You are admitted to the United States for "duration of status (D/S)," defined as the period during which you are pursuing a full course of study in a bachelor's or master's degree, doctoral or post-doctoral program, and any periods of authorized practical training, 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 for employment authorization 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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Definition of J-1 Status
A J-1 visa and J-1 status may be granted to an alien "who is a bona fide student qualified to pursue a full course of study" at an academic or language institution authorized to admit international students. 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 study and that the applicant has a permanent residence in a foreign country which he or she does not intend to abandon.
Once you are admitted to the U.S. in J-1 status, you must meet certain obligations in order to maintain your status:
- Complete the SEVIS Validation Process.
An exchange visitor's (student in J-1 status) SEVIS record must be validated no later than 30 days after the program start date.
Upon arrival to the University of Miami, all newly admitted J-1 students are required by the Department of State (DoS) and International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) to complete SEVIS Validation Check-In with ISSS by the end of Week 2 of your first semester at UM. Failure to do so will result in a Negative Service Indicator (a Hold) from ISSS to be placed on your Student Record, which will block your enrollment activity and affect your eligibility to receive services from ISSS. Failure to timely complete your SEVIS Validation Check-In requirement will also result in termination of your J-1 status. Go to the ISSS website, www.miami.edu/isss, for SEVIS Validation Check-In instructions and form. SEVIS Validation Check-In requirement applies to students who are new, transfer, readmit, study abroad, and changing educational level from the Intensive English Program (IEP) to degree seeking.
If you have been admitted to the University of Miami to begin an academic program and an organization other than the University of Miami is your program sponsor, i.e., AMIDEAST, Fulbright, LASPAU, OAS, etc., you must still report to ISSS. However, you must also report to your program sponsor for validation of program participation in SEVIS to change your SEVIS status from “initial” to “active.”
- Maintain required documents.
Exchange visitors are at all times expected to maintain a:
- Valid DS-2019
- Valid passport
- I-94 marked D/S*
*D/S stands for "duration of status" and refers to the program period listed at item 3 on Form DS-2019. The definition of J-1 "duration of status" is the period specified on Form DS-2019 "plus a period of 30 days for the purpose of travel..."
- Engage in appropriate activities.
Each category has a definition and expectations for the activities of the exchange visitor, which must be met. For example, a Student is expected to carry a full-time course of study, a Research Scholar or Professor is here to perform research or teach.
- Be employed only with authorization.
Unauthorized employment is a violation of program status. An exchange visitor's participation is subject to termination when he or she engages in unauthorized employment.
Visit the ISSS website for information on J-1 Employment and Academic Training (AT).
The Responsible or Alternate Responsible Officer of the student's J-1 sponsoring program must approve the employment in advance and in writing. Keep in mind that your program may be sponsored by an organization other than the University of Miami, i.e., AMIDEAST, Fulbright, LASPAU, OAS, etc. It is from these agencies that you must request employment authorization.
- Carry Health Insurance.
Every exchange visitor (both J-1 and J-2) is required to obtain health insurance which meets the minimum requirements specified on the ISSS website under Health Insurance Requirement. This insurance must be maintained throughout the entire program participation period.
- Report address change.
Report changes of address within 10 days of the address change.
You can meet this requirement by entering your permanent foreign address and your local U.S. address in CaneLink.
Your permanent foreign address is the address where you actually reside in your home country.
Your local U.S. address is the address where you are staying to study at the University of Miami. You may NOT enter any of the following as your local address: foreign address, UM Department address, or an address with a P.O. Box.
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 sponsors Responsible or Alternate Responsible Officer of any change in your local address within 10 days of moving.
- Students must study at the postsecondary accredited educational institution listed on their Form DS-2019 .
- College and university students must meet full course of study requirements.
Students can be exempted from the full course of study requirement under certain conditions. Detailed information on Full Course of Study Requirements and Exceptions is available on the ISSS website.
- File timely and appropriate transfer and extension notifications.
Detailed information on Extensions, Moving Levels, and Transfers is available on the ISSS website.
Keep your documents: It is your responsibility to retain copies of all your immigration documents and all immigration applications (DS-2019, employment, change of status, program extension, etc.) for your records/future use. ISSS is required to keep copies of your documents and applications for only three years beyond the end of your program of studies at UM and any authorized Academic Training.
