Maintaining J-1 Scholar Status

In order to maintain J-1 scholar status, the J-1 visa holder must do the following:

  1. Maintain a valid passport.
  2. Use only the DS-2019 that was issued by Missouri State University.
  3. Keep a valid DS-2019 and renew the DS-2019 BEFORE it expires.
  4. Only engage in the activities stated in the DS-2019.
  5. Acquire and maintain health insurance at all times. If the J-1 holder receives health benefits as part of the employment package, the J-1 holder will still need to purchase additional health insurance coverage to fulfill the J-1 regulation requirements. If the J-1 holder has dependents, the J-1 holder must acquire and maintain insurance for their dependents as well.
  6. Apply for any extensions within 30 days of the expiration date on your DS-2019.
  7. Keep your address updated and provide address and status changes to the English Language Institute within 10 days of the change.
  8. Leave the United States within 30 days of the completion of your J-1 program OR apply for a change of non-immigrant status. Applying to change to another non-immigrant visa category must take place prior to the expiration date of your DS-2019.

There are specific rules for J-1 Scholar program and the scholar should learn those rules to make sure that he/she is in compliance with the Exchange Visitor program. There are specific activities that the J-1 should not do and/or engage in during their J-1 program because it may impact their ability to remain in the United States and/or complete the program.

  1. J-1 holder should not let their health insurance expire or cancel their plan.
  2. The J-1 holder should not take a leave of absence or travel outside the United States without receiving approval from the English Language Institute Office.
  3. Enroll in courses without the approval of the English Language Institute. However, a J-1 scholar is not allowed to enroll in any degree-seeking program.

If the Missouri State University is not the J-1 holder’s sponsoring institution, the J-1 holder should contact their sponsor for specifics regarding the sponsor’s requirements for maintaining J-1 status because the sponsor may have additional requirement than those outlined by the US Department of State.