Maintaining Legal Status

During your appointment at Yale it is critical that you follow the J-1 regulations to maintain legal status. Failure to follow the J-1 regulations can have serious long-term consequences for your immigration status in the U.S. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure that your stay in the U.S. remains valid:

  • Check-In: Upon arrival in New Haven, please check in with OISS. Scholar check-in is at 9 AM  on Monday, Wednesday & Friday at OISS.
  • Form DS-2019: At orientation, we will review your immigration documents (passport, visa stamp, I-94 record and Form DS-2019).  The Form DS-2019 is similar to an immigration contract. If anything changes, you must notify OISS and have the form updated, including in the following:
    • Name correction (section 1)
    • Work address (section 1)
    • Expiration/ extension (section 3) - The end date on your DS-2019 should never expire while you hold an appointment at Yale. Take a moment to note the expiration date, mark it in your calendar, and remember to request an extension if you will stay longer.
    • Yale appointment title (section 4)
    • Funding amount and source (section 5) -The only activity you are permitted to be paid for is the one described here. You must consult an OISS advisor in advance if you wish to take up any other work during your stay. (See information about incidental employment.)
  • Program Objective: You have been invited to Yale to engage is specific activities (research, study, teaching, etc.). To maintain legal status you must continue in this same objective, and be making what Yale considers to be normal and successful progress towards these goals.
  • Contact information: You must report within 10 days any change in your residential address, telephone number or e-mail address. Please use the OISS portal to report changes.
  • Health insurance requirements are mandated for all J-1 visa holders and their families. Willful disregard of these requirements will result in termination of your program and your J-1 status.
  • Leaving Yale: If offered a comparable position at another college or university, discuss your plans with an OISS advisor to make sure that the required transfer procedure can be accomplished.
  • Extra time: J-1 exchange visitors are allowed a 30-day grace period beyond the end date on their DS-2019. This additional 30-day period is not for employment, extensions,  transfers or international travel. Please speak to your OISS adviser if you have any questions about the grace period.
  • Passport: Keep your passport valid at all times.

Extension of J-1 Status

To request an extension of your J-1 status up to the maximum period allowable under the regulations, you must initiate your request through your department. The extension process (including obtaining a new DS-2019) must be completed before the end date as noted on your current DS-2019 form.  OISS will need the following information from the supervising faculty member or other authorized department personnel:

  • Your position title
  • The proposed dates of the extension
  • The amount and source of the funding

If your stay is not supported by Yale funding, you will need to provide OISS proof of funds (i.e., external grant award letter, personal bank statement, etc.). Salary support must meet the minimum established for certain Yale University positions, e.g. postdoctoral or postgraduate appointments.  

Departments can submit extension information through our website.

Obtaining a New DS-2019

OISS will prepare a new DS-2019 reflecting the extended period.  Please note that a new DS-2019 will be issued to reflect the new period of stay. That document legally extends your J-1 visit as long as you remain in the U.S. If you have a spouse or child(ren) in J-2 status, their stays will also be extended. 

Should you travel outside the U.S. during this new period of valid J-1 status (other than visits of less than 30 days to Canada or Mexico and adjacent territories), you must have a valid J-1 visa in your passport. If your current J-1 visa has expired, you will use the new DS-2019 to apply for a new J-1 visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate outside the U.S.

When you apply for a J-1 extension, you do not need to pay the SEVIS fee again.

Maintaining Health Insurance. In extending your J-1 stay you must also be certain to extend your health insurance coverage. Failure to do so will result in the termination of your J-1 status.