Maintaining Status For Scholars

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.

For additional resources regarding your immigration status, or information for the regulations about working on a visa other than listed below, please contact OISS. For information about maintaining status as a student, please see https://oiss.rice.edu/maintaining-status.

F-1 Scholars

Abide by the terms of your employment authorization

F-1 scholars may work at Rice under three different kinds of work authorization, including CPT, OPT, and STEM OPT. For details regarding each category see our F-1 Scholar page.

Report change of address or employment within 10 days

Update your Rice account in imagineOne with your new address, but be sure to also update your SEVP Student Portal (if on a Rice-sponsored F-1 OPT/STEM OPT) or contact your sponsor DSO to report your change of address.

Maintain passport valid 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.

Travel abroad requires a travel endorsement on the I-20 by your DSO

Contact your DSO to request a travel signature on your most recent I-20. Rice's OISS may only sign I-20s for F-1s sponsored by Rice University.

Do not engage in criminal activity

In additional to other legal consequences, your immigration status may be affected as well. For more information, please see https://oiss.rice.edu/legal.

Report any life event that may affect your immigration status

This includes birth of a child, marriage, change of legal name, divorce or death.

File your annual income tax return in April every year

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.

Depart the U.S. at the conclusion of your F-1 status

F-1 visa holders have a 60-day grace period at end of F-1 status to depart the U.S., unless you have obtained an extension of your status or you are pending change of status adjudication to another visa category. Please notify OISS of your departure by submitting an online Departure Form.

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.

J-1 Exchange Visitors

Maintain health insurance for you and your dependents for the duration of your J-1 program

J-1 exchange visitors are required to maintain health insurance that meets the federal regulatory requirements for the duration of their status. Please visit our scholar health insurance page for details.

Maintain normal progress toward completing your exchange program

This includes full-time employment (minimum 32 hours/week), attending cultural activities (see OISS events calendar), and securing an extension prior to the end date on your DS-2019 if you are unable to complete on time.

If needed, request extension of program before your DS-2019 end date

J-1 scholars can extend their research/teaching activities if they are unable to complete the program within the original intended time. J-1 scholars must work with their hosting department to request an extension to their program, but are limited by the maximum extension of stay of their J-1 visa category. No extensions are allowed after the expiration date of the DS-2019.

J-1 Program Category Limits:

  • J-1 Professors and Researcher Scholars have a 5-year time limit
  • J-1 Short-term Scholars have a 6-month time limit
  • J-1 Specialists have a 12-month time limit
  • J-1 Non-degree students have a 24-month time limit

Only engage in employment outlined on DS-2019

J-1 scholars are authorized only for the employment associated with the activities indicated on the DS-2019 and within the timeframe outlined on the DS-2019. No outside employment is permitted unless the OISS specifically authorizes it in advance and in writing, including incidental employment or consultations with other employers.

Keep Form DS-2019 current

Make sure all the information on your DS-2019 is accurate and valid. Obtain a new DS-2019 whenever any information has changed.

Notify OISS if there is any change to your site of activity

Email OISS the name and address of your proposed site of activity. OISS must approve the change or addition, update SEVIS, and issue you a revised DS-2019 before the change can occur.

Update your Rice account with any change of address or phone number within 10 days

Update your Rice account in imagineOne with your new address or phone number.

Maintain a your passport valid 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.

Travel abroad requires an endorsement on your DS-2019

Contact 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.

File your annual income tax return in April every year

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.

Depart the U.S. on time and 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. If you complete your program early, OISS will update your DS-2019 and your SEVIS record with your new end date. If your J-1 status is terminated, there is no grace period to depart the U.S.

J-2 dependents who have permanently departed the U.S. should have their SEVIS record closed. Please report their early departure to OISS.

Please report your departure or your dependent's departure via the OISS Online Departure Form.

