It is important that you maintain lawful J-1 Exchange Visitor student status while in the U.S. As a J-1 student, it is your responsibility to manage your documents and reporting requirements, but we are here to help.
Please note: this information is for Notre Dame-sponsored J-1 students only. If your DS-2019 was issued by another organization that serves as your program sponsor, such as Fulbright, IIE, AMIDEAST, LASPAU, CIEE or another sponsoring organization, you must contact that organization with any immigration-related questions or information.
Responsibilities for Maintaining Your J-1 Status
When we talk about your immigration status, we are referencing the purpose and duration of your presence in the U.S., as granted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. This status is determined by your DS-2019 and SEVIS record, your J-1 visa stamp (in your passport), your admission stamp (provided at a U.S. port of entry), and your I-94 record.
While these documents establish your status, you have the responsibility to maintain your J-1 status in the following ways:
Maintain a valid passport
Passports may be renewed in the U.S. at the embassy or consulate of the country that issued your passport. Find your nearest embassy or consulate here.
Enter the U.S. in J-1 status every time
Each time you enter the U.S., verify that you were entered in J-1 status. Before leaving the inspection area at the port of entry, check that your admission stamp indicates J-1 status with D/S and the correct entry date. Once you arrive home, check and print off your I-94 record online to confirm J-1 status with D/S and the correct entry date.
Check in with ISSA
You must check in with ISSA to validate your J-1 immigration status within 30 days of your program start date listed or within one week of your arrival at Notre Dame, whichever comes first. Bring your passport so ISSA can confirm you entered in the correct status and report your arrival to DHS.
Maintain a valid, accurate DS-2019
If there are changes to your name, degree level, country of citizenship, field of study or source of funding, contact ISSA so we can issue a new DS-2019. Before leaving the U.S., always review your DS-2019 and verify:
- the accuracy of the biographical information,
- the accuracy of your program information, and
- the validity of the travel signature
Your DS-2019 will need to be updated and re-issued if you have changed any of the details that appear on the form. You will need to have your DS-2019 with a travel validation signature every time you enter the U.S., so always confirm you have the DS-2019 with you when you exit the U.S.
Maintain Full Time Enrollment
You must enroll full-time every fall and spring semester and confirm enrollment by completing Roll Call. In each semester, full time enrollment is:
- Undergraduates - 12 credit hours
- Graduate students during coursework - 9 credit hours
- Graduate students during thesis or dissertation research and writing - at least 1 credit hour
There are some exceptions to the full time enrollment requirement, but they must be reviewed and authorized by an ISSA advisor prior to reducing your course load.
Do not work without authorization
For information on applying for work authorization, visit J-1 Employment. If you are receiving a scholarship, fellowship or grant, you must report that to ISSA every year and request on campus work authorization.
Maintain health insurance for duration of program
All J-1 exchange visitors must maintain the required amounts of health insurance for themselves and all J-2 dependents. Health insurance requirements are listed on the DS-2019.
Report Change of Address
Report address changes within ten days of the change:
- at the beginning of each semester, report the change during Roll Call
- other times of the year, report the change to email@example.com
If you are on Academic Training after graduation, update your address in ISSAlink.
Be mindful of program end date
If you will not complete your program before the program end date on your DS-2019, you must request a program extension before the end date is reached. Once you have reached your program end date, you are no longer eligible to enroll in classes, request Academic Training or request an extension.
If you will complete or graduate early, it is important to notify ISSA so we can adjust your DS-2019 program end date and notify you of your timelines for applying for Academic Training or change of status, transferring to another institution or departing the U.S. Academic Training must be requested before you reach your program end date.
Once you have reached your program end date, you have a 30 day grace period, during which you can travel and prepare to depart the U.S. If you stay in the U.S. beyond your 30 day grace period, you are considered out of status.
File tax forms each spring
As a J-1 student, you must file U.S. tax forms to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) each spring, even if you have no U.S. income. You can find information about filing taxes in the U.S. here.