What is J-1 status?

J-1 is a status/visa category for non-degree students, exchange students, and scholars. This includes short-term professors. To maintain it as a student, you have to be enrolled as a full-time student at your institution. Full-time means 12 credit hours per semester or equivalent. Also, you cannot accept unauthorized employment, as it may terminate your J-1 status. 


J-1 students can work on-campus, contact the Office of Global Citizenship before you accept any kind of work.  They can work up to 20 hours/week while school is in session, and up to 40 hours in the academic breaks.

J-1 students can apply for Academic Training [Should we include the info here or in a separate page?]

The Two-Year Home-Country Presence Requirement

You might be subject to the two-year home-country residency requirement, which would be indicated on your DS-2019. The two-year requirement means you will have to go back to your home country and physically reside there for at least two years. This may be required if you receive assistance from your government, the US government, or sometimes other organizations. Also, if your country has a skill-list, you may have the two-year home-country residency requirement. Please check with your sponsor about the 2-year residency requirement.

What is the "Skill-list"?

Some countries have a certain set of skills that are crucial to the development of the country or currently  needed in the homeland. If your country has a skill-list and you are in the US under a J-1 visa, you might have to return back to your country and reside there for a minimum of 2 years. To check if your country has a skill-list, you can visit the Department of State website. To check the skill-list itself, you can visit the Federal Register website.

J-2 Family Status

Only children under 21 years and spouses can obtain J-2 dependents status. J-2 dependents are  authorized to stay in the US as long as their primary J-1 person still has valid J-1 status. J-2 dependents have to apply for a J-2 visa and get their own DS-2019 in order to be admitted to the US.