As a J-1 exchange visitor, it is your responsibility to maintain your immigration status throughout the duration of your J-1 program. Below is a list of general requirements that ALL international scholars must follow in order to maintain their status. Following this are status-specific requirements and category specific requirements.

General Requirements

The International Scholar MUST:

  • Check in with OISS.
    • J-1s are required by regulation to complete an online check in using UCSBGlobal.
  • Report/Update Local Contact Information (for yourself and your J-2 Dependents)
    • J-1 Exchange Visitors must notify OISS of their new address so that it may be reported in SEVIS. J-1s with other program sponsors must report their address to their program sponsor (If you are employed by UCSB, please make sure you also notify UCSB of the address change by updating your address in UCSBGlobal - Scholar Information Update > Local Address form).
    • For all individuals with UCSB J-1 program sponsorship, updating address information on the UCSBGlobal record fulfills the address reporting requirement.
  • All other immigration statuses satisfy the address reporting requirement by filling out the AR-11 form, available at

Status Specific Requirements

J-1 Exchange Visitors must:

  • Maintain valid immigration documents (for yourself and your J-2 Dependents)
    • A passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the program end date on your DS-2019 form. (If you need to renew your passport, contact the appropriate embassy for instructions.)
    • Valid DS-2019 form
    • Valid I-94 with “Class of Admission” indicating “J-1” or “J-2” and “Admit Until Date” indicating a valid date or “D/S”.
  • Obtain travel signatures annually from OISS (if UCSB is the J-1 sponsor) before traveling abroad.
  • Only accept authorized employment. See the J-1 Employment page for information.
  • Maintain health insurance for yourself and your J-2 dependents.
    • The Department of State requires that health insurance meets specific requirements, which are detailed on this page. Proof of health insurance is required at the time of your SEVIS Check-In with OISS and if/when you request an extension of your J-1 program. To update your health insurance information, you must log into UCSBGlobal and submit the Scholar Information Update - Insurance form.
  • Report new/additional site(s) of activity 
    • OISS is required to report your Site of Activity to the SEVIS system. If your academic activity is taking place at a location other than your UCSB host department, or at more than one location, you should notify OISS so that we can add the additional Sites of Activity. For example, if you work at another department in addition to the one that sponsored you or if you work at an off-campus lab, you should report this information to OISS by emailing
  • Report early completion of program
    • Notify OISS if you complete or withdraw from your academic program more than two weeks before the program End Date on your DS-2019 form.
  • Observe the 30 day grace period
    • J-1 program participants are allowed to arrive 30 days prior to the program start date and to stay 30 days after the program end date stated on their DS-2019. This is called a grace period, which allows you to prepare to return home, travel, sight-see, etc. Participants cannot transfer or extend their J status during the 30 day grace period. 

    • During this 30 day grace period: 

      • You are no longer eligible to engage in any employment or academic activities.
      • If you leave the U.S. (even to Mexico or Canada) for tourism, such as a boat cruise, you will not be able to re-enter the U.S. in the J-1 status.
      • If you remain in the U.S. past the 30-day grace period, it is considered an “overstay”, which is a violation of your J-1 status.

Category Specific Requirements (12- and 24- Month Bars)

Time spent in the US as a J-1 Exchange Visitor (EV) or J-2 dependent might temporarily affect eligibility for future J-1 status in the "Research Scholar" or "Professor" categories. These periods of ineligibility are referred to as the 24-month and 12-month "bars." More information about the bars can be found here

212(e) Two-Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement

Certain J-1 Exchange Visitors are subject to a two-year home country physical presence requirement. More information can be found on this page. 

Incident Reporting

The Department of State requires that UCSB monitor the health, welfare, and safety of our J-1 scholars and their dependents. This includes reporting qualified incidents, which are detailed here

Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Driving under the influence of alcohol, and evidence of illegal drug use (including marijuana) can lead to visa revocation and entry/re-entry problems. While many U.S. States have legalized recreational marijuana use, it is not legal under federal law which governs all immigration statues.