Maintaining Status

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Maintaining Status

Scholars in J-1 status are responsible for learning, understanding, and complying with U.S. federal laws and regulations governing the J visa. Failure to do so will violate the scholar's legal status in the U.S.

Your responsibilities include but may not be limited to the following:


Report Address Changes to the International Scholar Advisor at The Office of International Programs

All J-1 scholars are required to report an address change within 10 days of any move to the International Scholar Advisor. The Office of International Programs must have your residential address even if you choose to receive mail at a Post Office Box.

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Report Changes in Program to The Office of International Programs

Scholars must notify the International Scholar Advisor whenever there is a change in your academic program or program dates.

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Report to the International Scholar Advisor when your J-2 family members arrive in the U.S. if applicable

Keep The Office of International Programs informed if J-2 family members arrive in the US. Scholars should not be depart the US for more than one month during their period of stay with dependents present in the US.

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Maintain Required Health Insurance

J-1 scholars must maintain required health insurance (includes Basic Medical Health Insurance, Medical Evacuation and Repatriation Insurance) for yourselves and any dependents in J-2 status throughout your stay in the U.S.

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Maintain a valid passport during your stay in the U.S.

Passports must be valid at all times. Scholars will be reminded by an automated system when their passport is within six months of expiring.

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Abide by Employment Regulations

J-1 scholars may conduct research or teach only at Sam Houston State University unless specifically authorized ahead of time by The Office of International Programs to give a lecture or consult at another institution. Scholars must contact the International Scholar Advisor if invited to speak or consult at another institution.

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Apply for an Extension Prior to the Expiration Date on Your Current DS-2019

Scholars must apply for a program extension before their current DS-2019 expires if they will not be able to complete their program at Sam Houston State University by the end date on their DS-2019. The maximum stay for scholars in the Research Scholar or Professor categories currently is three years. The maximum stay for short-term scholars is six months.

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Receive Transfer Authorization Prior to Leaving Sam Houston State University

Scholars must receive authorization from the International Scholar Advisor before leaving Sam Houston State University in order to transfer to another institution.

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Report Departure Date and Reason to The Office of International Programs

Periodically, scholars leave the university early or unexpectedly due to a variety of reasons. U.S. federal regulations require J-1 scholars to inform the International Scholar Advisor if they plan to leave the university before the expiration date of their DS-2019, as well as the reason for doing so.

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Obtain Travel Signature Prior to Departing the U.S.

Scholars should obtain the International Scholar Advisor’s signature on their DS-2019 prior to traveling outside the U.S. for temporary absences (including traveling to Canada and Mexico ) to facilitate your re-entry to the U.S. as a J-1 scholar. It is recommended that scholar’s request a travel signature a week in advance of their travel.

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Depart the U.S. within 30 Day Grace Period

Scholars must depart the U.S. within 30 days of the DS-2019 expiration date or program end date, whichever is earlier, unless you have applied for a change of status with USCIS.

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The Office of International Programs (OIP) is responsible for all international students and scholars once they arrive at Sam Houston State University. We are glad to assist each department here at SHSU in bringing international students, visiting scholars/researchers and international faculty members to our campus.    

International students and scholars that have questions regarding their time here at SHSU can always visit us in OIP, we are located in the Farrington Building, room 116.  You can send us an email at oip@shsu.edu or call us at (936) 294-4737.   

OIP provides information on most immigration issues and concerns for all international students and scholars here at SHSU.  We are glad to help with other issues such as cultural adjustment, language barrier, financial problems, and health related matters during your time at SHSU.  OIP offer several events during the year for all international students and scholars at SHSU. 

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Contact Information

Barbara Eckenfels

Executive Director of International Programs

eckenfels@shsu.edu 936.294.4455 F116B
Dana Van De Walker
Recruiter and Special Programs Coordinator
 d.vandewalker@shsu.edu   936.294.2746  F116 D
Justin Ball
International Student and Scholar Advisor
 grad.intl@shsu.edu   936.294.4607  F116 c








Office of International Programs
Farrington Building, Suite 116, Huntsville, TX 77340
Phone: 936-294-4737


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