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Short-Term Scholar: Maintaining Status

Reporting Requirements

As a J-1 visa holder, there are a few reporting requirements you must follow.

  • Attend a scholar orientation with ISSS shortly after arrival in the US
  • Notify ISSS of your residential address within 10 days of any move
  • Notify ISSS within 10 days of getting a new US phone number
  • Notify ISSS if you intend to finish your program early

Health Insurance

J visa regulations require all J visa holders to carry certain levels of health insurance for the entire duration of their program. This applies both to the J-1 scholar as well as any J-2 dependents. Willful failure to carry appropriate insurance is considered a violation of the J-1 visa rules, and can result in loss of legal status. Please read detailed information about this requirement on our Health Insurance page. It is important to note that not every insurance policy will meet the requirements set by J visa rules.

ISSS will require proof of your appropriate health insurance before we can report your initial arrival to the government.  We must report your arrival within 30 days of the start date printed on your DS-2019.  Please be prepared to present this evidence upon arrival.


During your time in the U.S., you only have permission to perform the work that was outlined in your invitation letter. Outside employment is not permitted. Working without proper authorization is considered a serious violation of the J-1 visa, and can result in loss of legal status.


If you plan to travel outside of the U.S. at some point during your program, you will need to request a travel signature from ISSS. To do this, please bring your DS-2019 form (and the forms of any dependents who will also travel) to the ISSS office. We ask that you make this request at least two weeks before your trip. You will also need to ensure that you have a valid J-1 (J-2 for dependents) visa stamp. If your visa stamp has expired, you will need to apply for a new visa stamp while you are abroad. It is not possible to renew a visa from within the US.

Extension of Program

The J program for Short-term Scholars can only be extended to a maximum of 6 months. The extension request must be initiated by your host department. You cannot independently request an extension. Your department can find details about the extension process in the University Departments section of our website.

As part of the extension request you will be required to provide financial documentation to demonstrate that you can cover the living expenses for yourself and any dependents for the duration of the extension. Details about the amount to be documented, and the types of documentation that are acceptable, can be found on the extension request form available on the Forms: Departments webpage.

It is essential that ISSS receive the complete extension request at least two weeks before your current program expires.

End of Program

Following the end of your J-1 program (as indicated on your most recent DS-2019 form) you will have a 30 day grace period. During this time you may remain in the U.S., but you cannot continue your work. You must depart the U.S. by the 30th day.