This page is for current and new J-1 scholars and student interns who already have an approved program with WashU and a DS-2019. The information provided in this section is intended for J-1 exchange visitors sponsored by WashU. If you are sponsored by a different organization, it is essential that you contact them with questions.

If you are a department searching for your J-1 hosting responsibilities, click below:

J-1 documents

J-1 exchange visitors (EVs) are expected to maintain valid status documents throughout the entire duration of their program at WashU. Familiarize yourself with the following documents and ensure you are keeping them up-to-date at all times.

DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility

As the host of your EV program, WashU issues this form to you. At the time of your visa application, the U.S. Consulate reviews the form. When you enter the country, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) examines and returns it to you at the U.S. port of entry. The DS-2019 must remain valid during your stay in the U.S. in J-1 status.

The DS-2019 must remain accurate in order for you to maintain legal status while in the U.S. Email OISS immediately at J1Scholar@wustl.edu if your DS-2019:

  • has incorrect information
  • is lost or stolen
  • has changes at any point after issuance, such as proof of funding or site of activity
Passport

All nonimmigrants must have a valid passport to enter and remain in the U.S. In most cases, your passport needs to be valid for the next six (6) months any time you seek admission into the U.S. at the port of entry. Do not let your (or your dependents’) passport expire while staying in the U.S., or you (or they) could lose eligibility for certain benefits. EVs who are citizens of countries that are part of the Six-Month Club are exempt from this rule.

Contact your home government regarding the renewal of your passport well in advance of its expiration. Each country has different procedures and processing times for extending a passport. Your home country embassy website should have instructions regarding passport renewal.

If your passport is lost or stolen, call the WashU police immediately. You will need a police report when applying for a replacement from your home government. You will obtain a new passport directly with the embassy or consulate.

I-94

Form I-94 is the official arrival/departure record issued to a nonimmigrant upon entry into the U.S. by Custom and Border Protection (CBP). I-94 details your admission status (J-1), date of entry and your period of authorized stay in the U.S. CBP will record this information electronically, and you should access and print it on the CBP website. Sometimes a CBP officer will also stamp this information directly into your passport.

For J-1 EVs, I-94 period of authorized stay is noted as “Duration of Status (D/S),” which is defined as:

  • the time during which you are pursuing your approved WashU program based on the program dates on the DS-2019
  • a 30-day grace period during which you can prepare to depart the country or apply for a change to another immigration status

Duration of status is limited by end date listed on your DS-2019. If you need more time to complete your program, you must apply for a extension before the end date on your DS-2019.

A new I-94 is issued every time you enter the U.S. It is important the you check the I-94 every time you travel to ensure that the correct status (J-1) and duration (D/S) is recorded on the form. If you see incorrect information on the I-94, notify OISS immediately at J1Scholar@wustl.edu.

J-1 Entry Visa

Unless you are Canadian citizen, you must have a valid J-1 visa stamp (also referred to as “visa”)in your passport to be eligible to enter the U.S. in J-1 status. The U.S. Department of State (DOS) will not issue your visa until you receive your DS-2019. A visa stamp is an entry permit valid for a specific time frame. It allows you to seek admission into the U.S., but it neither guarantees admission into the country nor determines the length of legal stay. Therefore, the expiration of your visa does not affect permission to stay or work in the U.S.

SEVIS Fee Receipt

The SEVIS fee receipt is proof to the U.S. consulate that you have paid the SEVIS fee. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) charges the SEVIS fee for administration and maintenance of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). SEVIS monitors and tracks F-1 students, J-1 Exchange Visitors and their dependents.

Once you receive your DS-2019, you must pay the SEVIS fee by completing an I-901 Fee Remittance form online. Print the payment confirmation after payment is complete. If you are already in J-1 status and transferring your SEVIS record to WashU, you do not need to pay this fee again.

J-1 EVs who have paid their required I‑901 SEVIS fee can access FMJfee.com on their mobile devices. The mobile‑friendly site will provide news and updates regarding the SEVIS fee, as well as answers to frequently asked questions.

Be sure to retain a copy of the SEVIS fee receipt for visa application and travel purposes.

Contact information reporting requirement

You and your dependents must report changes in your U.S. physical address, phone number, or email within 10 days of the change. Report all changes in your Workday profile.

