J-1 Status

Department of State regulation 22 C.F.R. § 62.23(g)(2) states that a J-1 students may engage in on campus employment as provided in paragraph (g)(1) of this section ifare in good standing at that school and they are maintaining legal non-immigrant status.Click here for more details.
The  U.S. State Department allows J-1 students ("student" category on the DS-2019) to engage in Academic Training during or after completion of an academic program when the student:
  • Is in the U.S. primarily to study rather than to engage in Academic Training;
  • Is or will be participating in training that is directly related to his/her field of study listed on the DS-2019 (i.e. it cannot be changing a degree plan to accommodate an employment offer and calling it an internship);
  • Is in good academic standing and in a legal program status;
  • Participates in training that is an integral or critical part of his/her academic program;
  • Receives, before beginning the training, written authorization from the Responsible or Alternate Responsible Officer (RO/ARO) of the J-1 program.  International Student Services (ISS) Advisors are the AROs who can authorize the training if Texas A&M issued the Form DS-2019;
  • Sponsored students must see a Sponsored Student Programs (SSP) Advisor before applying.  Students with DS-2019 issued by agencies other than Texas A&M University will receive instructions from SSP;
         Click HERE for more information
A J-1 student can co-enroll in two schools. Please read the instructions and fill out the co-enrollment handout.
Students requesting permission to attend classes at another university during a vacation, while remaining an J-1 student at Texas A&M University should complete and submit Other School Enrollment Form .
Students who are unable to graduate by the expiration date of their Ds2019 will need to submit paperwork for an extension of stay. Proof of financial resources are required to apply for an extension of stay. Refer to the Financial Resources section of our web site for more information
and the Extension of Stay Handout.
Any J-1 student who wishes to drop below full-time enrollment should complete the form below. The authorized exceptions to the full course of study requirement and the rules for reduced course load are included in this Reduced Course Load Handout.
Current Texas A&M students that would like to be released in SEVIS to transfer to another school or university in the U.S. need to complete the Transfer Release Form.
International students should not withdraw or take a leave of absence from Texas A&M University without first speaking with ISS about the consequences of this action. An Authorized Early Withdrawal form should be completed by all F-1 students who intend to withdraw or take a leave of absence from the University and depart the United States. Please schedule an appointment with an ISS advisor to submit or discuss the Authorized Early Withdrawal Form.
F-1 students are eligible to invite their spouse or children to come to the United States as an F-2 dependent.

If the dependent is currently outside the United States please refer to the J-1 Invitation of Dependents Handout for a list of the documents to be submitted to the ISS office. Please refer to the Financial Resources page since Finances are required.

If the dependent is currently inside the United States in another visa category, the J-1 will need to schedule an appointment with an ISS adivsor to discuss the options and further information regarding a change of status to J-2.

Re-Entry to the United States
There are several steps you should take before leaving the United States in order to be eligible to re-enter the United States with J-1 status.
  1. Be in legal J-1 status.  Make sure that your SEVIS record is Active and has not expired.
  2. Have your DS-2019 signed for travel by an Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO)/International Student Advisor.  The signature is valid for one year. 
  3. All the information on your DS-2019 is up-to-date including your major and degree level. 
  4. Have a valid J-1 visa (this excludes Canadian citizens).  Please see the visa renewal section for further information.
  5. Your passport will be valid for at least six months in advance from the point of return.
To request a travel signature please refer to the Travel Signature Request Form  
Travelling to a Third Country

If you are travelling to a third country, check with that country’s embassy to determine if you need a visa to enter that country.  https://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-in/united-states

