Basic J-1 Rules and Regulations

As an Exchange Visitor, you are responsible for reading, understanding, and complying with U.S. Federal Laws and regulations governing the J-1 visa. Below is a list of the rules and regulations that you are required to follow. 

Note: If you do not understand the rules listed below or are unsure about any of the rules, please stop by our office or email us at We will be happy to answer any questions you may have. 

If you are in the United States under a J-1 Visa Status, it is your responsibility to do the following:

1. Keep your passport valid at all times. 

2. Maintain full-time enrollment unless otherwise permitted to do so by OIPS. 

a. Undergraduate - 12 credits

b. Graduate - 9 credits

c. English Language Institute - 18 credits 

3. Do not accept employment off campus without the permission of OIPS. 

4. Apply for a program extension prior to the DS-2019 expiration date: 

If you are eligible for a program extension, give yourself or your sponsor at least six months to prepare all documents for your program extension and your DS-2019 form. 

5. Report a change of address:

U.S. federal regulations require that all Exchange Visitors report a change of address within 10 days directly to OIPS. OIPS is required to provide this and other scholar data to the federal government electronically through SEVIS. 

6. Report departure date and reason to OIPS: 

Exchange Visitors are required to inform OIPS if they plan to leave the university before the expiration date of their DS-2019 form, and must provide a reason for ending their program. 

7. Report changes in your program to OIPS:

You must notify OIPS whenever there is a change in your program. These changes include new funding sources, changing your major, and/or beginning an undergraduate or graduate program. 

8.  Notify OIPS if you plan to withdraw from your program:

If you plan to withdraw from your program or if your program will finish before the expiration of your DS-2019, please notify OIPS or your program sponsor. 

9. Maintain adequate health insurance:

Pursuant to 22 CFR Part 62.14, health insurance is mandatory for all exchange visitors and their dependents for the duration of the program. 

a. At minimum the insurance coverage must include: 

- Medical Benefits of at least U.S. $50,000

- Repatriation of Remains in the amount of U.S. $7,500

- Medical Evacuation in the amount of U.S. $10,000

b. Failure to maintain the above health insurance requirement will render the scholar out of status and may cause removal from the program. 

10. Obtain a Travel Signature prior to traveling outside of the United States.

Exchange Visitors and dependents must obtain the signature of the Responsible Officer or Alternate Responsible Officers on their DS-2019 forms before traveling outside the U.S. 

Once again, it is your responsibility to know and comply with all immigration regulations affecting your visa status. Failure to comply with these regulations may mean the LOSS of your status.

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