J-1 Duration of Status (D/S) and grace periods
You are admitted to the United States for "duration of status (D/S)," defined as the period during which you are engaged in full-time, nonclinical research, teaching, consultation or long-term observation at the University of Miami, plus 30 days within which to depart from the U.S. If you fail to comply with the immigration regulations that apply to J-1 status, you may be liable to expedited removal from the U.S., and your eligibility to engage in your J-1 activity will be seriously affected.
Upon completion of your J-1 activity, you and your J-2 dependents may remain in the U.S. for an additional 30 days. This 30-day grace period is given to you so that you may pack your belongings and travel in the U.S. before you leave this country. Unless you are eligible to apply for a change of status and do so within the 30-day grace period, you cannot remain in the U.S. beyond the 30-day grace period. Staying in the U.S. beyond the 30-day grace period without a pending application for a change of status is considered illegal and will have a negative effect on your ability to come to the U.S. in the future.
Please note that you are not allowed to work in the U.S. during the 30-day grace period. If you exit the U.S. during the 30-day grace period and wish to reenter, you must do so as a tourist with a B-1/B-2 visa or on a visa waiver.

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Maintaining J-1 status
Definition of J-1 Status
A J-1 visa and J-1 status may be granted to an alien who is a bona fide scholar qualified to pursue full-time, nonclinical research, teaching, consultation or long-term observation at an academic institution authorized to host international scholars. When applying for a J-1 visa, the individual must prove to a U.S. consular official that he or she wishes to enter the United States temporarily and solely for the purpose of the approved J-1 activity, and that the applicant has a permanent residence in a foreign country which he or she does not intend to abandon.

J-1 Regulations
Once you are admitted to the U.S. in J-1 status, you must meet certain obligations in order to maintain your status:
  1. Report to International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) for scholar orientation and validation of program participation in Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) upon arriving at the University of Miami. If you have been accepted to engage in a J-1 program at the University of Miami, and the University of Miami is your J-1 program sponsor, you must report to ISSS for validation of program participation in SEVIS. This process will change your SEVIS status from "initial" to "active."
    If you have been accepted to engage in a J-1 program at the University of Miami, and an organization other than the University of Miami is your J-1 program sponsor, i.e., AMIDEAST, Fulbright, LASPAU, OAS, etc., you must still report to ISSS. However, you must also report to your J-1 program sponsor for validation of program participation in SEVIS to change your SEVIS status from "initial" to "active."
  2. Have a passport that is kept valid at all times.
  3. Engage in your approved J-1 activity on a full-time basis. The U.S. Department of State (DoS) requires that you engage in your approved J-1 activity on a full-time at the location listed on your Form DS-2019.
  4. Obtain an extension of stay if you need to remain in the U.S. longer than the period of time specified on your Form DS-2019. If the University of Miami is your J-1 program sponsor and you wish to have your J-1 program extended, you need to discuss this matter with your supervisor in your academic department. If you still have time left in your J-1 program category and can provide sufficient proof of funding for the extension, then your academic department needs to initiate the paperwork to request an extension Form DS-2019 for you from ISSS. If ISSS approves the extension of your program, ISSS will issue extension Forms DS-2019 for you and your J-2 dependents (if applicable).
    If an organization other than the University of Miami is your J-1 program sponsor, then you need to contact your J-1 program to inquire about the possibility of and procedure for a program extension.
  5. Follow certain procedures to transfer to another exchange visitor program. If you are transferring from one J-1 program sponsor to another, certain transfer procedures must be followed. Check with your ISSS Advisor if you are planning to transfer between program sponsors.
  6. Follow certain procedures to seek reentry to the U.S. after travel abroad. If you travel abroad and seek to reenter the U.S. during the course of your J-1 program, you must have a valid passport, an unexpired J-1 visa, and a valid Form DS-2019. Once you have used your Form DS-2019 for initial entry to the U.S., the document must be endorsed for travel validation by your J-1 program's Responsible or Alternate Responsible Officer if you wish to travel abroad and reenter the U.S. again.
