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Maintaining Your J-1 Status

This page is for J-1 exchange visitors who have arrived at Cornell and completed our online Required Status Activation.

Welcome aboard! Here are the key things you need to do to maintain your legal status now that you are working at Cornell. The Office of Global Learning is here to help. Please explore our website for information about travel, taxes, and more.

Maintain your health insurance.

You and your dependent family members are required to have health insurance during the entire length of your stay. Regulations prohibit an extension of J-1 status beyond the dates on your DS-2019 form without insurance. Find out more.

Do the work you were hired to do. 

Your status requires you to stay in good standing as a Cornell employee.  

If you violate your status as a J-1 exchange visitor, any amount of time you spend in the United States after the violation counts as unlawful presence. If 180 days of unlawful presence accumulate, you can be barred from the U.S. for three years. If one year of unlawful presence accumulates, you can be barred from the U.S. for 10 years. 

Follow the rules about outside employment.

As a J-1 exchange visitor, you can only work at Cornell University in the position named on your DS-2019 form. Substantial off-campus employment is not allowed. Any off-campus work, including lectures and consulting, must be approved by the Office of Global Learning. Find out more.

Follow the policies and laws.

Comply with Cornell’s academic and conduct polices and all U.S. federal and state laws.

Notify us if you change your address.  

Within 10 days of your move, use our online form to report your address change. This timeframe is a legal requirement. You must also notify the Office of Global Learning within 10 days of any change to your phone number or email address.

Note that this form is for your immigration obligations only. It updates the SEVIS database, not Workday.  

Notify us if you have a worksite change.

Let us know within 10 days of the move if you or anyone in your family has a change in physical location at work (for example, if you move from Ithaca to the Geneva Agricultural Experiment Station or Cornell Tech). The Office of Global Learning must report the new site to SEVIS.

Short trips of a few days do not need to be reported as changes in site of activity.  

Notify us if you change your name.

Let us know within 10 days if you or anyone in your family legally changes their name. The accuracy of names and biographic data on DS-2019 forms is critically important. If your current DS-2019 form does not list your name or information correctly, email us immediately. 

Notify us if you want to transfer to another SEVIS-approved program.

If you are sponsored by Cornell, and you want to transfer your J-1 program to another sponsor, please submit a transfer-out request.

Notify us if your Cornell employment ends early. 

Please submit a Leaving Cornell form if you will be leaving Cornell more than 30 days before the end date specified on your DS-2019. You must also inform us if your J-2 spouse or child leaves the United States before your departure date.