vs. J-1 Status
is often confusion over the difference between visa and
status. In many countries, a visa is directly tied to the
immigration status. In the U.S., the visa simply allows a
foreign national to apply for admission in the U.S. at a
Port of Entry.
The U.S. Port of Entry grants the
legal status through endorsing the I-94 arrival/departure
endorsement and granting of status is done each time an
individual enters the U.S. Thus it is essential that each
time you travel and re-enter the U.S. you are prepared to
document your legal J-1 status. You should also carefully
review the I-94 card for accuracy at the Port of Entry (be
certain the Port grants the current legal status), and that
you provide the ISSS office with updated copies of the I-94
card each time you travel.
For J-1 students, the
Port of Entry
will mark J-1 as the visa status and D/S for duration
of status. This D/S indication allows the educational
institution to extend or transfer your legal immigration
status without any additional applications to
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration
and beyond the expiration date of
the J-1 visa stamp.
Extensions or changes of status to J-1 provide valid
immigration status in the U.S., but the J-1 visa can only be
obtained or renewed at a U.S. Consulate abroad (preferably in
the student’s home country). A valid visa stamp must be
presented upon re-entering the United States. Note: Do not
enter the U.S. using a B-1/B-2 tourist visa or using the Visa
Waiver Program. Doing so will not allow for study or any
other benefits related to the J-1 status.