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Duration of Status

There are maximum limits to the length of stay for each category of the Exchange Visitor Program. It is important to remember that the end dates of appointment on the application form should be limited to the length of time that is currently funded.

Maintaining J-1 Exchange Visitor Status

To maintian your Exchange Visitors J-1 status, you must only engage in activities permitted under your program and category as described on your DS-2019. If you fail to comply with these requirements, there can be serious long-term consequences.

To maintain your J-1 status, you must:

  • Maintain required documentation, including a valid SEVIS DS-2019, passport, and I-94.
  • Observe "Duration of Status" or end date listed at item 3 on Form DS-2019.
  • Do not accept unauthorized employment. Unauthorized employment is a violation of your program status and may cause your J-1 visa to to be terminated.
  • If offered a comparable position at another college or university, discuss the opportunity with an IPS advisor beforehand to make sure the transfer is possible.
  • Maintain health insurance coverage for yourself and J-2 dependents during the entire time you participate in an Exchange Visitor Program. Insurance coverage must meet the requirements of the U.S. Department of State or backed by the full faith and credit of the government of the Exchange Visitor’s home country.

Change to a Different J Category

A change of category represents a change of objective. "Any change of category must be clearly consistent with and closely related to the participant’s original exchange objective and necessary due to very unusual or exceptional circumstances." A request for category change must be submitted to the Exchange Visitor Program at the Department of State by the participant’s sponsor. The approval for a change of category is difficult to obtain.