Maintaining Status: An Overview
Listed below are guidelines that J-1 international students should follow to make sure their J-1 visa status remains valid.
- Keep your passport valid at all times.
Contact your home country's embassy in the U.S. for information about renewing your passport validity.
- Maintain full-time enrollment.
Full-time enrollment is enrolling in a minimum of 12 units per quarter.
- Keep your DS-2019 document valid.
Keep your DS-2019 valid at all times. Request an extension of the DS-2019 document from your program sponsor at least 30 days before the end date on the DS-2019 document when you will need additional time to complete your program. You must receive approval from your program sponsor before changing your major or degree level.
- Keep your local address updated.
Report any change of your local address by completing the Address Update Form.
- Get on-campus employment permission.
Request a work permit from your program sponsor before accepting any on campus employment. For UC Irvine J-1 Students, employment on campus must part time at no more than 20 hours per week during the academic year, but may befull time during vacation periods.
- Get off-campus employment permission.
Request a work permit from your program sponsor before accepting any off-campus employment.
- Buy the required amount of health insurance coverage.
You and your dependents must obtain health insurance coverage that meets J-1 federal guidelines for the entire length of your stay.
- Get approval from the International Center before withdrawal from your program.
If for some reason you are not able to complete your academic program, you must notify your program sponsor of your plans to leave the University.
- Get a travel endorsement for travel out of the U.S. and re-entry.
Before your departure from the U.S., request a signature for re-entry from the program sponsor. The signature is valid for one year.
- Request program or school transfer from your sponsor.
If you wish to move from one university to another, you will need permission from your current Program Sponsor. If you wish to change universities, contact that organization as early as possible to receive authorization and further instructions.
- Discuss a change of major or degree objective with your sponsor.
Any such changes should be discussed fully with your Program Sponsor before making the change. A change of major or degree objective may violate your J-1 visa status if not approved.