If you will be traveling to Mexico and you are not a citizen of Mexico, please also submit a completed Notification for International Students Pursuing Personal Travel to Mexico along with your Travel Signature Request Form.
Please visit following link to get your most recent I-94: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home
Visa Renewal
If you need to renew your visa while outside the United States, please the following into consideration. 
  1. Plan ahead.  It could take a considerable amount of time to renew the visa.  You can check the processing times at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/wait-times.html
  2. Know what documentation to take with you.  ISS recommends taking at least a transcript, a letter of academic status from your academic department if possible, proof of financial support, standardized test scores, passport and DS-2019.  For more information regarding the required documentation, go to https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/study/exchange.html.  Also check the embassy or consulate web page to determine if additional information or documentation is needed.
  3. If you are a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) major, then you may want to have information about your research available.  A letter from your academic advisor explaining your program or research subject in plain English at the time of your interview may be helpful.
  4. Schedule your appointment at the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate, https://www.usembassy.gov/
Arrival at the U.S. port of entry
  1. Be sure to have your documentation with you and readily available.  Do not put your DS-2019 or passport in your suitcase. 
  2. Be aware of the U.S. rules and restrictions regarding immigration, customs and agriculture. 
    1. Monetary - https://www.cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors/kbyg/money
    2. Prohibited and Restricted Items - https://www.cbp.gov/travel/us-citizens/know-before-you-go/prohibited-and-restricted-items
    3. Bringing food to the United States - https://www.cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors/agricultural-items
    4. Watch this video regarding the port of entry process, https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/video-gallery/2015/01/youve-arrived.
  3. Make sure that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer processed you in as a student on the J-1 visa and gave you J-1 status on your I-94 form, https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home.  Your passport and I-94 should be marked “J-1” and “D/S” (duration of status).
  4. It is possible that if the CBP officer cannot determine your status immediately, you may be sent to secondary inspection.  https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/what-is-secondary-inspection
  5. If you do not have your paperwork in order, the CBP officer could allow you to enter the United States with a form I-515A.  If you receive this form, you need to bring it to ISS as soon as possible.  It must be processed and received by the Department of Homeland Security within 30 days.  https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/what-is-a-form-i-515a
Deferred Inspection
If your travel history information is outdated on your electronic I-94 record, your I-94 record itself is incorrect, or you cannot locate your I-94 record online, first review the information and resources provided at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home for online help.
If you cannot resolve this online, then you will want to contact the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Deferred Inspections Office, which is a unit within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).   https://www.cbp.gov/contact/deferred-inspection/overview-deferred-inspection

Houston, Texas Deferred Inspection Location
Address: 19581 Lee Road, Humble, TX 77338
Phone: 281-443-4350 extension 221 OR 281-230-4600 extension 1
Fax: 281-443-0241

If you call Deferred Inspection, have your immigration documents with you.  Ask if they can assist you with correcting your record.  You can also email them at CBPHOUI94@cbp.dhs.gov for assistance.
CBP may require you to appear in person to resolve your case.
Visa Delay
If your visa is delayed in being issued, please inform ISS, your on-campus employer and your academic department.  If the reason for the delay is because of administrative processing, please note that ISS and Texas A&M University cannot speed the process up.  

Delays in visa issuance could be caused the situation in the country, status issues, country of citizenship or major.  If you are a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) major, then you may want to have information about your research available.  A letter from your academic advisor explaining your program or research subject in plain English at the time of your interview may be helpful.

If the delay is caused by administrative processing, please be aware that there is little that University can do to find out what is causing the delay.  The Department of State will not release information to the school or to anyone besides the applicant.  The National Visa Center (NVC) is available to answer questions concerning nonimmigrant visas.  You can contact the NVC at 603-334-0888 from 7 am to 12 am EST, Monday through Friday (excluding holidays).  The Department of State recommends you wait at least 60 days from the visa interview before inquiring about delays caused by administrative processing.

According to the Department of State, “Most administrative processing is resolved within 60 days of the visa interview. When administrative processing is required, the timing will vary based on individual circumstances of each case.” https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/administrative-processing-information.html

Visa Denial
If your visa is denied, do not panic. Calmly ask the reason for the denial.  You should also receive written notification of the denial reason. Several of the reasons for denials are listed at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/visa-denials.html.  Good advice is also available at this web page.
Send an email to iss@tamu.edu and include the facts of your interview, such as what questions were you asked, what were your answers, what documentation did you bring to the interview, and what did the consulate officer tell you.  Be sure to include the letter you were given explaining the visa denial.  ISS will then advise you on your options.

If you believe that you have fallen out of J-1 immigration status please schedule an appointment to speak with an ISS advisor by calling our office at 979-845-1824. We recommend that you refer to the J-1 Reinstatement Handout for further information.

For information regarding maintaining your J-1 immigration status we recommend that you refer to the following: