Maintaining J-1 Student Status
International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) is required to report to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in SEVIS regarding J-1 students' fulfillment of the following conditions of status:
Degree seeking students must enroll for and complete a full course of study (12 credits for undergraduates, 9 credits for graduates) every fall and spring semester. You may take only on-campus courses in order to meet your full course load requirements. Students in full course load equivalencies (such as PhD students working on their thesis/dissertation or preparing for qualifying exam) must enroll in the appropriate placeholder course and submit a Reduced Course Load Request Form to ISSS. Non-degree students must enroll in and complete the specific prescribed course of study necessary for them to complete their program.
If you do not believe you will be able to fulfill the full-time requirement for any reason, contact the ISSS before you withdraw from or stop attending class. There are a few limited exceptions to this requirement for which you might qualify if you obtain permission in
advance. Please see our Reduced Course Load Request Form, and contact us for more information.
J-1 students are only authorized to study at the college/university that is listed as their “Site of Activity” on the DS-2019. Currently, there are no provisions in J-1 student regulations that allow for “concurrent enrollment,” or taking classes at another college/university while
enrolled at Stevens. If you have questions about this or think you may either want to change schools or take classes at another institution while still enrolled at Stevens, please contact ISSS.
The program end date on your DS-2019 must always reflect (to the best of your knowledge) the date you will finish your studies. If you do not think you will be able to complete your program by the end date on your DS-2019, even if there is just a slight chance of this occurring, you must apply for a program extension before your program end date and get an updated DS-2019. If you expect to complete your program earlier than
the program end date, you must get an updated DS-2019 before you complete your program. To apply for a program extension, you will need the Program Extension: Information and Checklist, Program Extension Request Form, DS-2019 Application Form, and if applicable, the Financial Information and Affidavit of Support, along with proof of financial support to cover the period of time of the extension.
All J-1 exchange visitors, including J-2 dependents, are required to have health insurance that meets certain standards of coverage for sickness, accident, medical evacuation, and repatriation of remains throughout the duration of their program. The minimum insurance requirements for J-1 exchange visitors and J-2 dependents can be found in the J-1 Insurance Requirements and Agreement. Failure to carry sufficient health insurance is considered a violation of J-1 immigration status and could result in the termination of an exchange visitor’s SEVIS record.Program Participants and their dependents to have medical insurance coverage with the following minimum benefits:
Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness
Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000
Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000
A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness
All J-1 exchange visitors are required to inform the ISSS office of any address change within 10 days of the change occurring. Failure to report your address within the required time frame may result in termination of your J-1 status. ISSS will then update your address in SEVIS per government regulations. You can inform ISSS of a change in address via email or by submitting the Change of Address Form to the office. Any legal name change must also be reported to ISSS and in SEVIS.
J-1 students may engage in employment as part of the terms of a scholarship, fellowship, or assistantship, or in an on-campus position. Such employment is limited to part-time during the academic year (no more than 20 hours per week) and full-time (more than 20 hours) during official school breaks and summer vacation. All on-campus employment,
including assistantships, fellowships, and work in conjunction with scholarships, must be authorized by the ISSS before you can begin working and authorization must be renewed every 12 months, if employment is on-going.J-1 students looking to gain off-campus work experience may apply for Academic Training. Please refer to the Academic Training page for more information about what it is and how to apply.Working without authorization is a violation of J-1 immigration status and is grounds for termination of an exchange visitor’s record.
If you have completed your program of study, you must depart the U.S. within 30 days if you are in J-1 status. Likewise, if you have completed your post-completion Academic Training and have no further plans to study or change your immigration status, you must depart the U.S. within 30 days of your Academic Training end date.
Your SEVIS record will be completed by “ending” your program, to indicate that your have decided to depart the U.S. prior to completing your program. This will result in a non-adverse deactivation of your record, and you will have to immediately depart the United States. If you plan to take a temporary leave of absence and return to Stevens in the future to complete your degree, ISSS will assist you in preparing the documents you’ll need to return to the U.S., which may include a new DS-2019 and visa, depending on how long you’ll be gone. Please see the Request to Depart the U.S. Early and contact ISSS for more information.
If you want to transfer to another U.S. school, college, or university, you must notify ISSS before you begin attending courses at your new school and be “transferred out” to your new program sponsor in SEVIS. Please see the Transfer Out Form and contact ISSS for more information.
If you have been admitted to a new program of study at Stevens (for instance, you are completing a master’s and beginning a Ph.D., or are finishing your post-completion Academic Training and want to begin a new degree program at Stevens), you must obtain a Form DS-2019 for your new program before you complete your current program of study. Please follow the directions on the J-1 Student Matriculation Information and Checklist which will guide you to the other forms that you need, all of which can be found under the Forms portion of this page.
You must always have a valid passport. If your passport is going to expire, contact your country’s embassy or consulate in the United States to renew it. If you are leaving the U.S. and returning (for instance, during summer vacation), make sure your passport will be valid for at least six months into the future when you return.
Notify ISSS if there are any changes in the information on your Form DS-2019, such as legal name, citizenship, degree level, major, or financial support, and get an updated Form DS-2019.
Follow the rules related to J-1 Exchange Visitor travel explained on the Travel Information page here.