Maintaining Legal Status

The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program operates under the auspices of the United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Each Exchange Visitor Program has a program description under which that program must operate and designates an individual or individuals as the University staff responsible for the administration of the particular J-1 program. The Responsible Officer (RO) at Yale is the Director of the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS), and the Alternate Responsible Officers (AROs) are the OISS Associate Director and advisers.

Maintaining Your J-1 Status

As a J-1 student at Yale University, you have been admitted for a specific period of time to engage in your particular area of study, as described on your DS-2019 form. It is important that you maintain lawful J-1 status while in the U.S. There are some simple steps you can take to ensure that your stay in the U.S. remains valid:

  • Be aware of the expiration date of your status. This is not your visa expiration date; it is the ending date in section 3 of your DS-2019 form. (Extending your J-1 status.)
  • Undergraduates must take at least three courses per semester and meet all Yale College requirements for promotion. At the graduate level full course of study is defined by your college but usually is three or four courses per semester.
  • English language proficiency: All J-1 Exchange Visitors are required to have sufficient proficiency in the English language to successfully to participate in their academic program and to function on a day-to-day basis. Yale admission offices will provide OISS specific evidence of English language proficiency for all new students (admitted after January 2015.) Please review some English as second language support resources.
  • Do not accept unauthorized employment. See Employment Options for more information.
  • Report a change of residential address, e-mail address or phone number to OISS within 10 days. Also note that OISS is required to share this information with the Department of State.
  • If you will transfer to another college or university to pursue another degree, discuss your plans with an OISS advisor to make sure that the required transfer procedure can be accomplished.
  • J-1 visitors are allowed a 30-day grace period beyond the end date on their DS-2019. This additional 30-day period is NOT for employment, extensions, or transfers. If you travel outside the U.S. during your 30-day grace period, you forfeit the remaining grace period and may not re-enter the U.S. under J-1 status.
  • Comply with USDOS health insurance requirements for J-1 visa holders and their families. Willful disregard of these requirements will result in termination of your program and your J-1 status.
  • Keep your passport valid. Passports can be renewed by your consulate in New York or Boston. For information about the nearest consulate check