To update Workday, navigate to your Workday profile (right corner after you log in), go to the Personal section (in the left menu bar), and click on the Contact tab. Click the Edit button to edit the Home Contact Information section.

  • Address: You must maintain your local physical address in the Addresses section under Home (under Home/Primary) Usage type. You must have a U.S. addresses listed even if you’re residing at this addresses temporarily. Always ensure the address is complete and uses proper U.S. format.
  • Phone: You must maintain your phone number under the Phones option. You can use a mobile phone number or a work phone number assigned to you by WashU.
  • Email: You must maintain your email address under the Email Addresses option.

OISS is notified of Workday updates automatically. OISS will then report the change to SEVIS. This will fulfill both your and the institution’s obligation to maintain contact information in SEVIS.

An EV or dependent who fails to submit a change of U.S. address or maintain a current, reported phone number and email address is considered to be in violation of the Exchange Visitor Program regulations.

Health insurance requirement

Department of State (DOS) J-1 Exchange Visitor (EV) Program regulations require that J-1 EVs and their J-2 dependents carry health insurance meeting specific minimum standards (Code of Federal Regulations – 22 CFR 62.14) during the entire length of their J program. Failure to maintain required insurance coverage can result in termination of J status. EVs who are not eligible for WashU benefits must obtain minimum insurance coverage before coming to the U.S. Health care expenses in the U.S. can be costly. Therefore, coverage in the amounts listed below may not be considered sufficient to cover all expenses for medical care.

Minimum coverage requirements
  1. Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness
  2. Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000
  3. Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of exchange visitors to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000
  4. Deductibles not to exceed $500 per accident or illness

Insurance policies secured to fulfill the requirements of this section:

  1. May require a waiting period for pre-existing conditions that is reasonable as determined by current industry standards
  2. May include provisions for co-insurance under the terms of which the exchange visitor may be required to pay up to 25% of the covered benefits per accident or illness
  3. Shall not unreasonably exclude coverage for perils inherent to the activities of the exchange program in which the exchange visitor participates
Policy, plan, contract requirements
  1. Underwritten by an insurance corporation having an A.M. Best rating of “A−” or above; a McGraw Hill Financial/Standard & Poor’s Claims-paying Ability rating of “A−” or above; a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of “B+” or above; a Fitch Ratings, Inc. rating of “A−” or above; a Moody’s Investor Services rating of “A3” or above; or such other rating as the Department of State may from time to time specify; or
  2. Backed by the full faith and credit of the government of the exchange visitor’s home country; or
  3. Part of a health benefits program offered on a group basis to employees or enrolled students by a designated sponsor; or
  4. Offered through or underwritten by a federally qualified Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) or eligible Competitive Medical Plan (CMP) as determined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
WashU benefits eligible

J-1 EVs who are eligible for and enroll in WashU benefits must select a plan that meets J-1 program requirements. Sign up for WashU benefits within the first 30 days of beginning your employment. Coverage starts on the first day of the month following your hire date. If you do not begin employment on the first of the month, you must purchase J compliant coverage for the interim period.

Note: The High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP PPO) and the Basic Preferred Provider Organization Plan (Basic PPO) do not meet DOS requirements. Therefore, do not enroll in either of these two plans.

In addition, WashU employee health plans do not provide repatriation and medical evacuation coverage for benefits-eligible J-1s or their dependents. You must purchase supplemental coverage separately through a WashU sponsored group plan administered by GeoBlue. Your sponsoring department can assist you with enrollment information.

Not eligible for WashU benefits

If you are not eligible for a WashU plan, you must still maintain adequate coverage. Please contact your sponsoring department for enrollment options.

Extensions and Amendments

Extending your J-1 program

If you need an extension to complete your program objectives within the maximum period (see J-1 categories), review criteria with your department and OISS to make sure you are eligible for an extension. It is your responsibility to request an extension before your DS-2019 end date.

In order to request an extension, reach out to your department contact. They will discuss your eligibility with OISS and then refer you to complete the necessary paperwork. The department will submit the application paperwork to OISS as part of their hosting responsibilities. In addition to these requirements, you will need to show the following:

Amending your J-1 program

If anything will change in your J-1 program, such as your program dates, funding, program objectives, site of activity, title, or move to another department, discuss with your department contact. They will discuss with OISS and then refer you to complete the necessary paperwork. The department will submit the application paperwork to OISS.

