The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program was developed by the United States government in conjunction with governments of countries around the world to serve as a forum for educational and cultural exchange. The program provides opportunities for thousands of students, scholars, and others to spend time in foreign countries learning skills and sharing their knowledge and culture.
In the United States, the Exchange Visitor program is presently monitored by the Department of State. Organizations, such as the University of California, Davis, have applied to the Department of State to be designated as sponsoring institutions for the J-1 Exchange Visitor program. Foreign nationals who participate in this program in the United States receive J-1 status, which classifies them as members of this exchange program. The official program description of the UCD Exchange Visitor Program is:
A program to provide study, teaching, research, observation, consultation, sharing of skills, cross-cultural activities, or a combination thereof conducted by UCD and institutes and organizations with which it is affiliated for students, professors, researchers, short-term scholars, and specialists.Responsibilities of J-1 Students
It is extremely important to comply with immigration regulations in order to maintain lawful status. Immigration law has instituted severe penalties for "overstays" and "unlawful presence" in the United States. It is the student's own responsibility to maintain lawful status.
1. MAINTAIN REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION
2. DURATION OF STATUS
J students are required to have the following documents:
- Valid DS-2019
- Valid passport. It is each individual's responsibility to extend it through his/her embassy before it expires.
- I-94 marked D/S
J-1 students and dependents are admitted to the United States for duration of status (D/S). Duration of status means:
- the period of time during which the student pursues a full-time course of study;
- plus any authorized period of academic training;
- plus 30 days after completion of program or academic training in which to apply for a change of status or leave the U.S.
- J-1 students must have an unexpired DS-2019 at all times, and are also required to have adequate health insurance in effect for themselves and their accompanying family members throughout their stay.
3. ENGAGE IN APPROPRIATE ACTIVITIES
J-1 students are required to register for and complete a full course of study each quarter except during vacation. Underenrollment may be permitted due to medical reasons or legitimate academic reasons. Students who plan to underenroll must obtain written approval from the International Student Advisor before the beginning of the term.
4. EMPLOYED ONLY WITH AUTHORIZATION
J-1 students maintaining a full course of study and who are in good academic standing are permitted with written approval of the sponsor* (the issuer of the DS-2019) to work on-campus up to 20 hours per week during the academic year and full-time during vacations. Review the J-1 On-Campus Employment handout and complete a J-1 On-Campus Employment Application Form PRIOR to beginning employment on-campus. Off-campus work is only allowed when it is necessary due to serious, urgent, and unforeseen economic circumstances.
*If the sponsor on your DS-2019 is not UC Davis, you need to contact the sponsor listed on your DS-2019 (see #2 on the DS-2019) for on-campus employment authorization.
Compensated academic training for up to 18 months (but no longer than the student's period of study) can be undertaken during or after the J-1 student's academic studies are completed, with written approval from the International Student Advisor (see application instructions below). The training must be related to the student's field of study as indicated on the DS-2019 and the student must be in good academic standing.
Post-doctoral students may participate in an additional 18 months academic training (for a total of 36 months) for post-doctoral research.
5. CARRY HEALTH INSURANCE
Every J-1 and J-2 exchange visitor must have health insurance that meets the minimum requirements. The University's student health plan meets these minimum requirements. Information on health insurance for J-2 dependents is available at SISS.
6. RESPONSIBILITY FOR DEPENDENTS
The J-1 scholar is also responsible to ensure that J-2 dependents maintain their lawful status while in the United States.
7. CHANGE OF ADDRESS NOTIFICATION
Other Information for J Students
U.S. government regulations require that students notify SISS of any change of address within 10 days. This should be done through SISWEB.
Transfer of Program
Extension of Program
J-1 students with D/S (duration of status) notation on the I-94 may apply to their sponsor for program extension prior to the expiration date on the DS-2019.
Two-year Home Country Residence Requirement
At the conclusion of the J-1 program, individuals who are subject to the two-year home country physical presence requirement must return to their country of permanent residence for at least two years before re-entering the U.S. in some visa categories. More...
Necessary documents for J-1 and J-2 travel outside the U.S. and reentry to this country include a valid passport, valid J-1 or J-2 visa stamp, and an unexpired Form DS-2019 with updated sponsor's signature. For travel to Canada or Mexico, J-1 students from most countries must have an original, valid Form I-94 but may not need to extend an expired U.S. visa. You should talk with your International Student Advisor if you have any questions about travel outside of the U.S. More...
J-2 Dependent Employment
J-2 dependents may apply to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for permission to accept employment as long as the purpose is not for the support of the J-1 student or scholar. More information...