    For scholars in the University of Miami's J-1 program, your Form DS-2019 will be automatically validated for travel during scholar orientation.
    For scholars in J-1 programs other than the University of Miami's J-1 Program, i.e., AMIDEAST, Fulbright, LASPAU, OAS, etc., please be sure to allow time to mail your Form DS-2019 to your sponsor for signature. Before making travel plans, be sure to check with your ISSS Advisor that your passport, Forms I-94, and current Form DS-2019 are in proper order.
  7. Follow certain procedures to apply for Authorization for Occasional Lectures or Consultations. Under specific circumstances, J-1 scholars may be eligible to receive authorization for occasional lectures or consultations with a U.S. employer besides their University of Miami department. This authorization can only be provided by your J-1 program sponsor and requires written approval before you engage in the occasional lecture or consultation. This is a very general description and does not include all criteria involved. Be sure to check with your ISSS Advisor before accepting any offer to engage in an occasional lecture or consultation.
  8. Maintain adequate medical insurance coverage for full duration of J-1 program. The J-1 regulations require adequate medical insurance with specific items of coverage, not only for the J-1 scholar, but also for any J-2 dependents, for the full duration of the J-1 program. The University of Miami Health Service provides access to an acceptable policy for purchase. Failure to maintain proper medical insurance coverage may result in termination of the scholar's J-1 status.
  9. Provide updated local address to your J-1 program sponsor and the University of Miami. All international scholars in J-1 status are required to keep U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) informed of their local and foreign addresses. You must provide your ISSS advisor with updated local address information (must be a street address; P.O. Box not allowed) via e-mail within 10 days of moving. You must also update your local address in the University's Records. The latter can be easily accomplished through the University of Miami's CaneLink system. This requirement applies for the duration of your J-1 program.
    If your J-1 program sponsor is an organization other than the University of Miami, i.e., AMIDEAST, Fulbright, LASPAU, OAS, etc., you must also inform your J-1 program sponsor's Responsible or Alternate Responsible Officer of any change in your local address within 10 days of moving.
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Local Address Update
J-1 immigration regulations require that you inform your J-1 program sponsor when you change your local address in the U.S. while you participate in the J-1 program. You must provide your J-1 program sponsor with your updated local address within 10 days of changing local addresses. Your J-1 program sponsor then automatically updates your local address information with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) and the U.S. Department of State (DoS) through the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). You are not required to file any additional paperwork with CIS or DoS.
If your Form DS-2019 was issued by International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) at the University of Miami, please make sure to notify ISSS of your updated local address by sending an e-mail to Claudia Zitzmann, Associate Director, ISSS, at czitzmann@miami.edu. Please include your complete local address, including house number, street, city, state and zip code. Also, please make sure to update your local address information in the University's records through canelink.miami.edu or through your department. If your Form DS-2019 was issued by a J-1 program sponsor other ISSS, please make sure to notify your J-1 program sponsor and ISSS of your updated local address. You notify ISSS by sending an e-mail to Claudia Zitzmann at czitzmann@miami.edu. Please include your complete local address, including house number, street, city, state and zip code. Also, please make sure to update your local address information in the University's records through canelink.miami.edu or through your department.

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Ending J-1 Program early
You are admitted to the United States for "duration of status (D/S)," defined as the period during which you are engaged in full-time, nonclinical research, teaching, long-term observation or consultation at the University of Miami (UM), plus 30 days within which to depart from the U.S.
Your Form DS-2019 lists your J-1 program start and end dates in item #3 of the document. Unless your program is extended, the program end date on your Form DS-2019 indicates the date when your UM academic department currently expects you to complete your J-1 activity.
