Maintaining J-1 Student Status

To maintain your J-1 visa status and your ability to continue studying at WSU, you will need to follow these rules and requirements.

Academic requirements

You typically must enroll in a full-time course of study each semester:
  • Undergraduate students: At least 12 credit hours with no fewer than 9 face-to-face credit hours
  • Graduate students: At least 10 credit hours with no fewer than 7 face-to-face credit hours

Changing your course schedule

If dropping a course would not place you at less than full-time enrollment, you can do so by simply completing a form in the International Student and Scholar Services office, Bryan Hall room 206.

Be sure your classes count

Audited courses

Classes that you audit (i.e., that are not graded for credit) do not count toward the full course of study.

Online courses

Only 3 online course credits may be counted toward your full-time enrollment requirement. If you are an undergraduate student and want to take 6 credits online, you must still take an additional 9 credits in the classroom. Graduate students must take at least 7 credits in the classroom.

Concurrent enrollment

You may take classes at other schools while taking classes at WSU. However, at least 50% of your classes must be taken at WSU. Classes you take at another school will count toward your full-time enrollment requirement at WSU if you submit a Concurrent Enrollment Request in myPassport.

 Academic reinstatement

If you need to seek reinstatement after insufficient academic progress:

If you are academically deficient or if your reinstatement was denied, contact an International Student and Scholar Services advisor immediately to discuss your options.

Summer session enrollment

Summer enrollment is optional for continuing full-time students. If you were enrolled at WSU for spring semester and plan to continue the following fall semester, you are not required to enroll during the summer semester. If you plan to enroll in summer, there are no minimum or maximum amount of credits and format (face-to-face or online) also does not matter. You can take any course you wish in any delivery format.

Summer semester is your first at WSU

If you are beginning studies in the summer and a summer start date is on your I-20 (F-1 students) or DS-2019 (J-1 students), then you must enroll for credits during the summer semester.

As a new graduate student, you must register for 3 credits during the summer. As a new undergraduate student, you must enroll in 6 credits during the summer.

Summer semester is your last at WSU

If you are completing your studies in the summer, then you must be fully enrolled (Undergrads 6 credits/Grads 3 credits) or with an approved Reduced Course Load (RCL) with at least one in-person class.

Graduate students defending in the summer

If you will be defending your dissertation or thesis in the summer, you are required to enroll in at least 2 research credits (700/702/800). Refer to the Graduate School for more information.

Change in program

Your Form DS-2019 must accurately reflect your current status as a student. You are responsible for keeping it up to date.

If you need to change your student status in any way, check the information below to be sure you are following proper procedure and meeting U.S. government requirements.

Change of level

If you complete one educational level and plan to continue to another at WSU (e.g., continuing from a bachelor’s to a master’s program), you must obtain a new DS-2019 within 60 days to reflect the change. The new DS-2019 notifies the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that you are changing educational levels.

Extending your J-1 immigration status

If you cannot finish your program of study before the completion date listed in block #3 on your DS-2019, request a program extension before your DS-2109 expires.


A program extension may be granted if all of these 3 conditions apply:

  • You have continually maintained legal status
  • You are applying early enough so that your extension can be granted prior to the expiration date on your DS-2019
  • The extension is needed to fulfill the original purpose of your program

How to request an extension

Contact the responsible officer or alternate responsible officer of your J-1 Exchange Visitor Program 2 months before your authorized stay expires.

If your sponsor is WSU, proceed through the following steps:

  1. Ask your academic advisor to complete the Request for Program Extension form in myPassport
  2. Fill out the Estimated Expenses form in myPassport
  3. Upload the following documents to myPassport:
  • Supporting financial documentation (e.g., bank statement, sponsor’s letter, public access file, etc.)
  • Proof of medical insurance coverage for the period of the extension

The responsible officer or alternate responsible officer will issue a new Form DS-2019 for the period requested.

When notified, come to the Office of International Programs International Student and Scholar Services office (Bryan Hall 206) to sign and pick up your new DS-2019.


If you plan to graduate in the current term, notify an advisor at the International Student and Scholar Services office or complete our departure form.

Canceling enrollment

Canceling your enrollment affects your immigration status. Once you have submitted your cancellation request to the WSU Registrar and it has been approved, you have 15 calendar days to depart from the United States.

Follow the appropriate procedures for departing from WSU.

Departing the United States

You must depart the United States within 30 days after either of the following:

  • The end date on your DS-2019
  • Your actual program completion date

Be sure to follow the appropriate procedures for departure.

If you have obtained authorization for Academic Training, you may extend your stay.

Taxes and funding

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the tax collection agency of the U.S. government. If you have J-1 immigration status, you must file a form with the IRS (Form 8843) regardless of whether you have earned income in the United States.

Learn more about tax requirements.

Verification of funding

In certain circumstances, the university may need to verify your estimated expenses and availability of funding. If your funding changes, you must notify International Student and Scholar Services.

Documents needed to verify funding

You may need one or more of the following:

  • Bank statement or statement of approved loan in your name
  • Bank statement in your sponsor’s name
  • Letter of support from your sponsor
    • It must be from the same sponsor named on the bank statement
    • The letter must indicate your sponsor’s relationship to you (parent, family member, friend, etc.)
    • Your letter must reflect your current funding situation and must be signed within the past 6 months
  • Letter from your academic department if you are a graduate student with a teaching or research assistantship
  • Letters from government/organizations
  • Financial Declaration of Support (I-134) if your sponsor resides in the United States; a bank statement must be attached

Requirements for financial documents

  •  Must be dated and less than 6 months old
  •  Written in English or accompanied by an English translation
  •  Copies are acceptable, including faxes and scanned documents