J-1 Exchange Students

Learn more about the USD Undergraduate Exchange Program.

To ensure that your exchange semester(s) is a fruitful and rewarding one, please carefully review the following rules & policies regarding your J-1 status: 

  • Full-time enrollment:
    • 12 credits minimum for undergraduate exchange students
    • 9 credits minimum for graduate exchange students, including degree-seeking J-1 scholarship-based students
    • *For exchange students (non-degree-seeking) only: Summer/Intersession enrollment is not permitted as it’s not part of the exchange agreement.
  • Reporting Responsibility
    • Within 10 days: Change of address/contact information (email & phone number)
    • Within 24 hours: Critical incident(s) report, such as hospitalization, arrest by law enforcement, violation of local/state/federal laws
  • Employment
    • Written authorization required from your J-1 advisor at OISS prior to the start of the employment/training regardless of whether you have a Social Security Number already or not, such as:
      • On-campus employment
      • Off-campus employment
  • Ending the program
    • Up to 30 days of grace period to remain in the U.S. after the completion of your J-1 program.
    • Traveling to neighboring countries (Mexico/Canada): you may not re-enter as a J-1 student if you travel outside of the U.S. during your 30-day grace period. You may, however, re-enter as a visitor if you have a valid B1/B2 visa or if you are from a visa waiver country.
  • Frequently Asked Questions:
    • DS-2019 Expiration Date:
      • Do I need to extend my DS-2019 with OISS if I am not able to finish my program by the expiration date of the DS-2019?  Yes.
      • Do I need to extend my DS-2019 with OISS if I will finish my program by the expiration date of the DS-2019?  No.  
    • I would like to do an internship in the U.S. after I finish my program.  Is it possible? Yes, you may pursue an internship immediately following your exchange program if the internship meets certain guidelines and you have prior authorization from a J-1 advisor at OISS. You will need to meet with a J-1 advisor at OISS to discuss the process and procedure at least 8 weeks before your DS-2019 expiration date.
    • What is the 212(e) printed on my J-1 visa page? 212(e) is a two-year home residency requirement to allow you to return to your home country and share what you have learned and experiences during your exchange semester(s) in the U.S. However, if you want to apply for working visas or permanent residency within the this two-year period, you will need to file a 212(e) waiver.  For more information, please check <https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/study-exchange/student/residency-waiver.html.html>