If you complete your J-1 activity before the expected program end date, you must inform your UM academic department and your J-1 program Responsible Officer (RO) or Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO) that you are ending the program early and provide the exact last date for your activity. If UM is your J-1 program sponsor, then you need to provide your International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) advisor with this information. If your J-1 program sponsor is an agency, then you need to provide your J-1 RO/ARO with this information.
The J-1 regulations allow you to stay in the U.S. for an additional 30 days beyond the date when you complete your J-1 activity.

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24-Month Bar on Repeat Participation
Under the terms of the two-year bar on repeat participation in the research scholar and professor categories, an individual who has participated in the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program as a research scholar or professor becomes subject to a two-year bar on repeat participation in these categories if the exchange visitor completes a full five years of program participation with one or more program sponsors or if the exchange visitor completes a particular exchange visitor program, and the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) record becomes Inactive before the full five-year period is over. In either case, the individual is not eligible to begin a new program as a J research scholar or professor for a period of two years. This rule applies to individuals in the J-1 research scholar or professor categories whose programs ended on November 18, 2006 or thereafter. It also applies to their J-2 dependents.
The purpose of the two-year bar on repeat participation in the research scholar and professor categories is to prevent research scholars and professors who have completed a program in J-1 status from exiting the United States and immediately re-entering for a new J-1 program in these two categories.

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Two Year Home Presence Requirement
A Word of Caution
The following should be used for information, it is not a legal document. It was prepared by non-attorneys for use by non-attorneys. Instead of assuming that you are or are not subject to the two-year home country physical presence requirement, you should consult a specialist to consider this issue in light of your own circumstances.
  1. Question: What is the purpose of the two-year home country physical presence requirement? Answer: The intent of the two-year home country physical presence requirement is to have your home-country benefit from your experience in the United States. As an exchange visitor you come to the U.S. for a specific objective such as a program of study or a research project. If you are subject, the requirement is intended to keep you from staying longer than necessary to complete your objective, and to make sure that you will spend at least two years in your home country before you return to the U.S. for a long-term stay.
  2. Question: Who is subject to the two-year home country physical presence requirement? Answer: The requirement applies only to the following exchange visitors in J-1 status (and their J-2 dependents):
    • Exchange visitors who have received U.S. or foreign government funding, directly or indirectly, for the purpose of international exchange;
    • Exchange visitors whose skills are in a field which their home governments requested be included on the U.S. Department of State's Exchange Visitor Skills List; and
    • Exchange visitors who come to the U.S. to receive graduate medical education or training.
  3. Question: Government funding? I am a researcher in the lab of a professor who pays my salary out of his grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Is my salary indirect funding? Does it make me subject to the two-year home country physical presence requirement? Answer: This funding does make you subject to the requirement if the purpose of the faculty member's grant is international exchange, for example to bring foreign scientists to the U.S. for a research experience in his lab so that they can apply what they learned in the home country. But if the purpose of the grant was research, and the faculty member hired you only to participate in that research, then your salary does not make you subject to the two-year home country physical presence requirement.
  4. Question: What is the Exchange Visitor Skills List? Answer: The Exchange Visitor Skills List is a long list of fields of specialized knowledge and skills. About 30 years ago, the U.S. government sent the list to foreign governments and asked each one to indicate skills that were in short supply in their respective countries. The resulting list appeared in the Federal Register, and official government bulletin published daily and available in most libraries. The most recent full text appeared in the Federal Register on April 30, 2009.
    Your J-1 program's Responsible Officer (RO) or Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO) can help you determine whether you field of study or skills is on the list for your country.
  5. Question: One of my Forms DS-2019 indicates that I am subject to the two-year home country physical presence requirement. However, I have another Form DS-2019 that indicates that I am not subject to the two-year requirement. Which form is correct? Answer: Visa officers in U.S. consular posts and immigration inspectors at U.S. ports-of-entry make preliminary assessments as to whether or not you are subject to the two-year home country physical presence requirement. They usually indicate their preliminary assessment by putting an annotation on your visa stamp an/or by checking the "preliminary endorsement" box on your Form DS-2019. Please note that these are preliminary, not final assessments. Only the U.S. Department of State can make a final determination as to whether or not you are subject to the two-year requirement. You can request the U.S. State Department's advisory opinion on this matter through your J-1 RO/ARO or an immigration attorney.
