Staying Legal

All international students are responsible for complying with the terms and conditions of their visa status in the U.S. In order to maintain your legal J-1 immigration status, you must assume the following responsibilities.

Full Course of Study

Every J-1 student must complete a full course of study each Fall/Spring semester (and Summer if it is your first semester) and make normal progress towards completing the program of study.

Limitation on counting ONLINE course credits towards minimum requirement:

Generally, only one online class (up to 3 credit hours) can count towards the full-time enrollment requirement. 

  • Note: students taking any AEC classes cannot count any online class towards the full-time enrollment requirement.

KU defines full-time enrollment during Fall and Spring semesters:

For undergraduate students:

  • 12 credit hours (including any AEC courses)

For graduate students:

  • 9 credit hours
  • 6 credit hours plus a GTA, GRA, or GA appointment

Students must not drop a course and become less than full time without prior authorization from ISS. Please note that there are very limited circumstances in which pursuing less than full-time study is allowed. Please read the Reduced Course Load section. 

Conditions and Restrictions on Student Employment

Always get written work authorization from an ISS immigration advisor before working. Learn how to get written authorization.

There is a limit to on-campus work of 20 hours per week while school is in session. Also, do not work on campus after your DS-2019 expiration date

Change of Residential Address

Students must report any change of residential address to ISS within 10 days of the change. Please change your address in Enroll & Pay as well as in iHawk.

Health Insurance

Carry health insurance for yourself and your J-2  dependents throughout the entire program, as per U.S. federal regulations

Required Travel Documents

Please review our travel information page before making plans to travel abroad. An J-1 student should get a travel signature on DS-2019 form and speak with an international advisor if desired before traveling. 

Students should keep their passport valid for six months into the future at all times.

Program Changes

Get a new DS-2019 for any change in major or degree level at KU.

Program Extension

Extend J-1 program prior to the program end date on your DS-2019 form if you are not finished. Read more about program extension.

Understanding Program Sponsorship

The program sponsor, noted in Section #2 of the student's DS-2019, is the agency or educational institution that is responsible for coordinating the participant's J-1 program. This is not necessarily the same as the financial sponsor. Students who are not sponsored by KU will need to seek advice from their respective program sponsor.

Grace Period

Leave the U.S. within 30 days of finishing your program, or, if eligible, apply for change of status or be admitted to another academic program. 

Immigration Documents

Carry I-94 (either electronic printout or paper card) at all times and your passport needs to be valid at least 6 months into the future.

It is important that you keep all SEVIS DS-2019's issued to you. You should keep these documents in a safe place. If any of these documents are damaged, lost, or stolen, it is your responsibility to have them replaced as quickly as possible.