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Maintaining J-1 Status

In order to maintain their immigration status, all J-1 students must follow federal regulations governing this visa. Advisors in the Office of Global Engagement are available to help you understand your responsibilities. Please read the following rules very carefully. Following these regulations will help you maintain your legal status and avoid any future difficulties.

Always enroll full-time.

Undergraduate students must enroll in at least 12 undergraduate credits per academic semester.

Graduate students must enroll in at least 9 graduate credits per academic semester.

Online courses cannot be counted toward meeting the minimum credit requirements.

Contact the OGE if you need to drop below full-time enrollment.

If you cannot enroll full-time for any reason, you must see your International Student Advisor before classes begin. Under certain circumstances, USCIS may allow a J-1 student to be enrolled part-time, but your International Student Advisor must approve the reason before classes begin. Part-time attendance without an approved excuse from an International Student Advisor is a violation of your status and can cause serious problems for you. Your approved excuse must be in the form of a written explanation from your academic advisor, medical doctor, etc. depending on the reason for enrolling part-time. For more information on your specific case, please consult with your OGE advisor.

Maintain appropriate health insurance coverage.

You must have health insurance for the entire duration of your stay that meets the following minimum benefits set by the Department of State:

  • Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness
  • Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000
  • Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000
  • A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness
Ensure the program end date on your DS-2019 is accurate.

You must have a valid DS-2019 from Montclair State University with a valid completion date. If you think you will not complete your program by the program end date listed on the DS-2019, you must apply for an extension before the program end date. If you think you will complete your program earlier than the program end date, you must get an updated DS-2019 before you complete their program.

Maintain your personal information and U.S. address up to date at all times.

J-1 students are required to report changes of name, major, financial sponsorship, and address within 10 days of the change. Students can update their address through the NEST and, for all other changes, they must contact their OGE advisor.