J-1 Student Information

The information here is for accepted and enrolled J-1 students.

Welcome to the Office of International Education J-1 student web page. This page is intended to provide general information to J-1 students at University of Texas at Arlington.

The purpose of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is "to increase mutual understanding" through "educational and cultural exchanges".

J-1 Student Information

The purpose of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is "to increase mutual understanding" through "educational and cultural exchanges".

Health insurance is a mandatory requirement for J-1 students and their dependents. Failure to maintain adequate coverage as defined by the U.S. Department of State is grounds for termination of legal status.

It is not only unwise to be in the United States without adequate health insurance, it is a violation of J-1 status. Although in many countries the government bears the expense of health care for its citizens, individuals and families in the United States are responsible for these costs themselves. Since a single day of hospitalization and medical treatment can cost thousands of dollars, many hospitals and clinics refuse to treat uninsured patients except in life-threatening emergencies. A good medical insurance plan is the only protection against the enormous costs of health care in the USA. The J-1 student is required to certify that he/she has the required levels of health, medical, evacuation, and repatriation insurance for himself/herself and dependents. The U.S. Department of State defines adequate coverage as:

  1. Coverage of at least $100,000 per accident/illness, with no more than a $500 deductible
  2. Coverage of at least $25,000 for repatriation of remains in case of death;
  3. Coverage of at least $50,000 for medical evacuation to the home country.

Exchange Visitors are required to pay a $180 SEVIS fee before applying for the J-1 visa. Office of International Education (OIE) provides a guide to the visitors along with their DS-2019 to inform them of the fee and the payment process. More information can be found at SEVIS Fee Homepage.

In order to extend a J-1 visitors time in the US past his/her original entry documents the department must take the first step by submitting an extension request to the Office of International Education. This must be done before the current program end date on the DS-2019. Please note that 5-7 business days should be allowed for processing. For more information regarding the request, please email Satu Birch, Director of International Student & Scholar Services, Office of International Education at jinfo@uta.edu

The J status has special restrictions and requirements for the Exchange Visitor. The visitor may be subject to the "two-year home residency requirement" if funding is from government sources or if the academic area of the visitor is on the "Exchange Visitor's Skills List" for his/her country of last legal residence. Being "subject" to this requirement means that the visitor must return to the country of legal residence for two years immediately following completion of the J-1 program. A waiver may be requested, but is not guaranteed. More information can be found at US State Department J Visa Waivers Homepage

As a J-1 visiting scholar at University of Texas at Arlington, you have been admitted for a specific period of time to engage in a particular research or teaching activity, as described on your DS-2019 form. You must take care during your stay to maintain lawful J-1 status, as failure to do so can have serious long-term consequences for you. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure that your stay in the U.S. remains valid:

  1. Be aware of the expiration date of your status. This is not your visa expiration date; it is the ending date in section 3 of your DS-2019 form. If your appointment at the University is extended, the hiring department must contact OIE before the current expiration date of the current form to have the DS-2019 form extended.
  2. Do not accept unauthorized employment. The only activity you are permitted is the one described in section 4 of the DS-2019 form. You must consult OIE beforehand if you wish to take up any other work during your stay.
  3. Comply with the U.S. Department of State health insurance requirements for J-1 visa holders and their families. Willful disregard of these requirements will result in termination of your program and your J-1 status.
  4. Keep your passport valid. Passports can be renewed by your consulate in the United States. For a listing of Foreign Embassies in the U.S., go to the USA State Department Web Sites of Foreign Embassies Homepage. 
  5. Must report within 10 calendar days not only of address changes, but also of changes to the exchange visitor’s telephone number and email address to Office of International Education
  6. Must report accompanying spouses’ and/or dependents’ departure from the United States prior to the exchange visitors’ departure dates´╗┐ and without the intention of returning to accompany the J-1 for the remainder of his or her program.

There are three types of employment available to J1 students:

  1. On Campus Employment

    • Report Employment details to OIE.
    • Employment is limited to 20 hrs per week in the fall and spring semesters; may be full-time during official school breaks.

  2. Academic Training
  3. Students have the opportunity to participate in an academic training program during or after completion of studies.

    • Must be in the student's field of study.
    • Student must be in good academic standing.
    • Undergraduate and Masters students can engage in Academic Training up to 18 months or the period of full-course of study, whichever is less.
    • 36-months maximum training for post-doctoral students.
    • Submit a recommendation letter from academic advisor.
    • Submit offer letter from prospective employer.
    • Must have OIE authorization for training on DS-2019, prior to start working.
    • Submit a written academic training evaluation to OIE from employer upon conclusion of training.

  4. Economic Necessity

    • Economic necessity must be due to unforeseen circumstances after entering the US in J-1 status.
    • Authorization is required before beginning employment
    • Employment can be authorized for up to 12 months at a time.
    • Employment is limited to 20 hours per week in the fall and spring semesters; m ay be full time during official school breaks.
    • Submit a letter explaining academic necessity to OIE.

    You must have employment authorization on your DS-2019, authorized by OIE, prior to applying for a Social Security number.