To maintain your J-1 visa status and your ability to continue studying at WSU, you will need to follow these rules and requirements.
To maintain F-1 or J-1 visa status, you typically must enroll in a full-time course of study each semester:
- Undergraduate students: At least 12 credit hours
- Graduate students: At least 10 credit hours
These presentations will help you transition to Washington State University and answer many questions you may have.
Changing Your Course Schedule
After the 10th day of classes, you may not drop or withdraw from classes online. You must visit with an advisor in International Student and Scholar Services. This is a safeguard to keep you from dropping out of legal status.
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 108.
Be Sure Your Classes Count
Classes that you audit (i.e., that are not graded for credit) do not count toward the full course of study.
Limit online courses to 1 class (3 credits) per semester. Only 3 online course credits may be counted toward your full-time enrollment requirement. If you are an undergraduate and want to take 6 credits online, you must still take an additional 9 credits in the classroom.
You may take classes at other schools while taking classes at WSU. However, at least 50 percent 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.
Earn Passing Grades
You must pass all of your courses. If your courses are too difficult, contact an International Student and Scholar Services advisor immediately. If you become academically deficient, you must seek academic reinstatement to continue at WSU.
If you need to seek reinstatement after insufficient academic progress:
- Undergraduates: Contact the Academic Success and Career Center
- Graduate students: Contact the Graduate School
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Ask your academic advisor to complete the Request for Program Extension form (pdf) once you submit your request in myPassport
- Estimate your expenses (pdf)
- 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 108) to sign and pick up your new DS-2019.
If you plan to graduate in the current term, notify an advisor in International Student and Scholar Services or complete our departure form.
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.