Immigration Advising

J Students

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 spring and fall 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. Know your academic deadlines and requirements.
  4. Update 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 form at least one month before the current program end date.
  6. Get work authorization 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/off campus employment.
  7. Obtain a travel signature on your DS-21019 before traveling out of the US.
  8. Maintain a valid passport at all times. Apply for renewal at least 6 months prior to the current expiration date.
  9. Follow the appropriate procedures to:
    • Change your degree level, or major, or name.
    • Transfer to another school
  10. Leave the US on or before the end of your grace period upon completion of your program.
    • J-1: 30 day grace period 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.