International Scholar Relations

Maintaining J-1 Visa Status

International Scholars maintain their J-1 status by engaging only in activities permitted under their program and category, filing timely and appropriate transfers and extension notifications, refraining from unauthorized employment, and maintaining required health insurance coverage. Each category will have additional specific requirements.

The following chart is quick-reference check list for maintaining J-1 status.


Required Actions


SEVIS ValidationReport to the RO/ARO of the International Scholar program;  participation validated no later than 10 days after program start date.

Maintain required documentation

International Scholars are at all times expected to maintain:

  • Valid DS-2019
  • Valid Passport
  • 1-94 marked “D/S”
Duration of StatusD/S stands for “duration of status” and refers to the program period listed at item 3 on Form DS-2019, “plus a period of 30 days for the purpose of travel…”
Engage in appropriate activitiesEach J-1 category has a definition and expectations for the activities of the International Scholar, which must be met. For example, a student is expected to carry a full-time course of study, a researcher or professor is here to perform research or teach.
Be employed only with authorizationUnauthorized employment is a violation of program status. An International Scholar’s participation is subject to termination when he or she engages in unauthorized employment.
Carry adequate health insuranceEvery J-1 International Scholar and j-2 dependent is required to obtain health insurance which meets the minimum requirements specified. This insurance must be maintained throughout the entire period of program participation.

Report change of address to RO/ARO within 10 days of change

All exchange visitors must report changes in address within 10 days of the change. J-1 International Scholarscomply with this requirement by notifying the RO/ARO at J1Program@westernu.edu of the address change. The RO/ARO will, in turn, update the visitor’s SEVIS record with the new address within 21 days.

 Updated:  August 2015