The J-1 Visa
The J-1 visa is an “exchange visitor” visa which is managed under the Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) of the US Department of State, for the purpose of increasing mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchanges. Exchange visitors accomplish this by teaching, lecturing, consulting, and/or conducting research for educational institutions such as Florida Poly.
Please view EVP Category Chart for a quick reference of J-1 categories and requirements.
Students who meet the criteria for the J-1 visa will be issued a DS-2019, “Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor” by their sponsoring organization (IIE, AMIDEAST), and the spouse or children of a J-1 student enter the US on a J-2 visa.
If you are applying as a J-1 student, then you will be required to secure a J-1 Visa sponsor (such as IIE or AMIDEAST). Your sponsoring organization is responsible for administering and monitoring you under the EVP and is who you will report to while studying at Florida Poly.
J-1 students are responsible for understanding and complying with the terms of their immigration status during their stay in the US, and must report to the program advisor at their sponsoring organization for the issue of the DS-2019, which is needed to apply for the F-1 visa, immigration advisement and program-related concerns and issues.
J-2 visa holders are the legal dependents of J-1 visa holders; spouses and children (under 21). J-2 dependents are eligible to engage in full-time or part-time study and are eligible for work authorization.
J-2 dependents should apply for a visa at the same time as the principle visa holder, but may also do so after the principle holder arrives in the US. To begin the process, J-1 exchange visitors must request a dependent DS-2019 form from their program advisor at their sponsoring organization; dependents will then apply for their J-2 visa at their nearest US Embassy or Consulate.
For more information regarding the J-1 EVP please visit:
All non-immigrants in the US are required to maintain a valid passport at all times. Passports should be valid for at least six months into the future when entering and re-entering the US and also when applying for a visa. It is important (especially F and J visa students) to keep your passports valid at all times.
International students at Florida Poly must contact their local US Embassy or Consulate for instructions on renewing their passport.
The passport is your own government’s permit for you to leave and re-enter your own country; consult your consulate or embassy in the US on the requirements to renew your passport.
If you have a valid visa and an expired passport are still able to use their visa (if they have the old passport), and must remember to carry and present the old passport along with the new passport when traveling.
Remember: Due to the pandemic, there are delays in passport renewal services around the world, please make sure to provide ISS with proof that you have requested passport renewal before your passport expires.
Your J-1 visa needs to be valid for entry to the US but can expire during your enrollment at Florida Poly.
If you are studying full-time with a valid J-1 status, you do not need to renew your visa while you are in the US. You only need to renew it if you plan to travel outside of the US and return to the US to study.
If your visa expires before you travel outside of the US, you will need to apply for a new visa to re-enter the US.
It is strongly recommended that you renew your visa before completing their degree program, as it will be very difficult to apply for a student visa once you have completed your program.
J-1 students may stay in the US on an expired visa as long as they maintain their immigration status by being in possession of a valid DS-2019 and an I-94 Arrival/Departure Record. Immigration regulations allow you to remain in the US with an expired J-1 visa, as long as your DS-2019 is valid and you are maintaining your student status (enrolled full-time).
J-1 students that are traveling and are not eligible for automatic revalidation to re-enter the US, must have a valid visa.
If you do leave the US with an expired visa, you will have to renew the visa at a US consulate before returning.
When in doubt about whether something you are planning to do will be a violation of your visa or student status:
Visas cannot be renewed inside the US:
Once you have made a visa interview appointment at a U.S. embassy/consulate abroad, you should review the embassy/consulate’s website for details on the visa renewal process including required documents.
You are also able to check on the visa wait times for specific US Embassy and Consulates.
Due to security checks, the period of Winter/Spring Break may not be long enough to receive clearance and a renewed visa to come back for the first day of classes.
If you have any problems, please contact your program advisor at IIE or AMIDEAST.
The Department of State (DOS) recommends that students apply for a visa in their home country; if you must apply for a visa in a third country please remember the following:
You cannot return to the US until your visa has been issued.
If a background check is required, you must wait until this is cleared and the wait could be several weeks.
If the visa application is denied, you will not be able to return to the US and will be required to return to your home country.
If the visa application is denied in Canada or Mexico, automatic revalidation does not apply.
If you plan to your visa in Mexico should review DOS guidelines on the visa renewal process in Mexico.