Maintaining Your J-1 Status
The United States welcomes international students and exchange visitors who come to study here. To ensure that you don't jeopardize your immigration status, it is important that you understand and comply with the requirements governing your stay.
To maintain your J-1 status you must:
- Enroll as a full-time student every semester (see below for full-time enrollment requirements)
- Check in with ISS at the beginning of every semester and within ten days of returning from travel abroad
- Make sure ISS has photocopies of your current passport (must be valid within six months at all times), visa, and I-94 card
- Update my.newschool.edu as a means of notifying ISS if you move, change your address, or change your contact information. You must update your information within ten days of the change.
- Attend ISS Orientation
- Obtain work authorization for any on- or off-campus employment before you start working
- Read all ISS communication sent to your New School email account
- Ensure that all the information on your DS-2019 is correct, and submit requests for changes in program completion date before the DS-2019 expires. You must make changes in major and education level before the start of the next semester.
- Inform ISS if you take a Leave of Absence
- Obtain a valid travel signature from ISS every academic year (spring and fall semesters)
- Notify ISS of any accompanying dependents
- Obey all U.S. laws
- File taxes each spring during your stay in the U.S.
- Complete the official transfer process if you intend to transfer to another school
- Pay attention to the 30-day grace period you have after you complete your studies to leave the U.S., apply for academic training, or change to a different immigration status
Full-time enrollment requirements
- Undergraduate = 12 credits
- Graduate at Parsons and Mannes = 12 credits (Exception: History of Decorative Arts = 9 credits)
- All other graduate programs = 9 credits
- Film Production Certificate = 3 courses
- Documentary Media Certificate = 9 credits
- ESL = 18 hours of class weekly
You must have official permission from an ISS advisor to:
- Drop below full-time course load
- Withdraw from your program of study
- Take a leave of absence
- Work on- or off-campus (internship or practical training)
- Extend your program of study
Most Common Immigration Violations
Any of the following will cause an international to be in violation of their non-immigrant status. Pay close attention and make sure that none of these happen to you:
- Enrolling less than full time
- Unauthorized employment
- Allowing DS-2019 to become outdated
- Allowing a passport to become outdated
- Changing your program without updating your DS-2019
Who is Responsible for Knowing the Rules?
You Are! It is your responsibility to know the rules that affect your status. Please contact ISS if you need more information. You may also need to contact the institution that helped you gain your status. The U.S. government will hold you accountable to know the rules, to understand them, and to follow them. ISS can help by making the information available to you through this website and through publications but only you can educate yourself about the regulations and seek advice as needed. Help us to help you. If at any time you are unsure about the rules, ask questions and keep asking until you understand your rights and responsibilities. ISS is here to help.
Maintain Adequate Health Insurance
All J-1 Exchange Visitors are required to have health/medical insurance in effect for themselves and any accompanying dependents in J-2 status for the entire time that they are in the U.S. as Exchange Visitors. Minimum insurance coverage must provide:
- Benefits of $50,000 per person per year or accident
- Repatriation of remains in the amount of $7,500
- Medical evacuation of the Exchange Visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $10,000
- Deductible limited to $500 per accident or illness
The New School health insurance plan meets these minimums, but it cannot be used to cover your dependent(s). For more information about The New School health insurance plan for students, please contact the Student Health Insurance Manager Jeanette Krupinsky in Student Health Services, 135 East 12th Street, at 212.229.1671. If you plan to bring a dependent, ask ISS about our packet of brochures from private health insurance companies. J-1 students must have appropriate health insurance which meets the minimum requirements set by the U.S. Department of State. It is highly recommended that your insurance plan is reviewed by the Student Health Insurance Manager to ensure comparable coverage. Note to graduate students: We do not recommend waiving the health insurance fee or the plan unless you have comparable coverage.
Comply with the Two-Year Home Residency Requirement
Also known as “212(e),” this requires some individuals who enter the U.S. to return to their home countries for at least two years before they can qualify for the following: H, L, and immigrant visas. However, even with 212(e) in effect, internationals can still apply for B Tourist and Business visitor visas, F Student visas, and J Exchange Visitor visas. This residency requirement is noted on the bottom left-hand corner of the Exchange Visitor’s DS-2019 upon entry to the U.S. All Exchange Visitors who are sponsored by their home government or the U.S. government and those who have skills that are listed as highly valued in their home country are subject to this requirement.
J-1 COMPLIANCE UNIT CONTACT INFORMATION
United States Department of State
Office of Exchange Coordination and Designation
ECA/EC/AG - SA-44, room 820
301 4th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20547
Please feel free to contact Mr. Martinez or Ms. Dickerson at this email address if you have any questions or concerns.
DOS. The Department of State is the branch of government that administers the Exchange Visitor Program.
The Exchange Visitor Program. This is the official name of the program for which an individual is issued a DS-2019 and granted J-1 status.
Program Sponsor. This is the institution or agency, authorized by DOS, and that has issued your Form DS-2019. You must report to this institution to comply with J-1 regulations.
Responsible Officer (RO). This is the individual at the sponsoring institution authorized to approve all program activities of J-1 exchange visitors. The RO at The New School can be reached at International Student Services.
Exchange Visitors. Individuals granted entry to the U.S. on an Exchange Visitor Program.
DHS. The Department of Homeland Security is a branch of the government office which has authority over all aliens in the U.S.
DS-2019. This is the form issued by your sponsoring institution. You use it to obtain and renew J-1 visa and J-1 exchange visitor status. It states your program sponsor, dates authorized in the program, and your classification. The dates on the Form DS-2019 must be kept valid.
Passport. Your home country issues this document. This document is valuable and must be kept in a safe place. Replacement and renewal can be done through your home country’s consul here in New York City. A passport must be kept valid for up to six months after your intended stay in the U.S.
Visa. This is the entry permit stamped or affixed to a page inside your passport by a U.S. consular officer. It is only used to enter the U.S. and does not need to be renewed while you are in this country. However an expired visa must be renewed if you go outside the U.S. and seek to return. A new visa can only be obtained outside the U.S.
I-94 Card. This is the 3” x 4” white card stapled in your passport near your visa, received upon entry to the U.S. It shows the date and place of your most recent U.S. entry and is used by DHS to record when you enter and leave the U.S. This is surrendered to DHS or an airline employee each time you leave the U.S.
Admission Number. This is the 11-digit number assigned to you by DHS. It is on the I-94 card you received when you first entered the U.S. You will keep this same number during your time as an Exchange Visitor in the U.S.
D/S. This notation on your I-94 card stands for “Duration of Status.” D/S signifies that you have been admitted to the U.S. for the period during which you are pursuing a full course of study with a valid Form DS-2019 plus a 30-day period within which you must depart the U.S. or begin academic training.
Social Security Number. This important tax identification number is required of all employees in the U.S. An application and information on how/where to apply is available from International Student Services.