J-1 Student Visa

Maintaining Your Status

  1. For your first semester, you must enroll in the institution that issued the DS-2019 you used to obtain your visa to begin classes here.

  2. You must enroll for a full course of study each fall and spring semester.

  3. You may only be employed on-campus up to 20 hours per week while school is in session. You must have your sponsor's permission for any work, on- or off-campus.

  4. If you are transferring to another school, you must complete a transfer procedure to that new level.

  5. If you want to have an off-campus internship, please make an appointment with an VISA advisor.

  6. Do not let your DS-2019 expire. If the form is expiring and your program of study has not been completed, you must request a new form for extension at least one month before the old one expires.

  7. Report your new address (SEVIS Domestic) to VISA within 5 days of a move by submitting the form on our web site. On LeoOnline, you must also update your permanent address (used by the University as a mailing address).

Full-Time Enrollment

Full-time status for students on J-1 visas is defined as completion of 12 credit hours each fall and spring semester for undergraduate students and 9 credit hours each fall and spring for graduate students. Note: A J-1 sponsor may require more than these minimum hours. Your sponsor should inform you if this is the case.


J-1 student visa holders will need to submit tax in order to maintain their status--even if they do not work.

Reduced Course Load Request

If you feel you qualify for an exception to the above-detailed course load requirement, please fill out and submit the Reduced Course Load Request (RCL).