Now that you are in the United States as a J-1 exchange visitor, you must meet certain obligations in order to maintain your lawful status. You must:

  • Engage only in the activities permitted by the program and category listed on your DS-2019 form
  • Maintain a valid passport at all times as well as your DS-2019 form
  • Refrain from unauthorized employment. You must receive written permission from the Office of Global Services (OGS) for incidental (one-time or short-term) employment at another institution. Such employment must be related to the program activities listed on your DS-2019 form
  • Obtain and maintain health insurance that meets the minimum requirements as defined by the U.S. Department of State
  • Report a change of address in the U.S. within 10 days of your move OGS through the ISSS Portal by submitting a "Contact Information Update" request.
  • As long as J-1 status is maintained, exchange visitors may remain in the U.S. until the end date on the DS-2019 plus 30 days (i.e. your grace period)

J-1 Scholar Orientation

You are required to attend a J-1 Scholar Orientation when you arrive at Illinois Institute of Technology. Orientations are usually held one on one with an OGS adviser. Sign up is required in order to attend an orientation session. To sign up, please email

Health Insurance

At a minimum, insurance shall cover:

  1. Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per person per accident or illness
  2. Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000
  3. Expenses associated with medical evacuation in the amount of $50,000
  4. Deductible that does not exceed $500 per accident or illness

Willful failure to comply can result in your termination from the J program. This insurance requirement also applies to J-2 dependents.

Program Extension and Completion

  • Apply for extension of your J-1 status, if you are eligible and if the department is interested in continuing your association with Illinois Tech, two months prior to the expiration of your current DS- 2019. Keep in mind that the maximum allowable time in J-1 status is dependent on your category:
    • Five years for research scholars and professors
    • Six months for short-term scholars
  • Submit a "Program Extension" request in the ISSS Portal with the updated appointment letter, proof of sufficient funding, and health insurance for the duration of your stay will be necessary to extend your stay
  • Submit a "Departure Form" request in the ISSS Portal if you have completed your program or are withdrawing from your program early so that OGS can comply with notification and reporting requirements
  • Twenty-four (24) month bar: Research scholars and professors are prohibited from returning to the U.S. for 24 months in either of these categories once they have completed their program as listed on the DS-2019 or sooner. Prior to departure, please meet with OGS adviser to discuss your plans and how this may impact you

212(e) Two-Year Home Residency Requirement

Individuals subject to 212(e) must spend two years physically present in their country of citizenship or last legal permanent residence after completion of the J-1 program (after end date on DS-2019). The time does not have to be continuous; separate periods of residences over time may be counted toward the two-year requirement. It is possible to apply for a waiver of the two-year home residency requirement. Once a waiver of the two-year rule is granted, extensions to the DS-2019 are not possible. Meet with an adviser at OGS for more information on the waiver application process.

Effects of Being Subject Include

  • Ineligible for an immigrant visa or for adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident (immigrant/green card) status
  • Ineligible to apply for the following visas at a U.S. consulate/embassy: H (temporary workers and dependents), L intracompany transferees and dependents), or K (fiancé and dependents)
  • Ineligible to change nonimmigrant status within the U.S. from J-1 to any other nonimmigrant category except A (diplomatic), G (international organization), or U (victims of qualifying criminal activity)

Unlawful Presence

If you stay beyond the ending date of your I-94 (exchange visitors typically do not have a specific end-date on the I-94) or upon determination by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. There are serious consequences to staying unlawfully in the U.S. The consequences include three-year bar from re-entering the U.S. if you have stayed unlawfully in the U.S. for 180 days or more, and a 10-year bar if you remain unlawfully in the U.S. for 360 days or more. Violation of your J-1 status does not necessarily make you unlawfully present, although it does make you ineligible for any immigration benefits. Before this occurs, please consult OGS if you have any questions about maintaining your status.

U.S. Taxes

J-1 professors and research scholars are exempt from paying social security and medicare taxes, but are required to pay state and federal taxes. However, residents of certain countries may also be exempt from paying state and federal income tax for the first two or three years of their stay in the U.S. in J-1 status. For additional information, please consult Internal Revenue Service’s Publication 901 “U.S. Tax Treaties.” J-2 dependents are required to pay all taxes. All exchange visitors in J-1 and J-2 status should file federal and state income tax returns by mid April of every year. Information about filing tax returns is available at