Skip to main content
Tulane Home Tulane Home

Maintaining Your J-1 Status

Students by building


Quick Reference for Maintaining Your J-1 Status 



The Two-Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement- 212 (E)

The Two Year Home Residency Requirement is often referred as the 212(e). Only the U.S. Department of State can determine if a J-1 and/or J-2 is subject to the 212(e). If subject, a J-visa holder will have to physically reside within their last country of legal permanent residence for two years before s/he may return to the U.S. as an H-1B visa holder, L visa holder, K visa holder or as a Permanent Resident.  If subject, J-visitors are unable to apply for a change of status within the USA.  Being "subject" to this regulation does not prevent a visitor from returning to the U.S. in another visa status, such as F-1 (student), B1/B2 (tourist/business) or under the visa waiver program.

There are three reasons a J-1 visitor may be subject to the 212(e):

• J-1 program is funded in part or wholly by the United States government, the visitor's government, or an international organization.
• the J-1 program is engaged in one or more of the skills listed on the Exchange Visitor Skills List (1997 Amendment) for his/her country.
• the J-1 visa holder is receiving graduate medical education or training.

For more information on J-1 two-year requirement, visit the Department of State website.

It is important to know if one is subject to 212 (E) when making plans.  Contact the OISS for more information.

Back to Top


Registration, Attendance, and Course Load Requirement 

International students in J-1 Status are required to maintain full time enrollment during the school year. Full-time enrollment for degree-seeking students is defined as 12 credit hours for undergraduate students and varies by school and program for graduate students. The requirement for non-degree students is that you must be engaged fulltime in a prescribed course of study. If you will not meet the requirement, you must complete this form. PLEASE NOTE: under enrollment must be pre-approved. Federal regulations severely limit a student’s ability to under enroll. OISS is required to report an<br /> unauthorized drop below fulltime via the SEVIS system and you will be out of status.

Your options include:

  • Authorization to drop below full-time (if your circumstances fall into one of the allowable reasons)
  • Converting a class to independent study (possible in limited circumstances)
  • Providing evidence that you have a Teaching Assistantship or a Research Assistantship
  • For non-degree students, providing evidence that you are engaged full time in a prescribed course of study

Back to Top


Extension of Status 

If a student will not be able to complete their course of study before the program end date listed on their DS-2019, they must apply for an extension before the program end date with an explanation of the reasons for the delay in completion of their program. 

If a student fails to apply for an extension before the DS-2019 program end date, the student is considered out of status and is not eligible for an extension. The student would have to either apply for reinstatement or exit the U.S. and apply for admission with a new DS-2019 and a new SEVIS ID for initial attendance. 

J-1 program extensions are very rare.  Please contact Beth Nazar at for more information.

Back to Top


Procedures for Transfer Out

Students must inform OISS of their intent to transfer to another school and provide the name and the school code of the school to which the student will transfer (the "transfer-in" school) on the transfer-out form. 

Students must inform the transfer-in school of their arrival within 15 days of the program start date listed on the Form DS-2019.

Please contact Beth Nazar at to learn more about transferring your J-1 program.

Frequently Asked Questions

Back to Top