J-1 Visa Regulations

J-1 Visa Regulations

For Exchange Students (J-1 visa) - The DS-2019 form is used to obtain a J-1 visa and must be in the possession of the student at the time of entry into the U.S. The student must also pay the I-901 fee prior to applying for the visa. To pay the I-901 fee, go to the U.S. Immigration and Customs website. The DS-2019 form is dated for the academic semester(s) the student plans on attending. Students may enter the U.S. up to 30 days before the start date on this form and may stay up to 30 days following the expiration date of the DS-2019.

Maintenance of J-1 Status:

SEVIS Validation

  • An exchange student's SEVIS record must be Validated no later than 30 days after the program start date. All students are required to report to the Assistant Director, International Student Services and Engagement within the first week of classes at the beginning of every fall term.

Maintain required documents

  • Exchange students are at all times expected to maintain a:
    • Valid DS-2019
    • Valid passport
    • I-94 marked D/S (As of April 30, 2013 Chicago O'Hare international airport will no longer issue a paper form I-94. New students will be advised on how to print their I-94 record during orientation.)

Duration of status

  • D/S stands for "duration of status" and refers to the program period listed at item 3 on Form DS-2019. The definition of J-1 "duration of status" is the period specified on Form DS-2019 "plus a period of 30 days for the purpose of travel and departure from the USA".

Engage in appropriate activities

  • A student is expected to carry a full-time course of study (12-15 credit hours per semester) and maintain "good" academic standing. No student may drop under the full course load requirement under any circumstances unless otherwise advised by the Assistant Director, International Student Services and Engagement. 

Be employed only with authorization

  • Unauthorized employment is a violation of program status. An exchange student's participation is subject to termination when he or she engages in unauthorized employment. Exchange students are not allowed to take any part in any off-campus employment. Students can seek guidance from the International Student Advisor regarding on-campus employment opportunities. Exchange students may work up to 20 hours per week during the academic year. Government sponsored students are not allowed to work on campus as mandated by their program.

Carry health insurance

  • Every exchange student is required to obtain health insurance through our North Central College policy with GeoBlue insurance provider. This insurance must be maintained throughout the entire program participation period.

Immigration Resources

Passport Renewal - Your passport must be kept valid for a minimum period of 6 months into the future.