Maintaining J-1 Status Visiting Language Instructors

Visiting Language Instructors (VLIs) are in the J-1 Professor visa category. As such, the requirements for maintaining your visa status differ slightly from our J-1 students. This page is meant to provide a generic overview of certain J-1 requirements; it does not contain all laws for every situation.  If you ever have questions or concerns, always contact your advisor in the Center for International Education (CIE) for specific guidance.

As a J-1 Exchange Visitor, it is your responsibility to maintain your non-immigrant J-1 status.  Failure to follow the laws for J-1 status can result in you losing your legal ability to be in the U.S., and may harm your chances of getting a new visa in the future.  To ensure you are following J-1 laws, you must:

  1. Attend the mandatory International Orientation.
  2. Keep your passport valid at all times, in most cases for at least 6 months into the future.
  3. Ensure your I-94 record is always marked as J-1, D/S when you re-enter the U.S.
  4. Conduct employment only at the University of Mary Washington (educational institution listed on your DS-2019).  Employment must be related to original program objective.
  5. Maintain required health insurance coverage for your J-1 status and your J-2 dependents as legally required.
  6. Notify CIE of your change of physical address (where you live in the US) within 10 days of the change.  This address cannot be a P.O. Box or a departmental address.
  7. Not let your DS-2019 expire. You must remember the expiration date on your DS-2019, and request a program extension prior to the expiration date.  Extensions must not exceed the 5 year maximum duration for the professor category.
  8. If traveling outside the U.S., ensure you have a valid visa and a recent travel signature on your DS-2019.
  9. Depart from the U.S. within 30 days after completing your program of study.
  10. Make arrangements for a new, short term tourist/visitor visa, if you plan to take an international trip during your 30 day grace period. To apply for a B-2 visitor visa, make an appointment with the U.S. consulate or embassy in the country you will be visiting before you leave the U.S. Passport holders from some countries are eligible for the Visa Waiver Program, in which case you must:
    • Register online with EST
    • Bring your flight itinerary for your final flight leaving the U.S.