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Maintain Your Status

Maintaining your status

During your J-1 program you must take care to maintain lawful J-1 status, as failure to do so can have serious long-term consequences for you. These are the steps every J-1 scholar must follow in order to maintain legal status while in the U.S.

1. Make sure your immigration documents are valid and unexpired

  • A passport valid at least six months into the future
  • I-94 information marked "J-1 D/S"
  • An unexpired DS-2019 with a current travel signature (Be aware of the expiration date of your status. This is not your visa expiration date; it is the ending date in section 3 of your DS-2019 form.)
  • A valid J-1 visa if you plan to travel and re-enter the U.S. Your visa may be expired while remaining in the U.S.

2. Update your local address within 10 days of a move

Program sponsors are required by law to keep the Department of Homeland Security of exchange visitors' U.S. addresses at all times. It is your responsibility to keep International Scholar Services apprised of your current residence. Within ten days of a move you must notify International Scholar Services of your new address so the staff can update your SEVIS record.

You can report your new address by visiting the office, or sending an email to the attention of Scholar Services at with your name, visa type, new address, and telephone number.

3. Notify Scholar Services of early departure

NYU is responsible for reporting early departures in SEVIS. If you plan to leave NYU more than 30 days before the end date of your authorized stay as indicated on your Form DS-2019, notify International Scholar Services of your departure shortly before you leave. You may email to the attention of Scholar Services at your name, visa type, original and new end date, and reason for early departure, or visit International Scholar Services.

J-1 visitors are allowed a 30-day grace period beyond the end date on their DS-2019. This additional 30-day period is not for employment, extensions, or transfers. If you travel outside the U.S. during your 30-day grace period, you forfeit the remaining grace period and may not re-enter the U.S. under J-1 status.

4. Do not accept unauthorized employment

The only activity you are permitted is the one described in section 4 of the DS-2019 form. You must consult an advisor in advance if you wish to take up any other work during your stay. (See information about incidental employment.)

5. Comply with the health insurance requirements

Willful disregard of these requirements will result in termination of your program and your J-1 status.

6. Contact Scholar Services if you have plans to extend or transfer your J-1 program

If your appointment at the University is extended, the hiring department must contact OGS before the current expiration date to have the DS-2019 form extended as well.

If offered a comparable position at another college or university, discuss your plans with an advisor to make sure that the required transfer procedure can be accomplished.

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