  6. Question: If I am subject to the two-year home country physical presence requirement, what am I required to do? Answer: If you are subject to the two-year home country physical presence requirement, then you are required to spend two years in the country of your permanent residency or the country of your citizenship after you have completed your exchange visitor program. Until you have fulfilled this requirement, there are certain things you cannot do. You cannot hold status in the U.S. as an H (temporary worker, trainee, or dependent), L (intracompany transferee or dependent), or immigrant (U.S. permanent resident). And inside the U.S., you cannot change your immigration status to any category except A (your government's representative to the U.S., such as a diplomat, or the dependent of an A status holder) or G (your government's representative to an international organization, such as the United Nations, or the dependent of a G status holder).
  7. Question: If I cannot change status inside the U.S., can I exit the U.S., apply for an F-1 visa, and return to the U.S. as an F-1 student? Answer: You can apply for an F-1 visa, and if you are approved, you can return to the U.S. as an F-1 student. However, you would still be subject to the two-year home country physical presence requirement unless you spend two years in your home country or apply for and obtain a waiver of the two-year requirement.
  8. Question: What is the waiver of the two-year home country physical presence requirement? Answer: J-1 exchange visitors who are subject to the two-year home country physical presence requirement must apply for a waiver of that requirement if they seek to remain in the U.S. beyond the end date of their program or if they seek to submit an application for a change in visa status. A waiver may be requested based on five statutory grounds:
    • A claim of exceptional hardship to a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident spouse or child of an exchange visitor if the exchange visitor is required to return to the country of residence;
    • A claim that the participant will be persecuted due to race, religion, or political opinions if he/she returns to the country of residence;
    • A request from an interested U.S. government agency on the participant's behalf;
    • A no objection statement from the exchange visitor's government; and
    • A request by a designated State Health Department or its equivalent.
  9. Question: Is it true that if I am subject to the two-year home country physical presence requirement, I cannot come back to the U.S. for two years once I finish my program and leave the U.S.? Answer: There is no regulation that states that you cannot return to the U.S. for two years if you are subject to the two-year requirement and have exited the U.S. upon program completion. However, if you are subject to the requirement, you remain subject until you have either spent two years in your home country or have obtained a waiver of the requirement. If you are returning to the U.S., the visa that you use to enter the U.S. depends on the purpose of your trip to the U.S. The only visas that you cannot use for two years if you are subject to the two-year requirement are H, L and immigrant visas.
  10. Question: If I am subject to the two-year home country physical presence requirement and I come back to the U.S. for a two-week visit after one year at home, will I loose the year I already spent at home as far as the two-year requirement is concerned? Do the two years at home have to be without interruption? Answer: No, the two years you need to spend in your home country to fulfill the two-year requirement do not have to be uninterrupted. Once you accumulate a total of two years, you will have satisfied the two-year requirement.
  11. Question: If I am subject to the two-year home country physical presence requirement, what happens if I marry a U.S. citizen? Would I still be subject to the two-year requirement? Answer: Marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident has not effect on the two-year requirement. You would still be subject to the two-year requirement.
  12. Question: I am subject to the two-year home country physical presence requirement. If I return home, get married, and my spouse is sponsored to work in the U.S. in H-1B status, can I enter the U.S. with her as her H-4 dependent? Answer: You will first need to fulfill your two-year requirement or obtain a waiver of the requirement before you can come to the U.S. in H-4 status.
  13. Question: Are J-2 dependents ever subject to the two-year home country physical presence requirement? Answer: Yes, if the J-1 exchange visitor is subject to the two-year requirement, then his/her J-2 dependents are also subject to the requirement.
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