As a J-1 scholar, you are responsible for understanding how to maintain and, if necessary, extend your J-1 status. In addition, you are also required to understand the procedures and timelines for completing or ending your J-1 status. Failure to understand these rules may lead to a loss of valid status and termination of your eligibility to remain in the US. Contact the International Center if you have any questions.
In order to maintain valid immigration status as a J-1 Scholar, you must meet the following requirements:
1. Pursue the J-1 program objectives indicated on your Form DS-2019
2. Maintain valid immigration documents while in the US
3. Update your US residential address and contact information with the International Center
4. Maintain valid J-1 health insurance for yourself and any J-2 dependents
5. Accept employment only after being authorized by the International Center
6. Travel using your J-1 documents
7. Report any changes to your program objectives, goals, and activities
8. Depart the US within 30 days following the end of your J-1 program at Tufts
9. Comply with the COVID-19 Telework Policy (UPDATED 04/22/2022)
If you are a J-1 scholar and need additional time to complete your program objectives, you may be eligible to request an extension of your J-1 status through the maximum duration of eligibility for your category. Extensions will not be granted if the expected time needed for your activities will take you beyond the maximum duration for your specific category (five years for J-1 research scholars and professors; six months for J-1 short-term scholars; 1 year for J-1 specialists). To request an extension, contact your department supervisor or manager at least three months before your DS-2019 expires. Your department will initiate the process with the International Center for obtaining a J-1 extension on your behalf.
Note: the International Center will not approve an extension if you are subject to Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act - also referred to as the two-year home residency requirement - but have received a favorable recommendation from the Department of State to have the requirement waived. Once the Department of State recommends a waiver of the two-year home residency requirement, you may continue to participate in your current J-1 program through the expiration date indicated on your current DS-2019. However, you are not eligible for further extensions beyond the existing DS-2019 expiration date.
The International Center will accept an extension request for a J-1 scholar who is considering and/or in the process of applying for US permanent residence. However, we strongly encourage anyone in this situation to consult with an immigration attorney, especially on matters concerning international travel and visa renewals. Because the J-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa, taking steps toward obtaining US permanent residence may be viewed as immigrant intent and the basis for denying a J-1 visa application and refusing entry to the US.
Your J-1 scholar status ends when your DS-2019 expires or when you complete your program objectives, whichever comes first.
Once your program ends, you have a 'grace period' of thirty days to prepare for departure from the US, at which point your SEVIS record will automatically complete. Once your status as a J-1 ends, the status of any J-2 dependents also comes to an end.
If you need to end your program due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness, personal / family issues in your home country, loss of financial support, or other reasons, please notify the International Center of your situation so that you can be advised about appropriate steps to end your J-1 program.