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FSIS website under construction
Starting September 20, 2013, we'll be making changes to the format of our website. We ask for your patience as this may be a lengthy process. Contact Signe at if you have problems with website functionality or navigation.

New I-94 procedure
From April 30, 2013, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will begin implementing a paperless I-94 procedure at U.S. air and sea ports of entry.

EB immigrant visa availability
U.S. Department of State's monthly Visa Bulletin

Completing Your UH J-1 Program

J-1 completion verification

30-day “grace” period

2-year foreign residence requirement (sec. 212(e))

12-month & 24-month bars

Transferring to another J-1 sponsor

J-1 completion verification [top]

At least 2 weeks before your UH exchange visitor program ends, you must complete and submit the J-1 Completion Form with a copy of your return air tickets/itinerary to your UH sponsoring unit’s Administrative/Personnel Officer (AO/PO). The AO/PO will forward these documents to FSIS to be reported in SEVIS.

30-day “grace” period [top]

If you complete your program on the DS-2019 end date, you will have a 30-day travel status period ("grace” period). During the grace period, you may stay and travel within the U.S. or prepare for your final departure from the U.S. However, be very careful that you do not stay in the U.S. even one day beyond the 30 day grace period or you will be considered a "visa overstay." For future visits to the U.S., a visa overstay is required to apply for all U.S. visas only in his/her country of citizenship or country of legal permanent residence.
If you complete your program before the DS-2019 end date, you must depart the U.S. immediately. You will not have a 30-day grace period. If you withdraw or complete your program early, you must inform FSIS, your UH sponsoring unit, your UH unit’s Administrative/ Personnel Officer. UH is required to report your early completion through SEVIS.

J-2 dependents

Your dependents’ J-2 status is contingent upon your J-1 status. If you complete your J-1 program and leave the U.S., your J-2 dependents must leave with you. If they remain in the U.S. after you complete your program and depart the U.S., they will lose their J-2 status and be considered visa overstays if they have no legal basis for staying in the U.S.


2-year foreign residence requirement (sec. 212(e)) [top]

Exchange visitors who are subject to the 2-year foreign residence requirement must return with their dependents to their home country for a minimum of 2 years after finishing their programs before they can return to U.S. with an H or L nonimmigrant work visa or an immigrant visa. The purpose of this requirement is to ensure the home country benefits from the exchange visitor's experiences in the U.S. Foreign nationals who are subject to this requirement cannot change to another visa status (except "A" or "G") while in the U.S. nor can they obtain lawful permanent residence until they either fulfill the 2 year requirement or obtain a waiver of the requirement.

The U.S. DOS Waiver Review Division has the final authority to determine whether you are subject to this requirement. When UH issues Form DS-2019, when a U.S. Embassy/Consulate issues a visa, and when a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer admits you at a port of entry, preliminary determinations are made on whether you are subject to the requirement. If you disagree with any of these preliminary determinations, you may write to the DOS Waiver Review Division to request an advisory opinion on whether you are subject to the requirement. See the DOS Waiver Review Division website for more information.
If UH did not issue your DS-2019, you must contact the issuing organization (your J-1 program sponsor) for information on how to apply for an advisory opinion or a waiver. FSIS cannot advise non-UH J-1 scholars on Sec. 212(e) issues.

The J-2 dependents of exchange visitors who are subject to the 2-year foreign residence requirement are also subject to the requirement.


12-month & 24-month bars [top]

Depending on your J-1 category or the length of your J-1 program, you and your J-2 dependents may be subject to a 12-month or 24-month bar on repeat participation as a J-1 research scholar or professor
- that is, you and your J-2 dependents may be prevented from returning to the U.S. in the J-1 research scholar and professor categories for 12 or 24 months. See the 12-Month and 24-Month Bars Chart for more information.

Transferring to another J-1 sponsor [top]

UH cannot sponsor an exchange visitor after the completion of his/her UH program and strongly encourages participants to return home to fulfill the exchange purpose. FSIS may consider a request to transfer program sponsorship to another sponsor only under the following circumstances:

  • The transfer is necessary to enable you to meet your original program objectives.
  • The UH program cannot meet these objectives and the program at the new institution will provide you with the opportunity to meet these objectives.
  • You are not changing your field of study or research. 
  • The total period of time in all exchange programs does not exceed the limit for your exchange visitor category.
  • You will transfer to an institution that has agreed to issue you a DS-2019 for transfer of program sponsorship.
  • Your UH J-1 program has not ended. No transfers can be processed after the end date on the current UH-issued DS-2019.
  • Short-term scholars are not permitted to transfer program sponsorship.

If the transfer request meets the above requirements, follow these procedures to complete the transfer:

  1. Complete and submit a Request to Transfer J-1 Exchange Visitor to Another Program Sponsor to your UH unit’s Administrative/Personnel Officer to be forwarded to FSIS.
  2. Your UH sponsoring unit must submit the transfer request to FSIS at least 45 days before the new program begins.
  3. If the transfer request is approved, FSIS will process a “transfer out” in SEVIS to the new sponsoring institution.
  4. After the new sponsoring institution validates the SEVIS transfer, the new institution will issue you a new DS-2019. The transfer of sponsorship is not valid without the completion of the transfer process in SEVIS.