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International students graduating at ASU

J-1 Scholar FAQs

J-1 scholar FAQs

ASU has established certain procedures to facilitate the entry into the U.S. for someone who wishes to come here as a J-1 scholar. Those procedures require that the prospective J-1 scholar, regardless of the intended purpose of the visit, first make contact with the academic department with which the scholar wishes to be affiliated. The department will then contact the ISSC to start the visa process.

Once ISSC receives a complete request, it can take up to 10  business days for a DS-2019 to be issued. Your departmental contact person will be able to provide information on the status of your request.

J-1 Scholar Arrival Guide was sent with your DS-2019. Please refer to that guide for information about paying the SEVIS (I-901) fee, applying for your visa, and arriving to the U.S. Please pay special attention to the information regarding the health insurance requirement. You will need to have your health insurance in place in order to begin your J-1 program. You may enter the U.S. up to thirty days before the start date listed on your DS-2019. 

Unfortunately, nothing can be done to expedite administrative processing or security clearances. Please keep your ASU host department informed of any delays, so your DS-2019 start date can be amended if necessary.

You must inform your sponsoring department contact person if you will arrive more than 15 days after your program start date as shown on your Form DS-2019. If you are unable to reach your department contact, please email ISSC and copy your department supervisor. If email is not available, please contact your department by any means available and ask them to inform the ISSC.

Inform your inviting department that you have arrived safely. Complete J-1 New Scholar SEVIS check-in eForm with your immigration documents. After submitting the eForm, please schedule an appointment with Morgan Green as soon as possible. 

Complete the Add a New Scholar Dependent (SEVIS Document) e-form.  You will need adequate funding to support your dependents for the remainder of your J-1 program, even if they only plan to visit for a short time; ISSC will contact you if you need to provide documentation of additional funding, and when the DS-2019s are ready for pick-up. Normal processing time is 10 business days. As a reminder, you will need to purchase health insurance for your J-2 dependents, and they will be subject to the two-year home residence requirement (212e) if you are.


No. Only your spouse and unmarried children (under the age of 21) are eligible to be your J-2 dependents. All other family members and friends may be eligible to visit you for a short time in B-2 (Visitor for Tourism) status. B-2 visa holders are not eligible to work or study during their time in the U.S. ISSC cannot advise on the B-2 application process or issue invitation letters for your visitors. Visit the website of the consulate where your visitors will apply for their visas for information about the application process and requirements.

Yes. The J-2 DS-2019 dates reflect the J-1 program dates. The J-2 dependents can travel in and out of the U.S. at any point during the J-1 program, as long as the J-1 program is still active.


J-2 dependents can study, part-time or full-time. If they wish to work, they must apply to USCIS for employment authorization.

When you return to the U.S., you will be asked for your passport, valid J-1 visa, and valid DS-2019 with travel signature. It is also advisable to carry your SEVIS fee receipt, ASU invitation letter and documentation of your funding. If you will be abroad for more than thirty days, you will also need to work with your department to request Out of Country status.  Please contact ISSC for details.

A valid travel signature is required when a current J-1 scholar or J-2 dependent is traveling outside of the U.S. to anywhere other than Mexico or Canada.  If you and/or your dependent(s) will be traveling outside of the U.S. to a country other than Mexico or Canada. Please apply for a travel signature by submitting an eForm request here.

U.S Department of State regulations require all J-1 scholars to have medical insurance for themselves and any accompanying J-2 family members for the duration of their program. The regulations require medical coverage of at least $100,000 per person per accident or illness, medical evacuation coverage for of at least $50,000 and repatriation of remains coverage of at least $25,000.  If there is a deductible, it should not exceed $500 per accident or illness.

Department of Homeland Security regulations require that you report any change in address or phone number within 10 days. Please update on My ASU.

J-1 scholars must have permission of both their sponsoring faculty and ISSC to enroll in classes. Classes must be incidental to your primary program activity and only specific credit hours are permitted. Consult with ISSC for more details.  You will also have to follow the Nondegree Admissions process

No. J-1 scholars are only permitted to be employed by their program sponsor and in the field listed on their DS-2019.

It is possible, but you must obtain permission from your sponsoring faculty and authorization from ISSC to engage in an off-campus program related activities. You will be asked to provide a letter from the institution that includes certain information about the activity. If the request is approved, ISSC will add the information to your SEVIS record and issue a payment authorization letter for you. Please contact ISSC for more details.

You must notify ISSC of any change in program, such as change of funding, supervisor, benefits eligibility, or site of activities within 10 days of the change.

A transfer should be possible, provided that you will continue within the same J-1 category and program objective and you have time remaining in your J-1 category. A transfer is not possible if you have already completed your J-1 program and are in your 30 day grace period. Consult with ISSC for more details if you are eligible for transfer to another U.S. institution.

No, you are allowed to remain in the U.S. with an expired U.S. J-1 visa, as long as the rest of your documents (passport, I-94, DS-2019) are still valid. However, you do need a valid J-1 visa to enter the U.S.; therefore, the next time you go abroad, you will need to apply for a new entry visa before returning to the U.S. You are highly recommended to apply for a visa in your home country.

If you believe there was an error in determining that you are subject to the two year home country physical presence requirement, also known as 212(e), you may request that the Department of State review your records to determine if you are subject to this requirement and provide an Advisory Opinion. You may also contact ISSC to seek further advisement.

Please notify ISSC in writing regarding the date you will complete your J-1 program at ASU, and fill out the J-1 Scholar Exit Survey, if necessary. As a reminder, you have a 30 day grace period to leave the U.S. During that time, you may not work, study or travel internationally. However, you may travel within the U.S. or prepare for the departure.

Please make sure you inform your department contact. You or your department will need to submit a J-1 Early Departure form for our office to process a new DS-2019 for you before you depart from the U.S. Make an appointment with an ISSC advisor if you have additional questions.