J-1 Student

As a J-1 exchange visitor, you are in the United States as part of the BridgeUSA program.

BridgeUSA logo.

Led by the U.S. Department of State in partnership with the private sector and academia, BridgeUSA brings together the next generation of current and emerging young leaders through unmatched cultural and professional exchange programs. 

With 13 different categories to explore, participants can select a program focused on education, research, or professional development. Throughout their exchange, participants will hone existing skills and develop new ones, unlocking new personal and professional opportunities. 

Find out what you need to do to maintain your J-1 Student status and how to obtain J-1 Student benefits.

  • 5/18/20
    Learn what J-1 students need to know about paying the SEVIS fee.
  • 7/26/21
    Learn more about J-1 student status and how to maintain it.
  • 10/21/19
    All J-1 Exchange Visitors and their J-2 dependents are required by the U.S. Department of State to have health insurance for the entire period of their stay in the U.S. 
  • 8/4/21
    F-1 students are eligible to work on-campus during their academic program if they are maintaining their F-1 status.
  • 10/21/19
    Immigration regulations require that J-1 students maintain a full course of study (12 credits each semester for most students; 9 credits each semester for Graduate Students with an Assistantship). However, the regulations do permit a "Reduced Course Load" in very limited situations.
  • 11/3/20
    The intent of the Exchange Visitor Program is for the home country to benefit from the J-1 Exchange Visitor’s experiences in the U.S. Accordingly, J-1 Exchange Visitors and their accompanying J-2 dependents may be subject to a two-year home residency requirement.
  • 4/30/21
    If you cannot complete your program of study by the end date on your DS-2019 due to compelling academic or medical reasons, you must apply for an extension of stay before your current DS-2019 expires.
  • 4/30/21
    Academic Training is a type of off-campus work authorization that allows a J-1 student to gain practical experience in their field of study.
  • 4/30/21
    Some J-1 students wish to bring their spouse and/or children to the U.S.  Learn about J-2 status and what you need to do to obtain J-2 DS-2019's for your dependents.
  • 4/30/21
    J-2 dependents are eligible to work in the U.S. as long as they meet certain conditions first.
  • 5/7/21
    A SEVIS transfer is the process of moving your SEVIS record from your current school to a new school after you are admitted. Most commonly this happens when:
  • 9/15/20
    Maintaining J-1 status is very important. Recent changes in US immigration policy make it difficult to correct an immigration status violation.
  • 9/1/21
    If you're nearing the end of your time at UB, we hope your time here has been productive and enjoyable. Find out more about your next steps after you leave.
Important Reminder

If you apply for a waiver of the Two-Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement (INA 212e), and your waiver is recommended in writing by the U.S. Department of State (“No Objection Statement”) or you receive Form I-612 from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, you are no longer eligible for any J-1 benefits (DS-2019 Extension, Academic Training, SEVIS Transfer, etc.). Therefore, please consult with ISS before applying for the waiver.  


The information contained in this web site is provided as a service to the international students, faculty, staff, employees and administrators of the University at Buffalo, and does not constitute legal advice on any immigration, tax or other matter. We try to provide useful information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this web site or any associated site. As legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and laws are constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel. Neither the University at Buffalo nor the Office of International Student Services is responsible for any errors or omissions contained in this website, or for the results obtained from the use of this information.