J-1 Student and Scholar Visa Furman

immigration and travel

As a student or scholar carrying a J-1 visa, you are already familiar with the Form DS-2019 which you used to apply for your visa. This was issued by Furman and provides proof that you were invited by Furman to come to the United States. When your visa was approved, you received a visa stamp in your passport. It is important that both the visa stamp and passport stay up-to-date. Once your visa stamp expires, you can arrange to get a new stamp at any U.S. embassy or consulate outside of the U.S. It is OK if your visa stamp expires while you are in the U.S. You must have an updated one to enter the country. Additionally, you should always apply with your home country's government to renew your passport at least six months before it expires. 

At your port of entry into the U.S., an immigration official also stamped a white I-94 Departure Record card and likely stapled that into your passport. This is your proof of arrival in the U.S. and you will be required to surrender it at the airport or border any time you leave the country. If you are only leaving for a vacation from school, you will receive a new I-94 Departure Record card when you return. Any time you leave the U.S., you must be sure that the travel authorization line on the front page of your Form DS-2019 has been signed within the last six months by someone from our office. You must also carry with you the four original documents mentioned above. It is advisable to carry photocopies of all the documents with you. Be sure that our office has copies of your most recent documents.

maintaining status

When you arrived in the United States, your immigration documents were marked with a stamp that says “D/S,” an abbreviation for “Duration of Status.” This means that you can legally remain in the U.S. as long as you comply with the terms of your J-1 visa, that is, as long as you maintain status. In order to assure that we can communicate with you and help you to maintain status, it is imperative that you keep our office informed with your most recent contact information and that you check your e-mail regularly. Most correspondence from our office will be by e-mail. Federal requirements state that to maintain status, you must:

  • Report to our office within two weeks of your program start date listed on your Form DS-2019 so that you can be registered with the federal government as complying with visa regulations.
  • Engage in activities consistent with your J-1 visa category. Students must carry a full load of classes and scholars or professors must research and/or teach.
  • Refrain from unauthorized work.
  • Maintain health insurance. This requires purchasing Furman’s plan or having an alternate plan approved by Financial Services
  • Maintain a valid passport (renew at least six months before it will expire) and I-94 card.
  • When traveling abroad, always return in proper J-1 status. If your visa will expire before you re-enter the U.S., this will require getting a new visa stamp in your passport.
  • If you move, report a change of address to our office within 10 days of the change.
  • Obey all state and federal laws.
  • File timely requests with our office for program extension and other benefit.

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