Maintaining J-1 Status

A J-1 visa is issued to a participant in an Exchange Visitor Program approved by the U.S. Department of State.  Participants can be in one of the following categories: student, research scholar, professor, short-term scholar, alien physician, or trainee.  To obtain a J-1 visa, an individual must be accepted by a U.S. institution and then issued the Certificate of Eligibility (DS-2019) by the sponsoring agency.  Missouri State University is authorized to issue the DS-2019 to students who qualify to enter the United States under the University's J-1 exchange program.  The University also receives students sponsored by other agencies such as IIE, AMIDEAST, LASPAU and others.

Students must maintain legal status throughout their program while studying under a J-1 visa.  The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 emphasizes the need for students to take responsibility for maintaining J-1 student status.

Key Guidelines

It is important to communicate regularly with your sponsor regarding any changes in your major or program of study, travel outside the United States or possible transfer to another institution. Also, if you intend to work during your program of study, you will need to contact your sponsor for employment authorization.

You and your dependents are required by federal regulations to have adequate health insurance coverage while in the U.S. The regulations are very specific about the amount of minimum coverage for each person included in the policy: $100,000 per accident or illness; $25,000 repatriation; $50,000 medical evacuation; deductible may not exceed $500; co-insurance may not exceed 25% of covered benefits per a accident or illness.

For information about J-1 and J-2 visas, visit the U.S. Department of State website.