Maintaining your J-1 Status

As a J-1 student, you are responsible for maintaining your status for the duration of your stay at UC San Diego and the U.S. Below you will find information on how to maintain your status.

Important Update:

Effective August 9, 2018, USCIS updated policy regarding Unlawful Presence, which increases potential consequences for F-1/J-1 students who violate their status. The best way to avoid these consequences is to make sure you properly maintain your F-1/J-1 status while you are a student and during any F-1/J-1 post-completion training periods. Unlawful presence days begin accruing from the day you violated status and can impact your ability to return to the US in the future, including 3 or 10 year bars on re-entry (dependent on number of days accrued).

Complete the Document Check upon arrival at UC San Diego

After arrival into the USA, complete the International Student Document Check within 15 days of your program start date at UC San Diego. You are strongly encouraged to attend the International Student Orientation where we will review the immigration documents together or you can bring your documents to the International Students & Programs Office where a staff person will check your documents. Failure to complete the document check process may result in the loss of your F-1 or J-1 status. Completion of the Document Check process is required for the International Students & Programs Office to register your SEVIS record with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 

Attend Orientation Session

Enter Change of Address Information in Tritonlink

Enter your  change of address in Tritonlink withing 10 days of any move or change. Also, update the International Students & Programs Office about changes in telephone number or email address.

Maintain Full-Time Enrollment (at least 12 units) Every Quarter

Keep Your DS-2019 Current

If you plan to change major or complete a degree and begin working on another, let an international student advisor know IN ADVANCE to keep your DS-2019 up to date or so that we can advise you about other options to pursue to continue studying lawfully in the United States.

Accept Only Authorized Employment

Maintain Adequate Health Insurance

J-1 Exchange Visitors are required by U.S. Department of State to have health insurance for themselves and any accompanying dependents in J-2 status for the entire time that they are in the United States as exchange visitors.

The UC Regents made health insurance a mandatory non-academic condition for enrollment. To ensure that all students have adequate health care coverage, including ongoing primary and specialty care, and to satisfy the J-1 mandatory health insurance requirement (see below), UCSD automatically enrolls all registered students into the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP).

Minimum insurance coverage must provide:

  1. Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per person per year or accident
    1. may include provision for co-insurance under the terms of which the exchange visitor may be required to pay up to 25 percent of the covered benefits per accident or illness
  2. Medical evacuation of the Exchange Visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000
  3. Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000
  4. Deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness
  5. May require a waiting period for preexisting conditions (but cannot exclude altogether coverage for preexisting conditions)

Additionally, the insurance corporation underwriting the policy must have one of the following ratings:

  • A.M. Best rating of “A-” or above
  • Insurance Solvency International, Ltd. (ISI) rating of “A-i” or above
  • Standard & Poor’s Claims paying Ability rating of “A-” or above
  • Weiss Research, Inc. rating of B+ or above
  • Coverage backed by the full faith and credit of the government of my home country
  • McGraw Hill Financial/Standard & Poor’s Claims-paying Ability rating of “A-“ or above
  • Moody’s Investor Services rating of “A3” or above

Obtain Travel Signatures as Needed

Notify the International Students & Programs Office if Transferring or Ending Your Program Early

If transferring or ending programs early, please notify the International Students & Pro­grams Office in advance so we can issue a new DS-2019, shorten the duration of your record, or transfer you as needed.

Notify the International Students & Programs Office if your J-2 Dependent Departs the U.S. Permanently

If one or more of your J-2 dependents (spouse and/or child) is departing the U.S. permanently before the completion of your J-1 program duration, you must notify the International Students & Programs Office by completing the J-2 Early Departure Form.

Two-Year Home Country Residence Requirement (212e)

Carry Your Immigration Documents

The US Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 requires foreign nationals to carry appropriate immigration-related documentation at all times. Appropriate documentation includes a valid passport, I-94 Non-immigrant Arrival/Departure Record and for those persons in F or J status, the I-20 or DS-2019 form. Be prepared to present these documents especially when going through airports, train stations, checkpoints, border crossings, and other transportation hubs.