• J-1 Visa Follow the rules

You have a J-1 visa,

You should know these rules !

J-1 visa requirements

Now that you have obtained you J-1 visa, you will have to respect some rules related to your visa status, to comply with J-1 visa requirements:

Registration requirement

Within 30 days of the start date on your DS-2019 form, you must register at your university, generally at the international office.

Restriction on employment

If you think they can get a second job beside your postdoctoral position, forget about it!

Although it is common for US citizens to have several jobs at the same time, it is not allowed with the J-1 status.

You can work only at the location(s) listed on your DS-2019 form !

But exceptionally, if it is related to your program objectives, you should be able to request an authorization from your J-1 sponsor for additional employment. For example, occasional lectures and short-term consultant activities may be authorized but you must obtain prior written authorization from your J-1 sponsor.

J-1 visa health insurance requirements

J-1 postdoctoral scholars and their J-2 dependents must maintain health insurance coverage according to the exchange visitor program throughout their stay in the US.

Minimum benefits required

  • Coverage
  • Medical benefits (per accident or illness)
  • Repatriation of remains
  • Medical evacuation
  • Deductible (per accident or illness)
  • Amount
  • At least $100 000
  • $25 000
  • $50 000
  • Not to exceed $500

Policy requirements

To comply with J-1 Visa regulations, these insurance policies must be underwritten by an insurance carrier having one of the following ratings:

  • Insurance Corporations
  • A.M. Best
  • Insurance Solvency International, Ltd. (ISI)
  • Standard and Poor’s Claims Paying Ability
  • Weiss Research, Inc
  • Ratings
  • A- or above
  • A- or above
  • A- or above
  • B+ or above

You can find these information on “insurance” section of J-1 Visa website.

Please note that failing to have/maintain health insurance coverage as detailed above is in violation of U.S. Government regulations and would lead to termination of J-1 visa program.

Generally, you enroll in University health insurance programs which include medical, dental and vision insurance. Enrollment often needs to be completed within 30 days of your start day. You are generally covered for medical expenses incurred in the period between your employment date and your enrollment date.

Report changes of residential address

You must report your residential address within 10 days of your entry to the US and subsequently report any changes of address within 10 days to your J-1 sponsor.

Travel requirements

If you travel outside the US, you will need your passport along with your valid J-1 visa stamped in the passport (except for Canadian citizens) and your valid DS-2019 form to reenter in the United States.

Important Note

Your DS-2019 form must be signed once a year in the “travel validation” section by a responsible office of your exchange visitor program.
As a standard, you should ask to the international office of your university, if applicable.

Same rules apply to J-2 dependents.

Program completion: this is the end

 J-1 postdoctoral scholars and their J-2 dependents must depart the US within 30 days of their form DS-2019 expiration date or program completion date, whichever is earlier.

Learn more how to extend your stay in the US !

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