Information - Changing Status to J-1
This is general information on how to change immigration status. However, this should never be attempted without first consulting with an International Advisor.

There are only two ways a person can change from one immigration status to another:
  1. Inside the U.S.
    • Once a DS-2019 has been applied for and received from the IFSS office, an I-539 application for change of status must be submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for processing along with the DS-2019 and additional supporting documents. The processing time for the I-539 varies. Please contact IFSS for current processing time estimates. 
  2.  By travel
    • Once a DS-2019 has been received, the applicant takes all the required paper work and leaves the U.S. IFSS recommends that the person returns to their home country to change status. The person must schedule an appointment at a U.S. Consulate and apply for the a J-1 visa stamp. The appointment can be scheduled before leaving the U.S. Once the new stamp is received, the individual may reenter the U.S. on the new visa. Immigration authorizes the new status on the I-94 record once someone enters the U.S. in the new status. 
Further considerations
  • Certain J-Exchange Visitors subject to the "two-year home country residence requirement (212e)" which requires certain J-1s to return to their country of nationality or permanent residence for a total of at least two years upon completion of their program. [22 C.F.R. 514.31(a)(1)].
    • If the person in J-1 or J-2 status is subject to the "2-year home residency requirement (212e)," the change of status can ONLY be done by travel (indicated in #2 above).
  • The change of status application must be filed before the current status ends.
  • If a change of status application is filed and the new status is not approved by the time the current status ends, the individual does not need to leave the U.S. However, the individual cannot work once the current status ends. They cannot begin working again until the new status has been approved. This means if the individual holds a paid position on campus, they must stop working the date the current status expires and cannot continue to receive payment. Payment can resume once the new status is granted.