Center for Global Services
Maintaining Legal Status (J-1)

While certain J-1 regulations apply to ALL J-1 visa holders, others apply only to certain "categories" of J-1. To maintain legal status it is essential that you know the regulations that affect you.

SEVIS reportable changes: All address changes must be reported to the Center for Global Services within 10 days of the change, as we must notify SEVIS of the change. Additionally, the visitor will need to fill out form AR-11 and submit it to the Department of Homeland Security.

Regulations that Apply to ALL J-1 VISITORS

SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System)
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security requires J-1 program sponsors such as Rutgers to report certain data regarding its J-1 visitors via an online interactive database program known as SEVIS. Many of the regulatory requirements that are listed below are SEVIS-reportable, which means that (1) J-1 visitors are required to report the information to the J-1 program sponsor, and (2) the J-1 program sponsor is required to report the data via SEVIS. The Center for Global Services serves as the administrator of Rutgers' J-1 program.

Report to the Center Within 30 Days of DS-2019 Start Date
All J-1 exchange visitors must complete a "check-in" at the Center for Global Services within 30 days of the start date on their DS-2019 Form. It is a requirement of U.S. law, and it is essential for us to obtain information that we are required to report to the U.S. government regarding visitors' legal status in this country. Visitors should bring their passports and all immigration-related documents to the Center. If you have visa dependents, they are also required to "check in" at the Center, but dependent check-in procedures are somewhat different from those for the J-1 principal. Please speak with the Center Front Desk Adviser for details.

"D/S" - Duration of Status
Upon entry to the U.S. as a J-1 visitor or upon change of status to J-1, an exchange visitor is issued an I-94 (arrival/departure record) and a notation on the passport saying "D/S", which stands for "Duration of Status." This means that the J-1 visitor is legal in the U.S. for the duration of the time that she or she maintains legal status, plus a 30-day "grace period" (see next paragraph). All of the rules below must be followed for a J-1 visitor to maintain legal status and thus to be within the "D/S" period of legally-authorized stay.

Grace Period
J-1 visa holders should be aware that they are allowed a 30-day grace period following the conclusion of their exchange visitor program or the expiration date of their Form DS-2019, whichever comes first. During this 30-day grace period, J-1 visa holders are legally eligible to remain in the U.S., but they are NOT legally authorized to work, study or otherwise engage in their academic or research program during this period

Engage in Appropriate Activities
The exchange visitor maintains his/her status by engaging only in activities permitted under his/her category and program, and by refraining from unauthorized employment. Federal regulation 22CFR 62.16(b) reads, "An exchange visitor who engages in unauthorized employment shall be deemed to be in violation of his or her program status and is subject to termination as a participant in an exchange visitor program."

Do Not Work On-Campus OR Off-Campus Without Authorization from our Center
J-1 regulations are very specific about what types of employment can be authorized for J-1 visitors and what types of employment can NOT be authorized, as well as about what circumstances make a J-1 visitor eligible for employment and what circumstances do NOT create J-1 employment eligibility. Even working on-campus at Rutgers is restricted to certain types of employment based on J-1 "category" and other factors that must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Never accept an offer of employment that you are not already authorized by our Center to pursue unless you have first consulted with the appropriate Center staff member and determined that you will be eligible to pursue that employment.

Maintain Required Documentation
The J-1 exchange visitor is considered to be in legal status as long as he/she complies with other requirements and restrictions of status and maintains the following required documentation at all times:

Carry Health Insurance
J-1 visitors are required by federal regulations to maintain mandatory health insurance coverage for themselves and their J-2 visa dependents at all times. This coverage must meet the minimum regulatory requirements for coverage.

Notify Program Sponsor of Address Changes within 10 Days
Exchange visitors must report all U.S. address changes to the Center within 10 days of moving to a new residence.

Obtain a "Travel Signature" on Your DS-2019 Form
Any time you plan to take a brief trip abroad, you must have your DS-2019 form endorsed by the Center for travel purposes. Be sure to get a travel signature on your DS-2019 prior to leaving the U.S. We generally ask that you leave the DS-2019 form with us for 2-3 business days before returning to pick it up, and we recommend the signature be dated no more than 6 months prior to your trip abroad. In addition to leaving your DS-2019 at the Center for signature, you must also leave one of the following items, depending on your role at Rutgers:

Income Taxes
J-1 exchange visitors and their J-2 dependents are required to file a federal tax return for each year they have earned income in the U.S. or a Form 8843 for each year they have been in the U.S. but have not earned income. Additionally, those individuals who have earned income in New Jersey must file a New Jersey income tax return. For further details, see our website pages on Income Taxes.

Inform the Center of Departure from Rutgers' Visa Sponsorship
J-1 exchange visitors are required to notify the Center of their final departure from the University and U.S. To do so, an exchange visitor should fill out the appropriate form as listed below and submit it to the Center in order to request Rutgers to close his or her SEVIS record, thereby ending Rutgers' visa sponsorship. The form should be submitted to the Center prior to the date the scholar wants Rutgers' visa sponsorship to end in order to give the Center time to process the form and enter the data as needed.

