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J-1 Regulations Overview
All international students are responsible for maintaining their status and therefore becoming familiar with the regulations related to their status. To understand the regulations related to a J-1 Exchange Visitor status, please read the below information carefully. Always contact your international student advisor at the ISSS with any questions or concerns regarding your immigration status or documents.
A J-1 student is an international student whose study at a U.S. college or university is sponsored through the U.S. Department of State’s Exchange Visitor Program, is given a J-1 visa and immigration status to pursue their studies.
A passport is an official document issued by your home country government certifying your identity and nationality. You should always have a valid passport and carry it with you anytime you leave Flagstaff. If your passport is expiring, you should contact your home country embassy for renewal information as early as possible. Once you receive a new passport, a copy should be uploaded at nau.edu/inau.
If your passport is lost or stolen, you should notify ISSS@nau.edu, the police department located nearest to where the passport was lost to make a report, and your home country embassy for replacement.
The J-1 visa stamp permits students to request entry to the United States for a specific purpose for the length of authorized time. J-1 visas are program type-specific, so if you intend to participate in another type (for example, summer work travel) of a J-1 visa sponsored program in the United States prior to your program of study at NAU, you will need to get a J-1 visa for each program.
If your J-1 visa expires while you are in the United States, you still have legal status in the US, as long as your DS-2019 is valid, your I-94 indicates you are a J-1 student (Duration of Status – D/S) and you continue to maintain your J-1 student status. If you plan to travel outside of the United States and your visa has expired or was a single entry visa, you will need to apply for a new visa at a US Embassy or Consulate abroad to re-enter. It is not possible to renew a J-1 visa in the United States.
Note: If you wish to travel to Canada, Mexico or adjacent islands for a period of fewer than 30 days and your visa is expired, you may be permitted to re-enter on an expired visa under automatic visa revalidation.
A J-2 visa is a sticker in the passport of a J-1 dependent (spouse or child), allowing them to request entry to the United States in J-2 status.
If a dependent’s J-2 visa expires while they are in the United States, they still have legal status in the US, for as long as the J-1 is maintaining his/her status. If a dependent plans to travel outside of the United States and their visa has expired or was a single entry visa, they will need to apply for a new visa at a US Embassy or Consulate abroad to re-enter. It is not possible to renew a J-2 visa in the United States.
Form DS-2019 includes program information about what you will be doing while at Northern Arizona University, program dates, and your biographical details. Form DS-2019 or “Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status” will be needed to schedule an interview at a US Consulate or Embassy and obtain a J-1 visa stamp to enter the United States.
Form I-94 (arrival/departure form)
An I-94 is a record of your legal entry to the United States and indicates your class of admission and the end date of your legal status in the US. Your I-94 can be located after each entry to the United States on the Department of Homeland Security I-94 website.
Each time you travel and re-enter the US you should check that your Form I-94 is correct and upload a copy at iNAU. It should include:
- class of admission (J-1/J-2)
- admit until date (D/S or “duration of status”)
If there is an error with the class of admission or admit until date, contact ISSS immediately.
We recommend printing a copy of your most recent I-94 and keeping it together with your immigration documents.
Lost or Damaged Documents
While it’s important to be careful with your immigration documents, accidents happen. NAU ISSS is only able to replace DS-2019 SEVIS documents, which can be requested through nau.edu/inau.
Passports can be replaced in your home country or at the closest embassy or consulate. A US visa can only be replaced at a US embassy or consulate abroad, which will be needed to travel and return to the US in J-1 status. It is highly recommended that you return to your home country to apply for a visa to avoid complications. Students should notify ISSS@nau.edu if their passport is lost, stolen, or expired; however, students must contact their country’s embassy for a passport renewal or replacement.