• ISSS is here to help and advise you regarding these general rules, which are based on the U.S. government regulations for F-1 and J-1 students. Please note that it is ultimately your responsibility to know, understand, and follow the rules that affect your immigration status.


    • Online check-in: Complete at iglobal.newschool.edu during the first ten days after your arrival at the beginning of your studies, after returning from a leave of absence, or after changing educational levels.
    • Read your New School email! ISSS emails contain important information regarding your status.
    • Inform ISSS: Notify ISSS about matters like address changes (within ten days), an updated passport, changes in immigration status, study abroad, and changes in number of dependents.   
    • Watch expiration dates: Apply to ISSS for an extension before your I-20 or DS-2019 expires. 
    • File U.S. tax forms: Each year you are present in the United States, you must file tax forms, even if you’ve had no income.
    • Obey all New School rules and U.S. laws: Contact ISSS if you fail to do so.



    • Requirements are 12 credits for undergraduate students and 9 credits for graduate students; ESL students must take four courses (18 hours of class per week).
    • Grades of Z (unofficial withdrawal) and W (official withdrawal) and audits do not count toward full-time enrollment.
    • Only one online course (up to 3 credits) counts toward full-time enrollment per semester.
    • Obtain permission from ISSS before dropping below full-time enrollment.



    • On-campus employment: F-1 students do not need authorization; J-1 students need authorization before beginning work. Work is limited to 20 hours per week when classes are in session and 40 hours a week during vacations.
    • Off-campus employment: Both F-1 and J-1 students need ISSS authorization before beginning work.
    • Internships: F-1 students should consult the Experience Office for authorization; J-1 students should contact ISSS.
    • Volunteering: This must be a truly volunteer activity, one that brings no benefit to you, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
    • Optional Practical Training (OPT): A benefit allowing F-1 students to work up to one year after graduation. You must meet eligibility requirements and maintain your status.
    • Academic Training: A benefit allowing  J-1 students to work. You must meet eligibility requirements and maintain your status.



    • I-20 or DS-2019 signatures: Documents must be signed by ISSS before travel. Signatures are valid for 12 months for enrolled students and for six months for students on OPT.
    • Valid documents: Your passport must be valid at least six months into the future at all times; your visa in your passport must be valid to enter the United States in F or J status.



    • Changing majors or educational levels (e.g., from BA to MS): Inform ISSS before the start of the next semester
    • Academic dismissal: Inform ISSS promptly to receive advising about the status of your immigration record.
    • Leave of Absence: Consult ISSS immediately; you must submit a University Exit Form.
    • Changing educational institutions: Consult with ISSS and your transfer-in institution to complete the official immigration transfer process.
    • Reducing your course load: You must have ISSS authorization to drop below full-time status.
    • Extending your program: Inform ISSS promptly, before your I-20 or DS-2019 expires, if you need additional time to finish your academic program.
    • Plans after graduating: Inform ISSS whether you will apply for OPT or Academic Training, gain admission to another academic program for the next available term, or apply for a Change of Status to another non-immigration status

    Most Common Immigration Violations

    Any of the following will cause internationals to be in violation of their non-immigrant status. 

    • Enrolling less than full-time
    • Working without authorization
    • Allowing I-20 to expire
    • Allowing a passport to expire
    • Changing your program without updating your I-20


    Who Is Responsible for Knowing the Rules?

    You are. It is your responsibility to know the rules that affect your status. Please contact ISSS 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. ISSS 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 help you. If at any time you are unsure about the rules, ask questions and keep asking until you understand your rights and responsibilities. ISSS 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 United States 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. 

    Bringing a Dependent

    If you plan to bring a dependent, ask ISSS about our packet of brochures from private health insurance companies. J-1 students must have appropriate health insurance that meets the minimum requirements set by the U.S. Department of State. We strongly recommend that your insurance plan be 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 United States to return to their home countries for at least two years before they can qualify for 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 United States. 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
    Telephone: 202.203.5029
    Fax: 202.453.8640
    Email: JVisas@state.gov

  • Important Terms for Individuals in J-1 Status

    Department of State (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. Visit the Exchange Visitor Program page

    Program Sponsor

    This is the institution or agency, authorized by DOS, 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 ISSS.

    Exchange Visitors

    Individuals granted entry to the U.S. on an Exchange Visitor Program.

    Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

    The Department of Homeland Security is a branch of the government office that has authority over all aliens in the U.S.


    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.


    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. Your passport must be kept valid for up to six months after your intended stay in the U.S.


    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 plan to return. A new visa can only be obtained outside the U.S.

    I-94 Admission Record

    This is your electronic admission record to the U.S., which is retrieved from www.cbp.gov/i94 after arrival in 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 record. You will keep this same number during your time as an exchange visitor in the U.S., unless you travel outside of the U.S.


    This notation on your I-94 record 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 and where to apply is available from ISSS.