The correct departure form for you to submit is based on your role at Rutgers, as follows:

Keep Abreast of the Latest Changes in Regulations That Affect You
U.S. law puts the responsibility of knowing and complying with federal regulations directly on the individuals affected by those regulations-hence the commonly-used phrase, "ignorance of the law is no excuse." Visit our website on a regular basis for regulatory updates.

Two Year Home Residence Requirement
While the Two Year Home Residence does NOT affect ALL J-1 visitors, it CAN affect ANY J-1 visitor, depending on a number of factors. It is important for all J-1 visitors to know what this requirement is, and if it applies to them. For details, see information on the Two Year Home Residence Requirement and other special bars and restrictions associated with J-1 status.

EXTRA Regulations that Apply to REGISTERED J-1 STUDENTS ONLY

In addition to all of the regulations that apply to ALL J-1 visitors, registered J-1 students should be aware of these additional regulations that apply only to them:

Pursue a Full Course of Study - Registered Students Only
J-1 students (excluding "special visiting research students" who will not register for academic credit at Rutgers) are required to pursue a full course of study every fall and spring semester. If wanting or needing to register for less than a full course of study, students must obtain approval from their Center adviser prior to doing so. J-1 students who will meet the "full course of study" requirement while not being registered full time must obtain approval from the Center prior to registering, or prior to dropping from full-time to part-time, in order to be considered to be pursuing a full course of study as per government regulations. You must seek approval to drop below full-time EVERY semester in which you do so. Request for such approval must be made by submitting to the Center one of the following forms, as appropriate for your situation:

If the reason noted on these forms meets regulatory exceptions to the full-time requirement and complies with University policies, the Center will approve the request.

Read All "Notices to International Students" Emails
Remember to check your email for periodic "Notices to International Students." These notices are sent to all nonimmigrant students enrolled at Rutgers - New Brunswick. All J-1 students on Rutgers' visa sponsorship are responsible for reading and knowing the content of these notices. If you are not receiving these notices please contact Susan Maldonado at susanmal@gaiacenters.rutgers.edu .

EXTRA Regulations that Apply to
J-1 PROFESSORS AND RESEARCH SCHOLARS ONLY

Length of stay: The maximum length of stay for J-1 visitors in the "professor" or "research scholar" categories is 5 years.

Work performed outside of Rutgers University: Professors and research scholars may participate in occasional lectures and short-term consultations, provided that they are related to the objectives of the visitor's program, are incidental to the visitor's primary program activities and do not delay the completion date of the visitor's program. Visitors should always first check with the Center for Global Services prior to accepting such an offer, and must obtain authorization in writing from the Center prior to actually giving the lecture or performing the short-term consultation.

Special bars and restrictions for J-1's in the "professor" or "research scholar" category ONLY

EXTRA Regulations that Apply to
J-1 SHORT-TERM SCHOLARS ONLY

Length of stay: The maximum length of stay for J-1 visitors in the "short-term scholar" is 6 months.

Work performed outside of Rutgers University: Professors and research scholars may participate in occasional lectures and short-term consultations, provided that they are related to the objectives of the visitor's program, are incidental to the visitor's primary program activities and do not delay the completion date of the visitor's program. Visitors should always first check with the Center for Global Services prior to accepting such an offer, and must obtain authorization in writing from the Center prior to actually giving the lecture or performing the short-term consultation.

EXTRA Regulations that Apply to
J-1 "SPECIAL VISITING RESEARCH STUDENTS" ONLY (students NOT registered for coursework at Rutgers)

Length of stay: The maximum length of stay for "special visiting research students" is 2 years.

EXTRA Regulations that Apply to
J-1 STUDENT INTERNS ONLY


Length of stay: The maximum length of stay for "student interns" is 12 months.

Funding permitted: Funding for student interns can come from any source, including personal funds, government funds, Rutgers or home institution funding. This is a noted exception to the other J-1 visa categories and sub-categories.

Enrollment in courses for credit: Student interns can take courses as part of their program, and receive credit for those courses. Tuition and fees would apply. Courses should be discussed prior to the student internís arrival and incorporated into the Trainee/Internship Placement Plan (Form DS-7002) by the sponsoring professor.

If a student intern wishes to take an avocational course outside the scope of his or her internship, he or she is permitted to do so, as long as the intern is maintaining the program outlined in the Form DS-7002, and is making satisfactory progress.

Employment options: Student interns may be paid or unpaid by Rutgers, but are required to perform the internship duties for a minimum of 32 hours per week. Student interns are not allowed employment outside of their internship. More stipulations about the kind of work permitted within the parameters of the student internship are described in Responsibilities of a Sponsoring Professor.