J-1 International Students
Travel and Reentry
Entering the US
- You may enter the US no more than 30 days prior to the program start date on your DS2019.
- When passing through immigration, you will be asked for your passport with I-94 card (the card you receive on the airplane) and your DS2019.
- If you are traveling prior to your initial entry and are planning to apply for a visa during your travels, please be aware that you can only apply for a visa in the country of which you are a citizen.
Traveling During Your Stay
- You may need a visa if traveling outside of the United States. You can find this information on embassy websites.
- Check to make sure your passport is valid
- Check to make sure your J-1 visa is valid
- Get the signature of the Responsible Officer on your DS2019 prior to travel outside the US
- If you have been registered in NSEERS, please ask the International Student Advisor about “Check-out Procedures.”
Departing the US
- Check to make sure your passport is valid.
- After completion of your program, you have a 30-day grace period during which you may remain in the US. This 30 day grace period begins on the day following the program end date on your DS2019. You should not leave the US and then try to re-enter the US during that 30 day grace period.
- If you have been registered in NSEERS, please ask your International Student Advisor about “Check-out Procedures.”
J1 Students and Employment
As a J1 visa holder, you may work in the US under the options described below.
All of these types of employment must be authorized by the Responsible Officer prior to the beginning of work. To be eligible for employment you must first apply for a Social Security Number. You must also fit the following qualifications of the US government:
- Student is in good academic standing at the post-secondary accredited educational institution;
- Student continues to engage in a full course of study, except for official school breaks and the student’s annual vacation; (Academic training may extend beyond or begin after period of studies. See below)
- Employment totals no more than 20 hours per week, except during official school breaks and the student’s annual vacation, when it may be full time; and
- The responsible officer has approved the specific employment in advance and in writing. Such approval may be valid up to twelve months, but is automatically withdrawn if the student’s program is terminated.
Exchange students who will be attending Washington College for two semesters may work on campus with written permission of the Responsible Officer.
Please inquire at the Global Education Office about your eligibility to work on-campus.
- Language Assistantships
- This is work which you were hired to do as a condition of your acceptance to Washington College.
- Work time is limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session.
- Academic Training
- This is work or other experience that is related to your field of study.
- Academic Training may be paid or unpaid.
- You may participate in Academic Training during your studies or beginning within 30 days after the program end date on your DS2019.
- The total time of your academic training may not exceed the amount of time of your studies and, the two combined (period of studies + period of academic training) must not exceed 24 months. For example, if you attended Washington College for two semesters, that means you have studied for nine months. Your academic training must not be longer than nine months.
- You must obtain a letter from the prospective employer which specifies:
- The name, address and contact information of the organization
- The beginning and end dates of the training
- The name of the student’s supervisor
- The number of hours per week of work
- Any pay to be received
- A description of the activities to be performed
- You must be able to meet all financial obligations you will incur as part of your academic training. For example, if your training will begin after the end of your program, you will need to present the Responsible Officer with documentation showing how you will support your stay in the US during your academic training.
- The goals and objectives of the specific training program
- A description of the training program, including its location, the name and address of the training supervisor, number of hours per week, and dates of the training.
- How the training relates to the student’s major field of study; and
- Why it is an integral or critical part of the academic program of the exchange visitor student.
- Please use our Application for Academic Training (PDF)or submit a letter from your academic advisor or dean that provides the information below.
- Please note that you may not begin working prior to receiving approval from the Responsible Officer.
- Submit your completed application to the Responsible Officer in the Global Education Office.
Rules and Responsibility
Washington College welcomes students of all backgrounds from around the world. We respect the different beliefs and customs held by our international visitors. Likewise, we ask each of our guests here at Washington College to maintain an attitude of respect and mutual acceptance for fellow students and others living in Chestertown. You are encouraged to review the Washington College Handbook and Advising Guide for a better understanding of our community.
In addition, as an international exchange student, you must familiarize yourself with the requirements of maintaining your J-1 visa status. Even if your visa is valid, you can loose your legal J-1 status if you do not comply with immigration laws regulating your stay in the US. Access the outline for maintaining your J-1 status (PDF).