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J-1 Students FAQs

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How do I maintain my nonimmigrant status? 

If you answer yes to all of these questions, you should be in status. If you need clarification or think you may out of status, please make an appointment with an OISS adviser as soon as possible. 

  • Did you check in with OISS when you arrived in the U.S.? 
  • Do you have a valid passport? 
  • Are you registered for a full course of study? 
  • For those you who are working, did you request authorization in SEVIS from the OISS?
  • Did you notify OISS of a change in your address?  


What is 212 (E)- Two Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement

The Two Year Home Residency Requirement is often referred as the 212(e). Only the U.S. Department of State can determine if a J-1 and/or J-2 is subject to the 212(e). If subject, a J-visa holder will have to physically reside within their last country of legal permanent residence for two years before s/he may return to the U.S. as an H-1B visa holder, L visa holder, K visa holder or as a Permanent Resident.  If subject, J-visitors are unable to apply for a change of status within the USA. Being "subject" to this regulation does not prevent a visitor from returning to the U.S. in another visa status, such as F-1 (student), B1/B2 (tourist/business) or under the visa waiver program.

There are three reasons a J-1 visitor may be subject to the 212(e)

• J-1 program is funded in part or wholly by the United States government, the visitor's government, or an international organization.

• The J-1 program is engaged in one or more of the skills listed on the Exchange Visitor Skills List (1997 Amendment) for his/her country.

• The J-1 visa holder is receiving graduate medical education or training.

For more information on J-1 two-year requirement, visit the Department of State website.


I've gotten married. What should I do?

Congratulations! If your spouse is not a U.S. citizen, you will need to request a dependent DS-2019 (J-2). If your spouse is currently in the U.S. on his or her own visa, he or she will need to process a change of status form as well if he or she wants to be your dependent. If you name has changed due to marriage, please update your passport to reflect the change. Once your passport is updated, OISS will have to change the name on your DS-2019. For any other situation, please make an appointment to see an adviser at OISS. 


I've had a baby. What should I do?

If your child is a U.S. citizen, he or she will not need an DS-2019. If your child is not a U.S. citizen, you will have to request a dependent DS-2019. Please note you will have to show you have financial support for your dependent before a new DS-2019 is issued. Currently, you will have to show $5000 USD for a spouse and $3000 USD per child. OISS also requires a copy of the passport information page for all dependents. You will also have to show proof of funding for health insurance ($234 per month for spouse and for each dependent child.)


Can I extend my DS-2019?

Yes, it is possible for international students (J-1) to request an extension of his or her DS-2019. The extension must be requested before the current program end date listed on the DS-2019.

J-1 students must have his or her academic adviser complete the Program Extension Form.


How can I work and where?

Students (J-1): All J-1 students are automatically authorized for on-campus employment. While you may be employed in most on-campus jobs, you must limit all employment to a total of 20 hours per week while school is in session. Full-time, on-campus employment is allowed only when school is not in session (holidays - e.g. spring break), or during summer vacations.

F-1 students may not work for an off-campus employer without prior written authorization. While you may be eligible to apply for work permission based upon practical training or economic necessity, you must limit employment (both on campus and off) to a total of 20 hours per week while school is in session.

"Practical training" is work which is directly related to your major field of study. You may be eligible for two types of training: (1) "Curricular Practical Training" during your studies and (2) "Optical Practical Training" after the completion of your studies. Such work may be performed anywhere in the U.S. You must apply for and be granted written authorization for practical training before beginning employment. Information on Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optical Practical Training (OPT) are available on the following website:

Employment in J-1 Status


What if I'm not getting paid for the work?

Even if you are not getting paid, you must have the appropriate employment authorization first. This is because if the company you work for decides to pay you or offer any reimbursement  and you have not been approved, you will not be able to accept these funds.


How do I get a Social Security Number?

Information on eligibility requirements and how to apply for a Social Security Number are available here:


How far in advance should I request a document, letter, or travel signature from OISS?

You should submit your request at least one week in advance. While the turnover time is normally quicker, this will ensure that you receive your document on time. DO NOT WAIT until the day or the day before you travel to request documents. If you do so, your document may not be prepared before you leave.


I want to add a dependent but I'm already in the U.S. What should I do?

Please fill the dependent request form. Make sure all information is the same as it appears on your dependent's passport. Please note you will have to show you have financial support for your dependent before a new DS-2019 is issued. Currently, you will have to show $5000 USD for a spouse and $3000 USD per child.


Someone is coming to visit me. Can OISS help this person get a visa?

OISS can only issue immigration documents to students or employees of Tulane and their dependents.


Can I study abroad if I'm an international student?

Yes, you can. Please contact the Office of Study Abroad for program information, and be sure to speak with an adviser at OISS before you start your program to ensure that you will not be out of status during your time abroad.


Schedule an appointment with an OISS advisor