Resolving Status Problems

What It Means to Be "Out-of-Status"

If you are admitted to the U.S. in J-1 status and fail to comply with J-1 immigration regulations, you will be considered "out of valid program status." In order to regain valid J-1 program status, you must either 1) leave and reenter the U.S. in J-1 status or 2) request a reinstatement from U.S. Department of State (DoS).
While out-of-status, you are subject to expedited removal from the U.S. and ineligible for any type of employment.
As a J-1 student, you may lose your program status for any of the following reasons:

  • Enrolling for less than the required full course load (i.e., a minimum of 12 credits for undergraduates; 9 credits for graduates during spring and fall semesters) without prior approval from your J-1 program sponsor.
  • Failing to complete a timely transfer procedure if transferring from another U.S. institution.
  • Entering the U.S. with a Form DS-2019 for one school but attending a different school, i.e., attending a school you are not authorized to attend.
  • Failing to complete a timely notification procedure if changing from one academic program to another.
  • Failing to request a program extension in a timely manner, or an invalid reason for program extension.
  • Having an expired passport.
  • Working on campus for more than 20 hours a week while school is in session.
  • Failing to obtain or maintain the required health insurance at all times while in the U.S.*
  • Working off campus without prior authorization if such employment cannot be authorized retroactively.*
  • Being suspended or terminated from the most recent exchange visitor program.*
  • Failing to maintain valid J-1 program status for more than 270 calendar days.*
  • Receiving a favorable recommendation from DoS on an application for waiver of the two-year home country physical presence requirement of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act.*
  • Failing to pay the SEVIS Form I-901 fee.*
* In all of these cases, you are ineligible for reinstatement and must leave and reenter the U.S. with a new SEVIS record, J-1 visa and Form DS-2019 to regain J-1 program status.

Procedures for Reinstatement to J-1 Program Status
If you have failed to maintain J-1 program student status, you must contact your J-1 program sponsor for assistance. If your J-1 program sponsor is the University of Miami, International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) will assist you in preparing the documentation required to request reinstatement from the DoS in case you are eligible to apply for reinstatement.
J-1 students who have failed to maintain valid program status for 120 days or less must provide the following documents to ISSS:
  1. Copies of all prior Forms DS-2019;
  2. Evidence of payment of the SEVIS fee;
  3. Check or money order for $367.00 made payable to the "University of Miami"
J-1 students who have failed to maintain valid program status for more than 120 but less than 270 days must show inadvertence or circumstances beyond their control and unusual hardship if reinstatement were not granted. All other elements of the reinstatement application are the same.
DoS expects to act on the reinstatement request within 45 days from their receipt of the request. If DoS approves the reinstatement, it will notify your J-1 program sponsor via email, at which point your J-1 program sponsor should access your SEVIS record and print a new Form DS-2019 for you (as well as for any J-2 dependents you may have). If the reinstatement request is denied, DoS will notify the J-1 program sponsor regarding the denial.

Alternatives to reinstatement: Travel and reentry
If you do not want to apply for or are not eligible to apply for reinstatement through DoS, you may choose to depart the country and seek reentry with a new SEVIS record, Form DS-2019 and J-1 visa. Traveling abroad and reentering the U.S. will put you back in J-1 program status; however, it will only put you back in J-1 program status from the day you reenter the U.S.