It is important that all J-1 scholars understand and abide by the immigration regulations as outlined below.
To enter the US you will need the following:
Note: Canadian citizens do not need US visas.
Please be advised that you may not enter the US more than 30 days prior to the start date on the DS-2019.
When you enter the US, you will receive an I-94 card marked "J-1" and "D/S" (duration of status). Please enter your name on the I-94 card exactly as it appears on your US visa.
All new scholars are required to check in with the OISS (240 Student Center) prior to the start date on your DS-2019 or within 5 business days of your arrival, as required by the US Department of Homeland Security.
Maintaining status is necessary in order to receive the benefits of J-1 status such as employment and program extension. Failure to maintain your non-immigrant status can result in serious problems and could lead to deportation from the US.
There are several important things scholars must do to maintain their immigration status:
Dependents are defined as spouse and minor children less than 21 years of age. Each dependent will have their own DS-2019, which will be used to obtain their J-2 visa at the U.S. embassy/consulate and for entry into the US. Persons in J-2 status are able to apply to the U.S. government for employment authorization and may engage in full-time
When an J-1 scholar completes their program as outline on the DS-2019, they are allowed a 30-day grace period during which the J-1 and any J-2 dependents may stay within the US, but are not allowed to work or to re-enter the US in J status.
In general, J-1 scholars must file federal tax forms for every year
they are inside the US, whether money was earned, or not. See the Taxes section of this website for more information.
This requirement states that if you have received funding from your home government or the U.S. government, or you are from a country on the U.S. Department of State "skills list", you may be subject to the Foreign Residency Requirement. For the skills list, see http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/study-exchange/exchange/exchange-visitor-skills-list.html. If you are subject to the requirement, you are unable to change your visa status in the United States. You are also unable to obtain an H, L, and K visa or Permanent Status until you have spent an aggregate of two years in your home country. The requirement, however, does not prevent you from reentering the US under other common visa categories, like F-student or B-tourist. For information on waiving this requirement, please see: http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/info/info_1296.html
J-visa scholars in the Professor and Research categories may not be in the United States in J-visa status for any part of the 12-month period preceding the start date of their programs, indicated on their Form DS-2019. The 12-month bar is waived if the participant was present in the United States no more than six month
J-visa scholars in the Professor and Research categories are not eligible to return to the United States in the Professor or Research scholar category for a period of 24 months immediately following J program completion.