Maintaining Your Immigration Status

Maintaining your immigration status can be easy if you know the proper steps to take and keep track of deadlines. Review the information below. If you have any questions, please contact your ISSS advisor.

J-1 scholars

  1. Attend scholar orientation within 7 days of your start date. You'll sign a statement of understanding form detailing your immigration responsibilities as a J-1 scholar.  Orientation schedule >>

  2. Get health insurance for yourself and your family. If you do not have health insurance that meets federal requirements through Emory, your home government, or another sponsoring organization, you'll need to purchase the TW Lord insurance plan. More info >>
  3. Make normal progress toward completing your exchange program. Your J-1 scholar program at Emory should be full time until your DS-2019 end date. During this time, you are also expected to participate in cultural activities. You will receive an email from us about your annual J-1 program evaluation. If you won't be able to finish your program by the end date on your DS-2019 for unexpected reasons, request an extension before that date.

  4. Be evaluated annually. Your department must complete complete and submit a signed copy of the J-1 scholar program evaluation form annually and at the conclusion of your program. ISSS will email you and your department contact a copy 3 weeks before it is due each year.
  5. Get a new DS-2019 if you make any change to your program, including promotions, switching departments, changing between full time and part time, etc. Learn more >>

  6. Email your ISSS advisor of your site of activity changes with the name and address of your proposed site of activity. ISSS needs to approve the change or addition and issue you a revised DS-2019 before the change can occur. Learn more >>
  7. Maintain a valid passport. Your passport should always be valid 6 months into the future. Request a new passport from your home country about 8 months before your current one expires.

  8. Get a travel signature from ISSS before traveling outside the US. Travel info >>
  9. If your address or other contact information changes, update it within calendar 10 days. If you have any J-2 dependents, keep their contact information up to date, too. Learn more >>

  10. File an income tax return in April every year. Tax info >>

  11. Leave the US at the right time. Leave the US by the end of the 30-day grace period after you finish your program or Academic Training, unless have applied to change your status. If your SEVIS record is terminated early, there is no grace period, and you'll have to leave the US immediately. If you have a J-2 dependent who decides to leave the US early, report their departure using the new Dependent Departure/Removal e-form in ISSS Link within 10 calendar days.
  12. Notify ISSS (isss@emory.edu) within 24 hours of any serious problem or controversy. This includes anything that could be expected to bring the Department of State, yourself, or Emory’s exchange visitor program into notoriety or disrepute, including including conviction of a crime, potential litigation related to a Emory’s J-1 program in which you may be a named party, serious accident or injury, or sexual abuse allegations.

NOTE: Although this J-1 scholar may be funded by a non-Emory entity, they cannot perform services for a non-Emory entity (including overseas entities) while in the US in J-1 status.

H-1B scholars

  1. Attend scholar orientation within 7 days of your start date. You'll sign a statement of understanding detailing your immigration responsibilities as an H-1B scholar.  Orientation schedule >>
  2. Obtain approval from ISSS for any changes in your H-1B employment before they take place. Changes to your position title, transfers to a different department even within Emory, duties, work location(s), salary (other than annual merit adjustments which is normally less than 5%), position requirements, travel requirements, concurrent employment proposals, and promotions, etc. need to be approved by ISSS in advance. Remember - Emory does not sponsor part-time H-1B as the rules are different and require a great deal of documentation by the hiring department.  Also, there is a greater audit risk with part-time H-1Bs. Learn more >>

  3. Maintain a valid passport. Your passport should always be valid 6 months into the future. Request a new passport from your home country about 8 months before your current one expires.

  4. If your address or other contact information changes, update it within calendar 10 daysLearn more >>

  5. Contact your ISSS advisor at least 2 weeks before traveling outside the US to make sure you have all the right documents. When you return to the US, be sure to upload any new documents or visa stamps to ISSS Link. Travel info >>  
  6. Following appropriate procedures during a government site visit. Learn more about these steps. 

  7. File an income tax return in April every year. Tax info >>

  8. Leave the US at the right time. As an H-1B scholar, you may be granted a 10-day grace period in which to depart the U.S. Your I-94 must properly indicate whether this grace period was granted upon your last entrance to the U.S. If the date on the I-94 is 10 days after the approved end date on the I-797 approval notice, you should depart the U.S. by that date. You cannot, however, work during that 10-day grace period.  

O-1 scholars

  1. Attend scholar orientation within 7 days of your start date. You'll sign a statement of understanding detailing your immigration responsibilities as an O-1 scholar.  Orientation schedule >>

  2. Report any changes in your employment to ISSS before they take place. Changes to your job title, transfers to a different department, switching between part-time and full-time, concurrent employment proposals, and promotions need to be approved by ISSS in advance. Learn more >>

  3. Maintain a valid passport. Your passport should always be valid 6 months into the future. Request a new passport from your home country about 8 months before your current one expires.

  4. If your address or other contact information changes, update it within calendar 10 days. Learn more >>

  5. Contact your ISSS advisor at least 2 weeks before traveling outside the US to make sure you have all the right documents. When you return to the US, be sure to upload any new documents or visa stamps to ISSS Link. Travel info >>
  6. File an income tax return in April every year. Tax info >>

  7. Leave the US at the right time. As an O-1 scholar, you may be granted a 10-day grace period in which to depart the U.S. Your I-94 must properly indicate whether this grace period was granted upon your last entrance to the U.S. If the date on the I-94 is 10 days after the approved end date on the I-797 approval notice, you should depart the U.S. by that date. You cannot, however, work during that 10-day grace period.

TN scholars

  1. Attend scholar orientation within 7 days of your start date. You'll sign a statement of understanding detailing your immigration responsibilities as a TN scholar.  Orientation schedule >>

  2. Report any changes in your employment to ISSS before they take place. Changes to your job title, transfers to a different department, switching between part-time and full-time, concurrent employment proposals, and promotions need to be approved by ISSS in advance. Learn more >>

  3. Maintain a valid passport. Your passport should always be valid 6 months into the future. Request a new passport from your home country about 8 months before your current one expires.

  4. If your address or other contact information changes, update it within calendar 10 days. Learn more >>

  5. Contact your ISSS advisor at least 2 weeks before traveling outside the US to make sure you have all the right documents. When you return to the US, be sure to upload any new documents or visa stamps to ISSS Link. Travel info >>
  6. File an income tax return in April every year. Tax info >>

  7. Leave the US at the right time. TN scholars may be granted a 10-day grace period in which to depart the U.S. Your I-94 must properly indicate whether this grace period was granted upon last entrance to the U.S or based on your I-129 extension. You cannot, however, work during any grace periods offered either before the employment start or after the employment end date.