Maintaining Status

Remember, maintaining your status is your responsibility. By signing your immigration documents, you have indicated that you agree to comply with the terms and conditions of your admission and those of any extension of stay. You also certify that all information provided on your immigration documents is true and correct to the best of your knowledge. You certify that you seek to enter or remain in the United States temporarily, solely for the purpose of completing the program at the institution indicated on your immigration documents.

Points to remember

  • Attend a mandatory Immigration Check-in at OISS. Please bring all of your immigration documentation with you. For J-1 visa holders, please also bring your insurance verification documentation.
  • Maintain a valid passport at all times, unless exempt from passport requirements. Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months into the future. Please submit a copy of your updated passport to OISS at http://bit.ly/oissdocs
  • Depart by the date indicated on your I-94. Do not overstay, be sure to request an extension if you will need to stay beyond the date indicated on your I-94.
  • Report a change of address within 10 days of the change by updating your addressed in ESTHER. If you are on a visa other than F-1 or J-1, you must also submit the USCIS Form AR-11, since your address with not be directly reported via SEVIS.
  • Report any life event that may affect your immigration status such as birth of a child, marriage, change of legal name, divorce or death.
  • Report your program completion so that OISS may close your SEVIS record. Be sure to submit an online Departure Form.
  • Do not engage in criminal activity.
  • File taxes. You will need to file taxes for the time you are in the U.S. regardless as to whether you earned income or not. Please see our Tax webpage for more information.
  • Keep all immigration documents in your records. It is very important that you keep all immigration documents in a safe place. Do not throw away any immigration forms even after you receive an updated version. You may need these documents in the future if applying for an immigration benefit, a different immigration status, or permanent residency.
  • Learn about the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds final rule at https://www.uscis.gov/green-card/green-card-processes-and-procedures/public-charge.

Specific points for J-1 Exchange Visitors

  • Special Regulations for J-1 Scholars – including the Repeat Participation Bars and the Two-Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement (212e).
  • U.S. Department of State Welcome Brochure.
  • Rights and Protections for Temporary Workers.
  • Maintain health insurance that meets the J-1 Exchange Visitor requirements for yourself and any J-2 dependents. Please see our Health Insurance page for more information.
  • Conduct employment only as indicated on the DS-2019. Never work off-campus unless you have current work authorization from an OISS advisor or DHS (Department of Homeland Security). You must have a letter authorizing you to engage in incidental employment or consultations with other employers prior to the employment / research taking place. All off-campus employment has a beginning and ending date.
  • Make normal progress towards completing the program. You need to apply for an extension if you cannot complete your program before the completion date on your DS-2019. There is no extension allowed after the expiration date of the DS-2019, and you will have to apply for reinstatement with the Department of Homeland Security if you stay beyond the expiration date without an extension granted on time.
  • Keep Form DS-2019 current. Don’t let it expire and make sure all the information on your DS-2019 is accurate and valid. Obtain a new DS-2019 whenever any information has changed.
  • Obtain a travel endorsement on your DS-2019 from OISS before traveling. The endorsement for travel should be done during the current semester. It is not necessary if you are returning home permanently. A DS-2019 is no longer valid for re-entry once you complete the program listed on your DS-2019, even if it has not expired.
  • Notify OISS if you plan to complete your program early.
  • J-1 visa holders are granted a 30-day grace period to depart the U.S. upon completion of their program as listed on their DS-2019. No work is allowed during the grace period.

Specific points for H-1Bs

  • H-1B Visas are employer-specific. Do not work at another employer unless you have obtained proper work authorization.

For additional resources regarding your immigration status, or information for the regulations about working on a visa other than listed above, please contact OISS.