Maintain Status as J-1 Student

As a J-1 student 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.

Maintain Status

  • Register as a full-time student every Fall and Spring semester until you graduate, and make satisfactory progress towards program completion.
    • Undergraduate students: register for 12 or more credit hours.
    • Graduate students: register for 9 or more credit hours.
    • If you need to drop below full-time status for any reason, request authorization from ISSO before doing so.
    • Maintain health insurance coverage for you and your dependents.

      J-1 students, you will be enrolled in student insurance every semester unless you provide proof of comparable coverage to obtain a waiver. To enroll your eligible dependents, contact the Student Insurance Coordinator.
    • Do not obtain employment without prior approval from ISSO.
    • Report changes of address within 10 days of moving to a new residence.
    • Have a valid I-94 card marked “D/S” or “Duration of Status”
    • Inform the ISSO of any change in dependents and status.
    • If you wish to transfer from UNL to a different school, do so in a timely manner.
    • Request a new DS-2019 if you:
      • change degree programs at UNL
      • officially change your major or minor with an academic advisor
      • need to add dependents
      • experience a significant change in financial support
      • If you will not complete your program before the expiration date on your DS-2010, request an Extension of Stay at least 2 weeks before the expiration date
      • Maintain a current passport (valid for at least 6 months into the future)
      • If you are a sponsored student, contact your Responsible Officer listed on your DS-2019 for guidance and benefits concerning your status.

End of Program

After you complete your program as a J-1 student, you'll need to leave the U.S:

  • within 30 days upon completing the academic program, unless academic training or transfer has been approved. Contact an ISS Specialist if this applies.
  • immediately upon termination of your DS-2019/SEVIS immigration record by ISSO for any other reason. Contact an ISS Specialist.

If you have concerns or questions regarding anything about your J-1 status or additional requirements of this visa, contact an ISS Specialist.


  • can obtain employment with authorization from ISSO
  • J-2 dependents can work with authorization from USCIS
  • J-2 dependents can enroll in classes


  • cannot work without previous authorization from ISSO or USCIS
  • must maintain full-time student status unless authorized by ISSO
  • may work up to 20 hours per week during the academic year
  • must not allow DS-2019 to expire

If you lose status

  • lose all J-1 benefits, including employment authorization
  • may be subject to arrest and deportation
  • future visa applications might be compromised
  • may be barred from returning to the U.S. for a time