J-1: Maintaining Status

Benefits of J-1 Status
As a J-1 Student in good standing you may:
  • Obtain authorized employment
  • Request dependents to join you
  • Travel outside the US
  • Participate in professional internships in your field of study through Academic Training
  • Extend your stay, if needed, to complete your degree or complete an internship.
  • Transfer to another school
  • Change immigration status

Eligibility for Benefits
To maintain your J-1 status you must:
  • Maintain Key Documents
    • Ensure all of your documents are accurate and valid. See document page for details.
  • Obey Dept. of Homeland Security Regulations
    • Follow all rules and regulations related to your status, such as those involving employment and enrollment (see below).
  • Report Changes to the Registrar
    • Keep the Registrar up-to-date on all changes related to your status including address, phone, email address, degree program, financial support, etc. Most changes must be reported within 10 days.
  • Maintain Full-Time Enrollment
    • See below for detailed enrollment guidelines.

Enrollment Guidelines
International students must successfully complete a full-time class load every semester. Full-time is a minimum of 12 credits for undergraduates and 6 credits for graduate students. Students with a J-Visa may not count online courses toward full-time enrollment.
  • The following grades are acceptable for maintaining your status: A, B, C, D, and P (Pass).
  • The follow grades are NOT acceptable for maintaining your status: F (Fail), AU (Audit), I (Incomplete), W (Withdraw).
  • Failure to complete the full-time credit requirements may jeopardize your immigration status! Contact the Registrar with any questions concerning enrollment requirements.
  • View NNU's Acadamic Calendar for information about add/drop, class changes, and withdrawals deadlines.
Change of Level
If you have completed a degree and are accepted into another degree program at NNU, you must obtain a new DS-2019 form before your current DS-2019 expires or before you change academic levels. When requesting a new DS-2019 you must bring new financial statements demonstrating your ability to pay all living expenses and tuition for one year. Failure to obtain your new DS-2019 in a timely manner may jeopardize your immigration status.

Reduced Courseload
Full-time enrollment (12 credits for undergraduates; 6 credits for graduates) is mandatory for J-1 students. If you are having difficulty successfully completing a full-time class schedule, talk with the Registrar immediately! Under-enrollment may be authorized in the following exceptional circumstances.
Academic Reasons
One term of under-enrollment may be authorized by the Registrar for compelling academic reasons. You must receive authorization before the 4th week of the semester, and you must resume full-time enrollment the following term.
Medical Reasons
The Registrar may authorize up to 12 months of under-enrollment for medical reasons documented by a medical doctor, osteopath, or psychologist. Alternative medical providers and social workers are not authorized to provide documentation. Medical issues related to J-2 dependents are not valid for course reduction for the J-1 student. If you are experiencing serious medical or psychological issues, speak with the Registrar.
Final Semester of Study
You may be under-enrolled during your final semester of study. You must notify the Registrar before the 4th week of your final semester using the Reduced Courseload Form.
Graduate Thesis/Dissertation/Project
After completing all necessary coursework for your graduate degree program, you may be enrolled in 1 or more credits per semester while completing your thesis, dissertation, comprehensive exams or graduate project. You must submit a Reduced Courseload Form signed by your academic advisor to the Registrar by the second week of each semester.

Extension of Stay
If you will not complete your degree program within your program end date, you are required to apply for a program extension before the completion date on your DS-2019 form. To receive a program extension you must demonstrate that you are enrolled full-time, show financial documentation, and have legitimate academic or medical reasons for the delay. If approved, the Registrar will provide a new DS-2019 form and notify the US Customs and Immigration Service of the change. Please contact the Registrar for information on the extension process.

If you are unable to demonstrate valid academic or medical reasons for the delay, you will be considered in violation of your immigration status and must apply for reinstatement of your J-1 status.