Employment

J-1 EVs may not conduct research or teach outside of WashU, unless specifically authorized in advance by OISS. This includes giving a lecture or consulting at another institution. Review the J-1 Scholar Incidental Employment page.

The activity must be short term and must be consistent with your J-1 program objectives. The activity cannot delay completion of your J-1 program at WashU. OISS will need to update your site of activity in SEVIS before you participate in the activity. The other institution will require documentation from OISS.

If you are invited to speak or consult at another institution, reach out to your department contact. They will discuss your eligibility with OISS and then refer you to complete the necessary paperwork. The department will submit the application paperwork to OISS as part of their hosting responsibilities.

Transfers

If you are currently sponsored by WashU and would like to transfer your J-1 immigration status to another institution, reach out to your department contact. They will discuss your eligibility with OISS and then refer you to complete the necessary paperwork. The department will submit the application paperwork to OISS as part of their hosting responsibilities.

Please note that transfers can only be completed while your DS-2019 is valid. Contact OISS to initiate a transfer in advance of the end date on your DS-2019. Once OISS receives the completed transfer form, we will release your SEVIS record to your new institution. Then, contact your new institution for them to issue you a new DS-2019.

Travel while in J-1 status

J-1 EVs who travel outside the U.S. during their J-1 program should be aware of regulations concerning re-entry into the U.S. As J nonimmigrants, you and your dependents are responsible for obtaining the necessary documents required for re-entry into the U.S. See Scholar & Employee Travel for more information.

Important

If you have a pending USCIS change of status petition or an approved 212(e) waiver, contact OISS at J1Scholar@wustl.edu before leaving the U.S. to avoid problems with your petition.

After re-entering the U.S., all J-1 and J-2 dependents should check their electronic I-94 information. The I-94 should have the correct status (J-1 or J-2, as appropriate) and an end date of “D/S.”

Visa renewal

If you need to renew your visa while oversees, be sure to check the U.S. consular office procedures and timelines in advance of your intended travel dates. The process to Apply for a Visa Stamp can be found on our website.

If you travel for less than 30 days to Canada, Mexico or the adjacent islands in the Caribbean, you may be eligible for an automatic extension of your expired J-1 visa at a U.S. port of entry upon return. See Automatic Visa Revalidation for more information.

Study in J-1 status

If you are a J-1 professor or research scholar, you may enroll in classes so long as:

  • The classes are incidental to your primary activity
  • You continue to pursue the objectives for which you came, as stated on your DS-2019
  • Your program continues to fulfill the objectives of the professor or research scholar category

If enrollment in classes or a degree program becomes your primary objective, J-1 scholar status is no longer appropriate and you may be required to apply for a change of status. In rare cases, a J-1 change of category may be appropriate.

The English Language Support offered by WashU may be of particular interest to international scholars. The program’s curriculum, geared to the advanced language learner, was designed to be practical and challenging, focusing on real-world expectations. Courses are offered both on the Danforth Campus and on the Medical Campus.

12- and 24-month bars

Once you have been in J status, you may be subject to two different rules, the 12-month and 24-month bars. These bars may affect how soon you are able to participate in a J-1 professor or J-1 research scholar category only.

12-month bar

If you have been in any J status (including J-2, J-1 student, J-1 alien physician, J-1 scholar, etc.) for more than six (6) months, you are subject to the 12-month bar. According to the 12-month bar, you are barred from the J-1 Professor and Research Scholar categories until you have not been in the U.S. in J status for 12 months from your previous J-1 program end date.

24-month bar

If you have completed a J-1 program as a professor or research scholar (or their J-2 dependent), you are subject to the 24-month bar. According to the 24-month bar, you are barred from repeating participation in the J-1 professor and research scholar categories for 24 months after the completion of your last J program.

Am I subject to either or both bars?

Any indication below that there is “no wait” time refers only to the 12- and 24-month bars. It is possible that a J-1 EV has no wait time related to the bars but is still subject to the two-year home residency requirement 212(e). See below for more details.

