Current J-1 Exchange Visitors


Maintaining Your Immigration Status
To maintain your lawful J-1 status, it is your personal responsibility to abide and comply with the U.S. federal regulations. Make sure to read the instructions on page 2 of your DS-2019 and follow the guidelines below.
  • Attend a mandatory check-in session at ISFS
  • Maintain required documents (valid DS-2019, valid passport, and I-94 marked D/S)
  • Report residential address changes to ISFS
  • Engage in appropriate activities
  • Be employed only with authorization
  • Maintain required health insurance
  • Submit  transfer and extension requests to ISFS in a timely manner

Traveling Abraod During Your J-1 Program
Before you and your J-2 dependent(s) travel abroad while you are on J status, have your DS-2019 signed for travel validation by an ISFS staff. You and your J-2 dependent(s) must have a valid passport, J-1 visa, and endorsed DS-2019 to reenter the U.S. For more information about travel requirements, visit our 
travel page.
 
 
Extending Your DS-2019 
Your J-1 status expires when your DS-2019 form expires. Extensions of stay (EOS) are initiated by the host department and forwarded to ISFS.
  • EOS requests should be made at least 30 days before the DS-2019 expires
  • You must provide proof of continued funding and proof of extended health insurance coverage.
  • You must submit a summary of the research projects that you have been working on with your host faculty at TAMU.

 
Transfering Your J-1 Program to Another U.S. Institution
You may transfer to another U.S. program sponsor if the purpose of the transfer is to complete the objective for which you were admitted to exchange visitor status and you remain within the same participant category. Plan your transfer in advance to avoid any delays. ISFS will coordinate your transfer with the new institution after you submit a completed 
Transfer-Out Form.
 
If you are a current J-1 visitor at a U.S. institution and wish to transfer to TAMU, you will need to contact the hosting department so they can prepare a request for you.
 
 
Dependents
Consider the following visa options when inviting your family to join you in the U.S.:
  
1. J-2 Visa

If your dependents are eligible for J-2 status, ISFS will issue a Form DS-2019 for them so they can apply for a J-2 visa to enter the U.S. J-2 visa holders do not have to pay the SEVIS fee. For ISFS to issue a J-2 DS-2019, you need to submit the following documents to ISFS:
  • Request form for DS-2019s for Dependents
  • Current document showing evidence of funds: $550 per month for the spouse and $300 per month for each child
  • Copy of passport identity page(s)
  • Proof of health insurance for each dependent
  • Copy of marriage license (for spouse)

2. Other Options
If your dependents will be in the U.S. for less than 6 months, a tourist visa may be appropriate. For more information you can visit the 
Department of State’s page on visitor visas.

  
Ending Your J-1 Status 
Upon completion of your program, you must depart the U.S. within 30 days of your DS-2019 end date. If you complete your program more than 30 days prior to your DS-2019 end date, notify ISFS immediately. All J-1 visitors (scholars, professors, and student interns) must submit a departure notice to our office before completing their J-1 program. Instructions will be sent to you by email the month of your departure.
 
 
Two-Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement Or 212(E) Rule
Many exchange visitors are subject to what is known as the two-year home country residence requirement because of their J-1 status. If you are subject to this requirement, upon completion of your J-1 program in the U.S., you must return to your home country for at least 2 years before you are eligible to change status to an H-1B or apply for permanent residence. You can be subject to this requirement for 3 reasons:
  • Government financing (either foreign or U.S.)
  • Exchange Visitor Skills List (list of critically needed skills by home country)
  • Foreign medical training
 The U.S. Department of State (DOS) in Washington, D.C makes all final determinations regarding the two-year home residence requirement. It is sometimes possible to obtain a waiver of this requirement so that you do not have to spend the 2 years in your home country. It is your responsibility to apply for your waiver. Visit the DOS website for information on waivers and for the datasheet required to begin the waiver process.
 
 
12-Month Bar
If you participate in a J program for more than 6 months, you are not eligible to enter the U.S. as a J-1 Research Scholar for 12 months after completion of your current program.
 
 
24-Month Bar on Repeat Participation
If you participate in a J program in the Research Scholar or Professor category, you are subject to a 24-month bar on repeat participation in those categories. This bar also applies to J-2 dependents.