Notify OISS within 24 hours of any serious event or problem

OISS is required to notify the Department of State promptly of any serious problem or controversy which could be expected to bring the Department of State or the sponsor's program into notoriety or disrepute. This includes any hospitalization, serious accident or injury, involvement in a crime (whether as a victim or as the perpetrator), or any potential litigation related to Rice’s J-1 program in which you may be a named party.

J-2 dependent benefits and requirements

  • J-2s may attend school part-time or full-time.
  • J-2s may participate in Rice cultural activities and are encouraged to attend dependent orientation and events.
  • J-2 spouses may apply for work authorization by filing Form I-765 with the appropriate fee and supporting documents to USCIS. If USCIS grants work authorization, then any kind of work is permitted during the approved period as indicated on Employment Authorization card (EAD), as long as the J-1 principal remains in status. If the J-1 violates status, changes to another non-immigrant class, or leaves the J program, the work authorization and status for the J-2 dependent also terminates. Work authorization extensions are also possible by submitting a new I-765 application to USCIS with supporting documentation, including proof of extension of the J-1 principal. For details on how to apply for work authorization, visit J-2 Work Authorization Procedures.
  • A J-2 dependent who works without authorization is out of status and must be terminated, even when the J-1 still may be in status.

J-1 Exchange Visitor special regulations

J-1 regulations have specific stipulations regarding repeat participation for certain J-1 categories, as well as a two-year home country physical presence requirement (212(e)) for J-1s in specific fields from specific countries. For more information, please see the "Leaving Rice University" section at https://oiss.rice.edu/jscholar.

U.S. Department of State Welcome Brochure

U.S. Department of State Welcome Brochure is available online.

Rights and Protections for Temporary Workers

Rights and Protections for Temporary Workers

H-1B Scholars

H-1B Visas are employer-specific

Do not work at another employer unless you have obtained proper work authorization.

Discuss any changes to your H-1B employment with HR and OISS prior to the change taking place

Changes to your position, title, move to a new department, responsibilities, work location(s), salary (other than normal annual merit adjustments), concurrent employment proposals, and promotions, etc. may require updates to your H-1B and must be approved in advance.

Extensions of status must be timely filed

H-1B extensions must be petitioned to USCIS and may be filed up to 6 months in advance. Please note that H-1B temporary workers can generally remain in this immigration status no more than six (6) years. H-1B extensions are given in increments of 3 years or fewer. Please see H-1B manual for details on the process.

Maintain a your passport valid 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.

Update your Rice account with any change of address or phone number within 10 days

Update your Rice account in imagineOne with your new address or phone number. As an H-1B visa holder, you must also file USCIS Form AR-11 within 10 days of your address change.

Contact OISS before traveling outside the U.S.

We can help you make sure you have all the right documents for travel. Upon return to the U.S., please upload your I-94 and any new documents or visa stamps to http://bit.ly/oissdocs.

File your annual income tax return in April every year

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.

Depart the U.S. on time and notify OISS if you plan to complete your program early

Employment authorization and H-1B status ends on the earliest of the following dates:

  • The ending date of authorized stay noted on the I-94.
  • The ending date on the I-797 Approval Notice.
  • The actual date that employment ends.

The H-1B status can include an additional 10 day grace period if indicated on the I-94 record. Please note that no employment is authorized during this 10-day grace period. If employment ends prior to the validity period indicated on the Form I-797, USCIS can grant a 60-day grace period during which you may depart the United State, file for change of status, or be sponsored for H-1B by another employer.

Please notify OISS regarding your departure by completing the OISS Online Departure Form.

H-4 dependent benefits and requirements

  • H-4s may attend school part-time or full-time.
  • H-4s may participate in Rice cultural activities and are encouraged to attend dependent orientation and events.
  • H-4 dependent spouse or child is in status only while the H-1B is in status. The H-4 dependents cannot remain in the U.S. if the H-1 principal leaves the U.S. for an extended period of time.
  • H-4 dependents are not permitted to work (special exception may apply if H-1B visa holder has an approved I-140). An H-4 dependent who works without authorization has violated status even though the H-1B still may be in status.