Immigration Advising

Maintaining Your J-1 Status

Obtaining a DS-2019 and J-1 visa does not assure your student status in the US.  Here are the requirements for maintaining your J-1 status:

  1. Enroll full-time each fall and spring semester.
    • 9 hours for graduate students.
    • 12 hours for undergraduate students.
    • J-1 students may only register for one online course per semester.
  2. Maintain good academic standing at all times.
    • 3.0 GPA for graduate students.
    • 2.0 GPA for undergraduate students.
  3. Know your academic deadlines and requirements.
  4. Update your new address with Registration and Records within 10 days of change.
  5. Never let your DS-2019 expire until the completion of your program.
    • Submit an extension request at least one month beofre the current program end date.
  6. Get work authorizetion from ISFO before working off-campus.
    • On-campus work is limited to 20 hours per week when school is in session.
    • J-1 students must get work authorization both for on and off-campus employment.
  7. Obtain a travel signature on your DS-2019 before traveling out of the U.S.
  8. Maintain a valid passoprt at all times. Apply for a renewal at least 6 months prior to the current expiration date.
  9. Follow appropriate procedures to:
    • Change your degree level, major, or name.
    • Transfer to another school. 
  10. Leave the U.S. on or before the end of your grade period upon completion of your program.
    • J-1: 30 day grace perios from the program end date.
  11. Maintain NIU student insurance at all times, unless approved otherwise.
  12. File income tax return with Form 8843 or/and 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ every year.
  13. Check NIU student email account regularly for school/ISFO announcements.
  14. Contact ISFO for any further information and any questions related to immigration.