When to extend
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Your permission to stay in the United States ends on the expiration date of your Form I 94 Departure Record card, unless the card is marked "Duration of Status" or "D/S." In that case your permission to stay will expire 30 days after the date shown in item #3 of your Form DS-2019, "Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J 1) Status."
Your J-1 Responsible Officer (RO) or Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO)
To extend your permission to stay in the United States, you must first obtain a new Form DS-2019 from your J 1 Responsible Officer (RO) or Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO), who will need proof of your eligibility before issuing the Form. If your J 1 sponsor is the University of Miami (UM), apply at International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). If your J 1 sponsor is an agency, and if you are uncertain how to reach your RO, your ISSS Advisor will help you find out.
You are eligible to apply for an extension of stay if you are either studying full time at the school named on your Form DS-2019 and making satisfactory academic progress and have adequate funding; or are about to complete your program of study and want to participate in Academic Training; or are currently participating in an authorized Academic Training program and, within the established time limits, need an extension to finish the program.
Government regulations do not limit the time you may take to finish your program of study as long as you are making academic progress, but you may be subject to limitations imposed by your school on the time allowed to complete your degree, and by your J 1 sponsor (if your sponsor is not UM) on the number of years you may spend in the United States.
Procedures to apply for Extension of Stay
Travel and Reentry to U.S. after Extension of Stay
- At least two months before your permission to stay expires, contact your J 1 RO/ARO about an extension. Ask for forms and for instructions on how to proceed.
- Your J-1 RO/ARO will determine if have you maintained J-1 program status. If so, your RO/ARO will update your J-1 Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) record with the extended program information, including new end date and financial information. This must be done before the expiration of your current Form DS-2019. Your RO/ARO will print and sign the updated Form DS-2019. If you have J-2 dependents in the U.S., your RO/ARO will also print and sign updated Forms DS-2019 for your J-2 dependents.
- Your J-1 RO/ARO will give you the updated Form(s) DS-2019 for you to sign and retain. Once you have received your new Form DS-2019 from your J 1 RO/ARO, your extension of stay is completed.
After you have extended your stay inside the country, avoid a common mistake if you travel abroad. Do not assume that with an approved extension of stay you can reenter this country without an unexpired J 1 visa stamp in your passport (unless you are Canadian). If your J 1 visa stamp has expired, you have to apply at a consulate for a new one in order to reenter the United States as a J 1 student except if you see to reenter through a procedure referred to as "automatic revalidation of visa" described in the next paragraph.
"Automatic revalidation of visa" benefit:
Under certain circumstances, you may reenter the US with an expired visa as though the visa were still valid. An expired J-1 visa may be considered to be automatically extended to the date of application for readmission to the US (and therefore the visa in the passport need not have an expiration date that is in the future), provided you do the following:
- Apply for readmission to US after an absence not exceeding 30 days in contiguous territory (Canada or Mexico) or adjacent islands (Saint Pierre, Miquelon, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, the Windward and Leeward Islands, Trinidad, Martinique, and other British, French, and Netherlands territories or possessions in or bordering on the Caribbean Sea other than Cuba);
- Maintain lawful J-1 status and intend to continue doing so;
- Present a valid passport containing Form I-94 which authorizes a stay beyond the date of entry (e.g., D/S);
- Present a properly endorsed SEVIS Form DS-2019.
Under these circumstances, you may be saved the necessity of applying for a new J-1 visa even if your visa has expired. An exchange visitor whose visa has been canceled or voided is not eligible for automatic revalidation of visa benefit. Citizens of "state sponsors of terrorism" cannot take advantage of the automatic revalidation benefit. Any non-immigrant who chooses to apply for a new visa while in contiguous territory is not eligible for the automatic revalidation benefit during the course of that trip, but has to wait until the visa is granted in order to enter the U.S.
A Word of Caution
Extension of your permission to stay is your responsibility. If you forget the deadline and apply late, you risk denial. If you are employed and overlook the date, you will be working illegally. Since such mistakes can have serious consequences, you should make certain that you apply well in advance (two months time is recommended) if you need to extend your stay.
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