Maintenance of Legal Status-Office of International Education - Carnegie Mellon University

Maintenance of Legal Status

For a J-1 scholar to maintain legal status, the scholar must continually engage in the program noted on the DS-2019, maintain a valid passport and always have health insurance coverage while in the US, report address and dependent information (see below). Further, a J-1 scholar or professor may not accept any US employment which is not specifically listed on the DS-2019 or authorized in advance by the Office of International Education (OIE). Should any details change - the department sponsor or funding source, for example - then the J-1 scholar should consult with an OIE advisor. J immigration information can be found here.

Health insurance requirement

This topic is covered in more detail under the "Conditions and Limitations" section of this web site. It is unique among non-immigrant categories that J-1 scholars and their dependents must be covered by health insurance that meets the minimum requirements stipulated by US federal law. Failure to maintain adequate health insurance results in the loss of legal J-1 status.

All J-1 scholars are required to complete and sign the J-1 Scholar Insurance Agreement (.pdf) verifying compliance with the insurance regulatory requirement.

J-2 Dependents

J-1 exchange visitors must report the email address for each accompanying spouse and dependent to OIE. In addition, the J principal must report if their J-2 dependents depart the United States prior to the exchange visitor’s final departure date by emailing OIE

Grace period

J-1 scholars (and their dependents in J-2 status) are granted a 30-day grace period at the end of the program. This period is meant for personal business or pleasure not for continued employment. During this period, the J-1 scholar may remain in the US. By the end of the 30 day grace period, the scholar is expected to depart the US.  Any change of status application or extension of J status must be made prior to the end date on the DS-2019.

Last updated:  January 10, 2017