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Important Information about J visa status

Entering the U.S. (DS-2019 and J-1 Visa)

You will need a form DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitors), a valid J-1 visa (the visa page in your passport) issued by the U.S. embassy/consulate overseas*, a valid passport, and your SEVIS fee receipt to enter the U.S. as a J-1 student. Please be advised that you may not enter the U.S. more than 30 days prior to the start date on your DS-2019. Your entry into the U.S. will be recorded electronically on form I-94 card and marked “J-1” and “D/S” (duration of status). You will need to print this out when you report into Shepherd.

*Please note that Canadian citizens do not need U.S. visas to enter the U.S; rather, they will present their form DS-2019 and other immigration documents at the port of entry.

Maintaining Legal J-1 Status

As an J-1 student, you must meet certain obligations in order to maintain legal immigration status and to receive the benefits of J-1 status, such as employment and program extension, and to be eligible for a change or adjustment of status in the future. Failure to maintain your non-immigrant status can result in serious problems with immigration and could lead to deportation from the U.S. Due to the complexity of U.S. immigration regulations, we recommend that you consult with International Student Affairs anytime you have questions or concerns related to your J-1 status.

To maintain lawful status, a J-1 student must:

Grace Period

When a J-1 student successfully completes his/her academic program or subsequent period of Academic Training, there is a 30-day grace period during which the J-1 student and any J-2 dependents may stay in the U.S. This allows for pleasure travel within the U.S. or preparations for departure. During this period the J-1 student may not work or travel internationally with the intent to reenter in J-1 status.

Students who leave their program for any reason prior to completion might not be eligible for a grace period.  Consult with International Student Affairs if you have questions!