Maintaining J-1 status

You are responsible for understanding and meeting all requirements to maintain J-1 status while you are in the U.S. Please review these requirements below. 

Keep your passport valid at all times

Your passport should be valid at least 6 months into the future. If your passport will expire while you are in the United States, contact your country’s embassy or consulate in the U.S. to learn how to renew your passport.

Report address changes to the ISSS within 10 days

If you change your address or phone number, you must provide your new contact information to ISSS within 10 days. You can email address and phone number updates to

Follow U.S. employment regulations

You may conduct research or teach only at Binghamton University unless you have specifically received authorization from ISSS in advance to give a lecture or consult at another U.S. institution. If you are invited to speak or consult at another school, or if you are asked to attend a professional conference for which you will receive reimbursement or an honorarium, you must contact ISSS in advance and get written authorization before accepting the opportunity. 

Maintain required health and accident insurance

J-1 faculty and scholars must have ISSS-approved health and accident insurance for themselves and for any J-2 dependents throughout their stay in the United States.

Understand documents required for travel

If you will be traveling outside the United States, check your DS-2019 to see if you have a valid travel signature from within the past 12 months. If your travel signature is expired or if you are unsure, bring your passport and DS-2019 to ISSS so that we can give you a new travel signature. You may also email to request an updated DS-2019 with a new travel signature. In order to re-enter the U.S., you must have a current, unexpired DS-2019 with a valid travel signature, a valid J-1 visa and a passport valid at least 6 months into the future. If you have J-2 dependents who will be traveling, ensure that they also have all documents needed for travel.

Notify the ISSS of any dependents 

The ISSS will issue J-2 DS-2019s for eligible dependents who are traveling with you or who will join you later. Eligible dependents include your legal spouse or unmarried child under age 21. Review our dependents page for additional details on the application process. 

Report your departure date to ISSS if you are leaving early

If you will be leaving the university before the end date on your DS-2019, you must report this to ISSS so that we can update your immigration record to show your early departure. 

Apply for an extension before your DS-2019 expires

If you will need to continue your work at Binghamton University after the end date on your DS-2019, your department must request an extension BEFORE your current DS-2019 expires. Your sponsoring faculty member will need to complete the DS-2019 extension form and should submit it to ISSS at least 30 days before the end date on your DS-2019. 

Obtain transfer authorization before leaving Binghamton

If you plan to transfer to another college or university in the United States, you must receive authorization from ISSS before you leave Binghamton. This process requires careful coordination between ISSS and the international office at the new institution. 

Leave the U.S. during your 30 day grace period

You must leave the U.S. within 30 days of the program end date on your DS-2019. Please note that you are not eligible to re-enter the U.S. in J-1 status after the end date on your DS-2019.

Understand the two-year home country physical presence requirement for J-1 Exchange Visitors

If you are subject to the two year home residency requirement, it will be noted on your visa and/or your DS-2019. This requirement means that you will need to spend at least two years in your home country before you can be eligible to return to the U.S. in certain visa categories. If you have any questions about whether or not you are subject to this requirement, speak with an ISSS advisor during walk-in advising hours. 

Understand the 12 and 24-month bars on repeat participation

Your presence in the U.S. as a J-1 Exchange Visitor may affect your eligibility to return to the U.S. in the near future under the J-1 Professor or Research Scholar categories. If you are currently in the U.S. as a J-1 Professor or Research Scholar or a J-2 dependent in these categories, after you leave the U.S. at the end of your program, you would need to wait at least 24 months before you could be eligible to return for a new J-1 Professor or Research Scholar program. This requirement does not affect J-1 Short Term Scholars. 

File a tax return for each year you are in the U.S.

All J-1 and J-2 Exchange Visitors are required to file tax documents for each year in which you are physically present in the U.S. ISSS provides resources and access to tax preparation software for all Exchange Visitors. Please note that ISSS advisors are not tax professionals and cannot advise on individual tax questions. 

Read ISSS News for important updates

You must read any emails from ISSS, including the monthly newsletter distributed by ISSS. If there are any changes to immigration regulations affecting J-1 scholars, we will communicate that information to you via email.