Maintaining J-1 Status

Maintaining J-1 Status

Maintaining Legal J-1 Status

As a J-1 exchange visitor, you must meet certain obligations to maintain legal immigration status. Maintaining status is necessary to receive the benefits of J-1 status in the future, such as applying for a change of status, if needed. Failure to maintain your non-immigrant status can result in serious problems with immigration and could lead to deportation from the U.S.

J-1 Students

To maintain legal status, a J-1 student must:

  • Complete the mandatory immigration check-in.
  • Complete immigration school transfer procedure when necessary.
  • Be in good academic standing and make progress towards an academic program.
  • Extend your DS-2019 prior to its expiration date if you are unable to complete your academic program by original expiration date.
  • In the event of a change of academic program or level, update your DS-2019 in a timely fashion in accordance with immigration regulations.
  • Maintain full-time enrollment during the academic year.
  • Undergraduate students must enroll for 12 units per semester while graduate students must enroll for 8 units per semester.  
  • Limit on-campus employment to 20 hours per week during the academic year.
  • Do not accept unauthorized employment and do not work off campus without authorization.
  • Keep your passport valid at all times. The passport must be valid for at least 6 months into the future
  • Maintain the required health insurance coverage.
  • Inform CIE in writing if you leave the program 30 days or more before the end date of DS-2019.
  • Update your current and permanent address information in your MyCSUEB account within 10 days of moving.

Health Insurance Requirement

You are required to maintain Health Insurance during your entire stay in the USA as a J-1 student. Please see the Health Insurance section for more information.


Dependents are defined as a spouse and minor children (under age 21) of the J-1 exchange visitor. Dependent spouses and children enter the U.S. on J-2 dependent visas. Each dependent is required to have an individual DS-2019 to obtain a J-2 visa stamp from a U.S. embassy or consulate and to enter the U.S. (Canadians are exempt from the visa requirement). 

Having J-2 status does not enable a J-2 dependent to work, but it gives the person the ability to apply for permission to work from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office through an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) (Form I-766). The J-2 dependent does not have legal permission to work until the EAD is approved by USCIS.

Grace Period

When a J-1 exchange visitor completed his or her program, a 30-day grace period begins. During these 30 days he/she may remain in the U.S. and prepare to leave. It is not permissible to work during the grace period. You cannot exit the U.S. and reenter as a J-1 during the grace period.


All J-1 exchange visitors must file federal tax forms every year that they are in the U.S. The deadlines to file the forms are April 15, if U.S. money is earned, and June 15, if no U.S. money is earned.

For more information, refer to the taxes section.