If you are or have been on a J-1 or J-2 visa category listed below for six (6) months or less:

J-1 or J-2 Dependent CategoryWait time for new J-1 research scholar/professor program
Research Scholar or Professor24 months
Student InternNo wait
Student Degree or Non-DegreeNo wait
Short-Term ScholarNo wait
SpecialistNo wait
Table showing whether J is subject to 12- or 24-month bars based on less than 6 months.

If you are or have been on a J-1 or J-2 visa category listed below for more than six (6) months:

J-1 or J-2 Dependent CategoryWait time for new J-1 research scholar/professor program
Research Scholar or Professor24 months
Student Intern12 months
Student Degree or Non-Degree12 months
Short-Term Scholar12 months
Specialist12 months
Table showing whether J is subject to 12- or 24-month bars based on more than 6 months.

212(e) Two-year home residence requirement

The J-1 EV immigration status is meant to be temporary and encourage the exchange of knowledge of skills between countries. Therefore, immigration regulations limit the activities that many EVs can participate in their J-1 EV program ends. OISS can help determine whether someone is submit to the two-year residence requirement.

212(e) Two-year residence requirement

Adding dependents

During your program, if you wish to bring a spouse and/or children to the U.S., you must request DS-2019s for each of your dependents by reaching out to your department contact. They will discuss your eligibility with OISS and then refer you to complete the necessary paperwork. The department will submit the application paperwork to OISS as part of their hosting responsibilities. In addition to these requirements, you will need to submit the following:

J-2 dependents are permitted to study and also to work with USCIS permission. Find more information on J-2 dependent immigration status on our Visas for Spouses or Children page.

Out of country

If you will be completing your program objectives outside of the U.S. on a temporary basis, you will need to complete the out of country process. This option allows J-1 sponsors to document that the professor or research scholar is continuing to participate in their EV program outside of the U.S. Your SEVIS record remains active during this period. Before leaving the country, reach out to your department contact. They will discuss your eligibility with OISS and then refer you to complete the necessary paperwork. The department will submit the application paperwork to OISS as part of their hosting responsibilities. In addition to these requirements, you will need to submit the following:

As the sponsor, OISS may be required to explain how you are pursuing your J-1 activities and maintaining your immigration status outside of the U.S. You must also maintain DOS-required insurance coverage while outside of the U.S. The sponsor is required to monitor and confirm the following:

  • EV’s address and phone number
  • welfare of EV
  • site of activity in SEVIS
  • program progress (OISS is required to terminate your SEVIS record if you fail to pursue your EV program objective)

When your program at WashU ends

Before leaving WashU, you should give appropriate notice to your department. Your department will then notify OISS. If you will be completing your program at WashU more than 15 days early, reach out to your department contact. They will discuss and refer you to complete the necessary paperwork. The department will submit the application paperwork to OISS as part of their hosting responsibilities. In addition to these requirements, you will need to submit the following:

Both OISS and the Department of State (DOS) would like to hear about your J-1 program experience before it ends. Please take a few minutes to complete the J-1 End of Program Evaluation. Your responses will provide OISS and DOS with feedback needed to improve experiences for current and future J-1 EVs at WashU.

If you are staying in the U.S. and transferring to another institution

You must contact OISS before you leave the university. You will need to provide OISS with the name of your new institution, and the phone number and email address of the adviser who oversees the J-1 program. OISS will contact your new J-1 program sponsor to arrange your SEVIS transfer. You must transfer before the end date on your DS-2019.

If you are leaving the U.S.

J-1 scholars have a 30-day grace period following the DS-2019 end date or the program end date, whichever is sooner. During the 30-day grace period, you are not allowed to carry out J-1 activities. Travel and re-entry to the U.S., even from Canada or Mexico, is not allowed during the grace period.

The 30-day grace period is only for J-1 exchange visitors who have completed their J-1 program, and not for those who have been terminated in SEVIS. If you are uncertain if you qualify for the grace period, please speak to your scholar adviser at OISS.

Review tax information before leaving the U.S., as you are responsible for filing tax forms in April even if you are no longer in the U.S.

When you leave the U.S., keep all of your original visa documents for your records. Print your updated I-94 record.