Maintaining Your Legal Status

In order to maintain your legal status as a J-1 faculty or staff member you must:

  • Have a valid I-94 and a valid and current DS-2019 form at all times
  • Have a valid passport (as well as all of your dependents, if applicable)
  • To extend your passport, you will need to contact your home country embassy or consulate for the procedures that you must follow. Be sure to contact your embassy at least 6 months prior to the expiration of your passport to ensure timely processing.
  • Maintain adequate health insurance coverage for yourself and your dependents as required by federal regulations
  • Pursue the activity described in item #4 on your DS-2019 form
  • Only engage in employment in the department or office for which your program has been
  • approved
  • File timely and appropriate transfer and extension notifications through International Affairs.
  • If any university courses are taken, they must only be part-time, non-degree courses
  • File US tax returns (due every April)


Reporting Your Local Address

After your arrival to the United States, you must report your local address with OIA. You must also update your address within ten (10) days each time you move. Updating your address is an essential part of immigration compliance. Failure to report your address results in your immigration status canceling or terminating.

Extension of Stay

A scholar must always maintain a valid Form DS-2019 during their stay in the US. The ending date in item #3 on the Form DS-2019 is the expiration date. If eligible to continue in the program beyond the date in item #3, a scholar will need to submit a completed Visiting Staff Request for a program extension.

The extension may be processed 90 days before the completion date on the current Form DS-2019 but no later than the completion date. If an extension is not needed, a J-1 scholar then has a 30-day grace period after the completion date to depart the US.

Any extension request must remain within the time limit for the J-1 scholar's category. The category is listed on the DS-2019 in item #4. Professors and Research Scholars have a 5-year window in which to pursue their activity. For Short-Term Scholars, the time window is six (6) months. These are continuous periods of time, not aggregate amounts of time (like starting a countdown that cannot be stopped).

In order to request an extension, a J-1 scholar requires the following:

  • Passport
  • Form I-94
  • Current Form DS-2019
  • DS-2019s and passports for any and all dependents, if applicable
  • J scholar extension form
  • Original financial support document dated within the last six months.
    • Minimum required funding for an extension:
  • $1,500/month for the scholar
  • $625/month for a spouse
  • $375/month for each child
  • Proof of health insurance coverage for the duration of the proposed extension
  • If participating in Academic Training, an offer letter (for financial purposes)

Be sure to notify OIA if you have completed your program or are withdrawing from your program early.

Caution: Extension of stay in the United States is the scholar's responsibility. By forgetting a deadline and applying late, a scholar risks denial. Please be certain to apply in timely fashion if needing to extend.


Transfers from one J-1 program to another must be initiated with the current program sponsor listed on your DS-2019. Students should complete the SEVIS Transfer Release Form. Scholars should contact OIA as early as possible to determine transfer eligibility and procedures.

Change of Program Category

J-1 Exchange Visitors may rarely change from one J category to another. Please contact OIA as early as possible to determine eligibility and procedures.

Off-Campus Consultations and Lectures

The Department of State (DoS) allows for occasional lectures and consultations that are incidental to the J-1 professor, research scholar or short-term scholar’s objective at Kentucky State University. Wages and remuneration are allowed if the following criteria and procedures are satisfied:


The occasional lectures or short-term consultations shall:

  • Be directly related to the objectives of the J-1 scholar's program
  • Be incidental to the objective of the stay at Kentucky State University (not delaying the completion of the J-1 scholar's program).
  • Be for a period for 30 days or less

OIA Authorization Letters

A J-1 scholar must request an authorization letter from OIA prior to engaging in lectures or consultations. This request can be made by emailing or calling (502) 597-6327 and speaking with the Director of Global Strategies and International Affairs.

The letter will be printed on official University letterhead, be signed by an authorized representative in International Affairs, and set forth the terms and conditions of the proposed lecture or consultation offer by providing the following:

  • proposed start and end dates
  • field or subject
  • amount of compensation
  • description of the activity

A second letter, from the head of the scholar’s academic department at Kentucky State University, will:

  • support the proposed activity
  • indicate that this activity is related to the original objective of the J-1 scholar’s visit to Kentucky State University

Once you have this documentation, bring it to a meeting with International Affairs.

The 30-Day Grace Period

Exchange visitors must depart the US within 30 days of the expiration of the DS-2019 or the completion of the program, whichever is earlier.

The 24-Month Bar

Research Scholars and Professors are prohibited from returning to the US for 24 months in either of these categories once they have completed their program as listed on the DS-2019 or sooner. A J-1 scholar preparing for departure should meet with International Affairs before leaving to discuss his/her plans and how this rule affects him/her.