Maintain Status as J-1 Scholar

As a J-1 scholar you enjoy certain benefits, but you also have specific guidelines to maintain your status. ISS Specialists can help you understand immigration rules, but maintaining your immigration status is your responsibility.

Upon Arrival in the U.S.

Attend New Scholar Check in and Orientation to activate your SEVIS record. If your SEVIS record is not activated within 30 days of the program start date, USCIS considers you to be in violation of your immigration status.

If you're unable to meet the arrival date listed on your DS-2019, ask your host department to defer your entry date in SEVIS. If you do not check-in during your 30-day grace period, we will be unable to activate your record.

To activate your immigration record you need to complete this form. Scholar Orientation will be via Zoom on the first Monday of every month at 11:00 a.m. (the first Tuesday if Monday is a holiday) The session takes around 30 minutes. 

If you are eligible for a Social Security Number you will need to submit the online Social Security Number Application by visiting Once you complete the information online, you will go to the Social Security office. You must take your I-94, passport, visa, and DS-2019 when you go. You will check in at the kiosk, provide your online control number from your application, and meet with an SSA representative to verify the information you completed online, and they will review your documents.

To Transfer Your Program

You can transfer to another J-1 program if you'll be doing the same research at a new institution.

You must inform ISSO of your plans at least one month before leaving UNL.

While In the U.S.

  • Maintain a valid, unexpired DS-2019.
    If necessary, your host department must request an extension before the end date of your DS-2019. Be sure to request an extension at least 30 days before your program is to expire.
  • Maintain a valid unexpired passport.
    The passport must be valid for at least 6 months into the future.
  • Perform employment only as specified on the DS-2019.
    Your department must get authorization from ISSO before you can work outside of UNL or participate in occasional lectures at another institution.
  • Maintain required health insurance coverage.
  • Update your address information within 10 days of moving.

  • To travel outside the U.S. you must have your DS-2019 signed by ISSO before departure.