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J-1 Rules

To stay in legal J-1 status in the United States, you must follow these important requirements.  Please contact the IES Office if you have any questions!

Enter the country in the correct J-1 status

  • Present your DS-2019 and visa stamp to immigration official to ensure you are entered in J-1 status correctly.
  • Even if you have a valid B-1 visa or are eligible for the Visa Waiver Program, it is important that you always enter in J-1 status to maintain this status. If you do not enter in the correct status, you will need to leave the U.S. and reenter.

Check-In with IES within 30 Days of the DS-2019 Start Date

  • Please schedule an appointment to check-in with the IES upon your arrival to UMBC – contact us at
  • When you come to check-in, bring your passport, I-94 card, proof of health insurance, and DS-2019 form.

Maintain valid immigration documents

  • Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months into the future at all times.
  • Your DS-2019 dates should be valid. Apply a DS-2019 extension before the expiration date.
  • Your visa stamp must be valid for entry into the U.S. It is not a problem if the visa stamp expires while in the U.S.
  • Access your Electronic I-94 record online each time you enter the U.S. and save it for your records.

Maintain accurate records

If your residential address changes, email within 10 days.

Follow J-1 Work Rules Carefully

Understand the J-1 Work Rules, and do not work if it is not allowed by these rules!