Maintaining J-1 Exchange Visitor Status

Guidelines for Maintaining J-1 Exchange Visitor Status

The Exchange Visitor Program is administered by the U.S. Department of State (DOS); it allows Brown University to use the J-1 Exchange Visitor program to invite or employ international faculty, research scholars, short term scholars, student interns and specialists in the United States temporarily.

As a J-1 Exchange Visitor it is your responsibility to maintain your immigration status throughout the duration of your J-1 program at Brown University by following the guidelines below:

Report to the Office of International Student and Scholar Services (OISSS)

You must report to OISSS with your passport, your DS-2019 and proof of health insurance within 30 days of the start date indicated on your DS-2019.

Maintain Up-To-Date Immigration Documents

  • Passport that is valid at least six months into the future at all times, especially upon entry or re-entry to the U.S. It is your responsibility to renew your passport before it expires.  Applications for renewal or extension of a passport must be made at the Embassy or Consulate of the country issuing the passport. 
  • Valid DS-2019.  Monitor the program completion date as stated in section 3 of your DS-2019.  If your appointment at Brown University is extended, the sponsoring department must contact OISSS before the current completion date to request an updated DS-2019.
  • Valid I-94 admission number
    •  If you entered the U.S. prior to April 30, 2013 you were issued a white I-94 card.  This card should be marked with the notation “J-1, D/S (Duration of Status)”. 
    •  If you entered the U.S. after April 30, 2013 your admission stamp should be marked “J-1, D/S (Duration of Status)” and you will want to visit to retrieve your I-94 admission number (keep a print out of your I-94 admission information for your records).

Report Your Current Address

Report a change of address to OISSS within 10 days of your address change.  OISSS will update your address change in SEVIS.

Maintain Required Health Insurance

J-1 Exchange Visitors and their dependents are required by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations to have health insurance with specific minimum coverage requirements while in the United States.  Failure to maintain health insurance coverage will result in termination of your J-1 Exchange Visitor program. 

Follow Employment Regulations

  • J-1 scholars are permitted to engage only in employment activities as described on your DS-2019.  Consult with OISSS before you engage in any other work during your stay.  
  • J-1 students may engage in on-campus employment (part-time while school is in session and full-time during vacation periods) or off-campus work authorization through Academic Training. 

                  Both require approval from the OISSS.

Receive OISSS Authorization for Re-entry after Travel Outside the United States

Documents required of J-1 exchange visitors and their J-2 dependents for reentry are:

  • Valid passport
  • Valid J-1 or J-2 visa stamp
  • Unexpired Brown University DS-2019 with a recent OISSS travel validation signature.  For J-1 short-term scholar, the signature is valid for 6 months; for all others, it is valid for 12 months).  Request a travel validation signature from OISSS at least 3 days prior to traveling.

It may not be necessary to extend an expired visa (stamp in your passport) when traveling to Canada or Mexico or adjacent Caribbean Islands for less than 30 days.  Please check with OISSS regarding eligibility for automatic revalidation of an expired visa.

Notify OISSS of an Early Departure from Brown University

If you leave Brown University 30 days or more prior to the end date on your DS-2019, submit the Departure Notification Form to OISSS so that your record can be updated.

Status of J-2 Dependents 

Dependents (spouse and/or children under 21 years of age) who accompany a J-1 Exchange Visitor require a dependent DS-2019 form and a J-2 visa stamp in their passport to be admitted into the U.S. in J-2 status.  Persons in J-2 status may apply to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for employment authorization to work in the U.S.