To maintain valid visa status, J-1 exchange visitors are required to:

  • Complete the entire mandatory check-in process within 30 days of arrival.
  • Maintain current, valid copies of all required documents at all times:
    - Form DS-2019
    - Passport
    - I-94 record
    - Form DS-7002 (J-1 student interns only)
  • Maintain appropriate health insurance coverage for themselves and any J-2 dependents.
    Coverage must be active for the entire J-1 program, even when outside the U.S.
  • Engage only in activities permitted by their J-1 category and individual program.
    Permitted activities are outlined in Section 4 of the Form DS-2019.
    If the exchange visitor stops participating in the activities outlined in the Form DS-2019, for whatever reason, they must notify EVS immediately and prepare to leave the U.S.
  • Refrain from any unauthorized employment.
    Any employment activity that is not included in Section 4 of the Form DS-2019 must be approved, in writing, by EVS staff before the activity begins.
    Volunteering may be considered employment for immigration purposes; consult with EVS staff before beginning any volunteer activity.
  • Submit timely extension requests to their departmental contact in the UF host department.
  • Complete Out-of-Country Authorization before extended travel outside the U.S.

Termination

Exchange visitors who do not comply with all J visa regulations will have their SEVIS record terminated. This ends the J-1 program, as well as the valid visa status of the J-1 exchange visitor and any J-2 dependents. Exchange visitors whose SEVIS records are terminated must leave the U.S. immediately. They cannot request an extension of stay or in-country change-of-status.

Possible reasons for SEVIS record termination include:

  • Failure to participate in activities outlined in the Form DS-2019
  • Willful failure to maintain appropriate health insurance coverage for themselves and any J-2 dependents
  • Engagement in any unauthorized employment
  • Other violation of UF and/or J program rules or regulations

Course Enrollment

J-1 exchange visitors in professor or research scholar categories may enroll in classes as long as:

  • They continue to participate fully in all program activities as outlined in the Form DS-2019;
  • Their classes are incidental and do not disrupt or replace any program activities;
  • Their classes are not taken as part of a degree-seeking program.*

*Only exchange visitors in the degree-seeking J-1 visa category can enroll in degree-seeking programs.

Exchange visitors must contact their EVS advisor before enrolling in any classes.

J-2 Dependents

J-1 exchange visitors may have their spouse and/or dependent children join them in the U.S. during the J-1 program.

J-2 Visa Status Requirements

To maintain valid visa status, J-2 dependents are required to:

  • Maintain current, valid copies of all required documents at all times:
    - Form DS-2019
    - Passport
    - I-94 record
    - Form DS-7002 (J-1 student interns only)
  • Live with the J-1 exchange visitor at all times.
    J-2 dependents may not work or attend school anywhere that requires them to live separately from the J-1 exchange visitor.
  • Maintain appropriate insurance coverage for the entire duration of their J-2 visa status, even if/when they are outside the U.S.
  • Obtain work authorization before beginning any paid or unpaid work.
    Volunteering may be considered employment for immigration purposes; consult with EVS staff before beginning any volunteer activity.
  • Make timely arrangements for J-2 dependent children who will turn 21 and/or marry.
    - J-2 dependent children must be unmarried and under age 21.
    - Individuals must apply for a new visa status before they marry/turn 21, or else leave the U.S.
    - Exchange visitors should contact their EVS advisor to review their options with as much advance notice as possible.

NOTE: The J-2 visa is not intended to replace a B-1/B-2 tourist visa. The J-2 visa offers more privileges (e.g., longer stay, potential to work or study, etc.), but also has more post-visa restrictions (e.g., 2-year repeat participation bar, 212(e) rule, etc.). An individual can receive multiple tourist visas over the course of a J-1 program, but only one (1) J-2 visa.

EVS does not process tourist visas. Our office can provide simple invitation letters, which may or may not be helpful in the visa application process. It is up to the consular officer’s discretion.

Add a J-2 Dependent: Before J-1 Program Begins

If any J-2 dependents intend to arrive with the J-1 exchange visitor at the start of the J-1 program, they should be included in the initial DS-2019 Request. The request must include Exchange Visitor Registration Form, J-2 Responsibility Form, and proof of sufficient additional funding (see below).

NOTE: If a J-2 dependent included in the initial DS-2019 Request will no longer arrive within 30 days of the J-1 exchange visitor, notify EVS as soon as possible at evs@ufic.ufl.edu.

Add a J-2 Dependent: After J-1 Program Begins

If any J-2 dependents intend to join the J-1 exchange visitor more than 30 days after they arrive in the U.S., the Form DS-2019(s) must be requested separately.

To request a J-2 Form DS-2019, the J-1 exchange visitor must email their EVS advisor the following:

  • EV Dependent Request Form
  • Scan of valid passport’s bio data page (per dependent)
  • Proof of payment EVS processing fee
  • Proof of sufficient additional funding (see below)
  • Proof of appropriate health insurance
    - Coverage for each J-2 dependent must begin the date their application is submitted, not the date they intend to arrive in the U.S.
    - This means the exchange visitor must purchase health insurance for time when the J-2 dependents are outside the U.S.

Funding Requirements

The University of Florida has minimum funding requirements for all exchange visitors it sponsors. Sufficient funding for the entire program activity period must be verified by EVS staff before a Form DS-2019 can be issued.

Minimum funding requirements for J exchange visitors are:

Exchange Visitor

$1,500/month

Spouse

$1,000/month

Child

$500/month (per child)

The chart below provides minimum funding requirements for exchange visitors and their dependents for monthly and annual periods:

Exchange Visitor (EV)

EV

EV & Spouse

EV, Spouse & 1 Child

EV, Spouse & 2 Children

EV &
1 Child

EV & 2 Children

Per Month

$1,500

$2,500

$3,000

$3,500

$2,000

$2,500

Per Year

$18,000

$30,000

$36,000

$42,000

$24,000

$30,000

Remove a J-2 Dependent

If any J-2 dependents voluntarily end or legally become ineligible for J-2 status, their Form DS-2019 must be canceled.

Potential reasons to remove a J-2 dependent:

  • J-2 dependent will leave the U.S. with no intent to return during the J-1 program
  • J-2 dependent was approved to change from J-2 to another U.S. visa status
  • J-2 dependent child turns 21
  • J-2 dependent child marry
  • J-2 dependent spouse and J-1 exchange visitor divorce

To remove a J-2 dependent, the J-1 exchange visitor must email their EVS advisor.

NOTE: EVS can only issue one (1) initial Form DS-2019 per J-2 dependent per J-1 program. This means if a J-2 dependent’s Form DS-2019 is canceled, they cannot be issued a new Form DS-2019 during the same J-1 program.