J-1 Frequent Asked Questions

How many credit hours must I complete to maintain my full-time status?

Undergraduate:

  • 12 credits (Fall/Spring)
  • If Summer is your first semester at the University of Florida you must maintain a minimum of 12 credit hours.

Graduate:

  • 9 credits (Fall/Spring) (Department may require up to 12 credit hours)
  • If Summer is your first semester at the University of Florida you must maintain a minimum of 6 credit hours.

What must I do if I am unable to maintain full-time status?

If there is a legitimate reason (i.e. academic or medical problem), you should contact a Student Advisor at the International center for advisement.

How do I transfer to another school as an J-1?

  • Be admitted to the school where you want to transfer.
  • Contact your international student adviser and ask them what you need in order to transfer your SEVIS record to the new school. Please check the Transfer Out form.
  • Once we have transferred your record out, go to the immigration specialist at the new school to finalize the transfer.

Can an J-1 student apply for work permission?

As an J-1 student, you are eligible to work on campus up to 20 hours per week with prior approval from UFIC. An J-1 student may not work off campus. Permission to work off-campus may be granted by the ISA when there is economic necessity due to unforeseen changes in financial circumstances.

Can the spouse or child on an J-2 visa work?

An J-2 can work on or off campus with authorization from USCIS. Please click here for more information.

What is the expiration date of my I-94?

Almost every I-94 has an expiration date of D/S. This stands for Duration of Status - period during which the student is pursuing a full-time course of study in any education program. If there is a specific date indicated you must come to 170 Hub before that date. Please click here for more information.

I did not turn in my I-94 when I left the U.S., what should I do?

Failure to turn in your I-94 (or I-94W) when you leave the U.S. can create a serious problem. Without this record of your departure, you will be identified in our records as an "overstay." Being identified as an overstay means that you will be denied re-entry into the U.S. If you failed to turn in your I-94, please send it - along with any documentation that proves you left the U.S. to:

DHS - CBP SBU
1084 South Laurel Road
London, KY 40744

Do not mail your Form I-94 Departure Record or supporting information to any U.S. Consulate or Embassy, to any other CBP Office in the United States, or to any address other than the one above. Only at this location are we able to make the necessary corrections to CBP records to prevent inconvenience to you in the future. The London, Kentucky office does not answer correspondence, so please do not ask for confirmation that your record has been updated.
Documentation to prove your departure can include the boarding pass from your flight. If you exited the country by a land border it is much harder to verify that you did- in fact - leave the country on the date you claim. If you have any documentation of your arrival in your home country (i.e. passport stamp), then you should send a copy of that. If the above office does not have any supporting documents to substantiate your claim to have left the U.S. on a certain date, there is no guarantee that you will be entered into the record as having done so. We strongly urge you to keep a copy of what you send to DHS - CBP SBU and to carry it with you the next time you come to the U.S. in case the CBP officer has any questions about your eligibility to enter.

When may I take a vacation or holiday from my academic study?

Breaks between terms and Spring break are good times to travel for short periods of time.
If you maintain full-time status for Spring term and will have full-time status in the Fall term, then you can take the entire Summer off.

How do I visit Canada or Mexico?

You should first determine if a visa is required for citizens of your country to enter Canada or Mexico. If you need a visa, contact the nearest Canada/Mexico consulate office well in advance of your planned trip. In some cases, one month is needed to process a visa application.

For a trip less than 30 days in duration you will need to take these documents:

  • Valid I-94
  • Passport (valid for at least 6 months)
  • Endorsed signature page or a new DS-2019 form with endorsement on front.
  • A U.S. visa stamp (does not need to be valid unless it is marked with 212 (d)(3)(28) and is exempt from automatic re-validation).

How can I have my family join me in America if I have an J-1 visa?

Your spouse and/or children may be permitted to enter the U.S. on an J-2 visa, which may be obtained with a new DS-2019. Proof of sufficient financial support for your dependent is required before the request can be approved. Please see DS-2019 Request.