Maintaining Legal Status While in the US (J-1)

All J-1 student visa holders sponsored by the UO must follow U.S. immigration regulations in order to maintain legal visa status while studying in the US. To ensure you maintain legal status, we notify you when you are in danger of falling out of status. This page will explain some of the important regulations you must follow and abide by. The ISSS team of international student advisors is always available to answer any questions you may have about your visa status.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Always check your UO email for important communication from ISSS and your program coordinator about your immigration status and reminders.

Full-Time Enrollment

J-1 students visa holders must be registered full-time EACH term. Full-time enrollment is defined as a minimum of 12 credits for undergraduate students or a minimum of 9 credits for graduate students. Exemptions to the full-time enrollment requirement must be approved by ISSS.

Reduced Course Load

Students can request a reduced course load to drop below full-time enrollment under certain circumstances. The request must be submitted to the ISSS office before the start of the term and no later than the last day to add classes.

Click on Reduced Course Load Exemptions for eligibility and how to submit a request.

Making Normal Progress

J-1 students visa holders are required to make normal academic progress. Normal progress means enrollment full-time and maintaining a satisfactory grade point average (GPA) each term of a 2.0 or higher for undergraduate students, or a 3.0 or higher for graduate students.

Students who fail to make normal progress may be found ineligible for J-1 benefits such as travel authorization signatures or extensions. In addition, such students may be placed on academic warning or probation, and eventually be disqualified from the UO. Students who are disqualified are no longer eligible to continue studying at the UO. If this happens to you, your J-1 status will be terminated and you may need to leave the country. Speak to an international student advisor if you are experiencing problems with your academics.

Maintaining Valid Immigration Documents

DS-2019: J-1 student visa holders must be aware of the expiration date on their DS-2019. If students would like to extend their program end date, they must submit a program extension request at least two weeks before the program expiration date.

Passport: Students should keep their passport valid at all times. If the passport will expire within 6 months, student must renew it through the embassy or consulate of their home country.

Address, Phone, and Email Information

J-1 student visa holders are required to update DuckWeb within 10 days of arrival into the U.S. with the following information: U.S. address, phone number, and email address. Should this information change, Duckweb must be duly updated by the visa holder within 10 days of the change.

Grace Period

J-1 student visa holders have a 30-day grace period to remain in the U.S. following the completion of their exchange program.