J-1 Student Visa Regulations

In order to receive a J-1 visa, you must obtain the appropriate DS-2019 form from a Department of Homeland Security-approved school and pay the SEVIS fee online.

Once you have received your DS-2019, you must maintain your visa status while you are in the United States. J-1 students' main purpose for being in the United States is to be a student. It is your responsibility to maintain your legal status while in the United States.

The only people qualified to give visa regulation advice are located in our department. Immigration regulations may change, so please contact IPS if you have any questions.

To ensure you are maintaining your J-1 status, you must:

  • Keep your documents current
  • Maintain a full-time course load
  • Report changes
  • Have no unauthorized employment
  • Obtain a travel signature before leaving the United States
  • Show proof of health insurance
  • Notify IPS if you plan to transfer to another U.S. institution.
  • File income taxes
  • Make arrangements to depart the United States, transfer to another institution, and change program level or visa status within 30 days of completing your program.
Course Load Requirement

If you are unable to maintain full-time enrollment, see your international student advisor immediately. Do not drop below full-time unless an international student advisor has authorized it in SEVIS. The following are the full-time course load requirements for students at Benedictine University:

Part-time enrollment may be authorized for:

  • Severe difficulty adjusting to the U.S. educational system/difficulties with the English language in the first semester.
  • Medical need (detailed documentation from a U.S. physician required).
  • Student is in his/her last semester and taking the necessary number of credits needed to complete all degree requirements.

Unacceptable reasons for part-time enrollment include, but are not limited to:

  • Poor grades in a prior semester.
  • Fear of failing a class.
  • Lack of money to pay tuition.
  • Travel plans.
  • International students are eligible for annual vacation terms once per year. Students must be enrolled full time for three quarters or two semesters in order to be eligible.
  • Please submit the Vacation Term Request Form to your advisor prior to taking a term off.
Passport, Visa, I-94 and DS-2019
  • DS-2019 indicated
    • Section 1: Your Biographic Information (SEVIS ID Number)
    • Section 2: Program Sponsor
    • Section 3: Program End Date
    • Section 4: Academic Program Information
    • Section 5: Financial Information
    • Section 6: Department of State Notification
    • Section 7: Advisor Signature
    • It is your responsibility to keep your Form DS-2019 current and retain all Forms DS-2019 ever issued to you forever!
  • J-1 Visa
  • I-94
  • Passport
212. e WARNING - Two-Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement

Be aware of the consequences of utilizing the J visa. Exchange visitors, and any dependents accompanying them, may be subject to a two-year rule following the completion of the J program.

For this reason, it is wise to choose the J visa carefully, making sure the circumstances surrounding your proposed program are truly "exchange-related" and that you do intend to return to your home country.

If the student's visa is marked "Subject to 212e" they must return to their country and spend two years there before returning to the United States on certain visa types.

Health Insurance Requirement 

All J students must provide evidence that they are covered by adequate medical health insurance that meets the requirements as set by the U.S. Department of State, while participating in their sponsor's exchange program in the U.S.
Minimum coverage must provide:

  • A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness;
  • Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness;
  • Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000; and
  • Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000

Willful failure to provide proof of appropriate health insurance coverage will result in the termination of the Exchange Visitor's program.

IPS works with GeoBlue to offer students a discounted rate at health insurance.  Download their guide student guide for information on how to obtain insurance.