Office of International Students and Scholars

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Information for Current J-1 Students


How to Stay in Status

It is extremely important for a J-1 exchange visitor to maintain his or her status while in the U.S. Failure to maintain status is a ground for removal from the U.S. (deportation). Exchange visitors maintain their J-1 status by engaging only in activities permitted under their program and category, filing timely and appropriate transfer and extension notifications, refraining from unauthorized employment, and maintaining required health insurance coverage. Each category will have additional specific requirements.

• Exchange visitors are required to maintain the following documents at all times:

          - valid DS-2019

          - valid passport

• Exchange visitors must study, teach, or conduct research at the institution listed on the DS-2019.

• Exchange visitor students must be pursuing a full course of study (12 units undergraduate, 9 units graduate).

• Exchange visitors must carry health insurance for both themself and their dependents (J-2s), if any. The insurance must be maintained throughout the program period on the DS-2019 and must offer repatriation and evacuation benefits.

• Exchange visitors must report a change of address to The Office of International Services within 10 days of the move.

• Exchange visitors must not remain in the U.S. longer than 30 days after completing the activity for which they have been invited to participate in at USD.

• Exchange visitors must check in with The Office of International Services as soon as they arrive to validate program participation.


Health Insurance Requirements

All J-1 exchange students and visiting scholars must demonstrate health insurance coverage for their time at USD.  Please refer to the Health Insurance section of our website for more details about this requirement. Please get in touch with OISS if:

  1. You have applied for Academic Training and would like to continue coverage with the University's health plan
  2. You are a student studying abroad next semester; or
  3. You are a student returning to USD next semester either from study abroad or from a Leave of Absence

For students who have waived the University's health plan, please remember that you will need to fill-out the online waiver every school year (before the start of the Fall semester)


International Student J-1 Employment

J-1 students/scholars must request for authorization before engaging in any type of employment. Please refer to theInternational Student J-1 Employment Section for more information.


International Student and Scholar Handbook

The International Student and Scholar Handbook is a great resource for your pre-departure planning.  This handbook covers topics such as finding a place to live in San Diego, purchasing or renting a car, opening a bank account, etc.