Office of International Affairs (OIA)
Information for the J-1 Student
Your I-94 card is the small white card (or the long card that looks somewhat
like a plane ticket) that you received upon arrival in the United States.
This card shows the date you entered the United States, the status
you entered in (J-1), and how long you may stay. In most cases, J-1 Student
I-94 cards are stamped "D/S" or "duration of status".
Duration of status (D/S)
Duration of status or D/S is the length of time for which you may stay in J status in the United States. D/S allows you to stay in the U.S. as long as you are complying with all immigration regulations. D/S is based on the completion date on your DS-2019, plus a 30-day grace period. It is possible to extend D/S by applying for a program extension.
A J-1 non-degree student has a total of 24 months to participate in the J-1 program. In order to extend your DS-2019, you must complete and submit the "DS-2019 Extension Request Form". If you do not receive a stipend from Jefferson, you must also show original documentation proving that there is enough funding to continue your program. These funds cannot be provided by your parents or from personal funds. You should complete your DS-2019 extension request about 45 days before the expiration of your current DS-2019.
The visa stamp in your passport allowed you to enter the United States. The visa expiration is the date up to which you are permitted to enter or re-enter the United States - it is not an indication of the length of permission to stay. You only need to renew your visa if you are going to travel outside of the U.S. and then return to the U.S. after the expiration date on the visa stamp in your passport. Visa renewals may only be obtained at a U.S. embassy or consulate outside of the United States
Whenever you travel outside of the United States during your J-1 program, you must visit OIA with your DS-2019 so that we can provide a travel validation signature.Your passport must also be valid! You can renew your passport at your country's embassy or consulate in the United States. A listing of embassies and consulates in the United States can be found on the U.S. Department of State website.
All J-1 Exchange Visitors and any family members accompanying in J-2 status must be covered by adequate health insurance that meets the requirements of the U.S. Department of State. Willful failure to comply with this requirement will result in the termination of your J-1 program. For more information, please visit our Health Insurance Information Page.
If you are receiving funding from Jefferson, you must bring your Social Security card to OIA as soon as you receive it. Social Security applications will be provided during your check-in.
The only activity you have permission to do is the one indicated on your DS-2019. If you are interested in accepting any other kind of work during your stay, please visit OIA for counsel about Academic Training. Do not accept any unauthorized employment.
Your DS-2019 is valid only as long as you are participating in a program through Thomas Jefferson University, and pursuing the original purpose for which you entered the U.S. in J-1 status. If you decide that you would like to transfer to another institution or even to another laboratory at Thomas Jefferson University, you must visit OIA before you make any changes.
You must report any change of address to OIA and USCIS within 10 days of the change. This is extremely important so that you can receive the proper tax forms from Thomas Jefferson University or immigration documents from USCIS. To report your change of address go to USCIS.
Even if your DS-2019 is still valid, your J-1 status ends when you stop participating in your program. You must speak to an OIA advisor before you end your program. Please visit the OIA at least one week before you end your program to return to your home country.
Your J-1 status and DS-2019 expires when you finish your research or academic program, regardless of the end date listed on your current DS-2019.Once you finish your J-1 program, you have a 30-day grace period to prepare for departure or tour the U.S. There is a 12-month bar for those who participate in a J-1 student program for more than six months. This means that if you want to return to the U.S. in the J-1 research scholar/professor category, you must wait 12 months from the end of your J-1 student program. You may apply for other visa statuses.
The 2-year home country physical presence requirement - or INA Section 212(e) - only applies to certain J-1 exchange visitors. This rule is different from the 12-month bar. If you are subject to INA Section 212(e), and are thinking about applying for the H-1B or L-1 status, or a green card, you must fulfill the INA Section 212(e) requirement by living in your home country for 2 years, or by obtaining a waiver of this requirement.
Never throw away any old DS-2019 Forms. Always keep every DS-2019 form you ever receive in your lifetime, to prove that you legally maintained your J-1 status in the United States.