signatures for yourself and dependents and submit a copy of yourI-94 record within 10 days of returning.
  12. Report J-2 Spouse and/or Dependents travel outside of the U.S. – dependents who will be returning to the U.S. will also need to obtain a travel signature.

Important Documents

  1. DS-2019: 
    1. The DS-2019 is a U.S. government document generated through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Student and Exchange Visitor Information System in SEVIS. This is a legal document and must reflect accurate information. Changes in any of the categories listed below must be reported to IEE within 10 days of the change occurrence:
      • Name
      • Local U.S. address
      • Financial Resources
      • Addition or deletion of J-2 dependents

DS-2019 End Date and Grace Period

The DS-2019 lists program start and end dates under section 3. Scholars are allowed to participate in a specific program activity as reflected on their DS-2019 up to this end date. The end date reflects the duration of the program as provided by the host department. The end date may also be tied to the amount of funding available at the time it was created.

If a scholars completes the program activity prior to the end date, the DS-2019 will automatically expire on the date the scholar completes. The scholar and the supervising faculty are required to notify IEE in advance if the scholar will complete the program prior to the listed end date.

Scholars unable to complete their specific program activity by the end date must apply for an Extension of Status prior to the end date. For specific information and deadlines, refer to Program Extensions.

Scholars have an automatic 30 day grace period upon completion of their program. During this grace period, scholars must depart the U.S. or apply for a change of visa status.

  1. Passport: Passports must be kept valid at least six months into the future at all times.
  1. Visa: The J-1 visa is your “ticket” to apply for entry into the U.S. Your visa may expire while you are in the U.S. engaged in your J-1 scholar program. This is okay. You only need a new visa if you depart the U.S. and plan on return to the U.S. to continue your J-1 scholar program.
  1. I-94 Electronic Record:

The I-94 shows the date your arrived in the U.S., the visa type you entered with (class of Admission - this should be J-1) and the date when your authorized period of stay in the U.S. expires (admit until date). You can obtain an electronic copy of this record from

Make sure to obtain a copy after each entry into the U.S.