J-1 student status is granted to exchange visitors who are issued the Certificate of Eligibility Form DS-2019 for the purpose of pursuing a full course of study at an accredited educational institution in the United States. J-1 students are required to maintain a permanent residence abroad to which they intend to return upon completion of their studies in the U.S.
Minimum financial support is set annually by the Student Financial Services Office and the Graduate Division. The U.S. Department of State (DOS) requires that UCSF establish this figure, taking into account the cost of living and all educational expenses, and to make certain that the student has adequate funds to support themselves and their family members during their stay. Tuition, fees, and living expenses may be provided by the UCSF department in the form of a stipend, fellowship, or assistantship, the student’s home country government, or other outside organizations.
Students who are in degree programs are authorized to study at the educational institution listed on their Form DS-2019 or participate in an authorized academic training program. Students admitted to non-degree programs are authorized to participate in the Exchange Visitor Program for up to 24 months if they are studying at the post-secondary accredited educational institution listed on their Form DS-2019.
TRANSFERRING TO ANOTHER INSTITUTION
International students must notify an ISSO Advisor when planning to transfer to a new university or institution. The ISSO and the new university’s international office are required by the DHS and DOS to coordinate and report the transfer. The student will need a new Form DS-2019 issued in cooperation by both offices. Start the transfer process at least 60 days in advance of the end of the UCSF program or Form DS-2019 expiration date, whichever occurs sooner.
TWO-YEAR HOME COUNTRY PHYSICAL PRESENCE REQUIREMENT
Under Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended, certain exchange visitors are subject to the requirement to return to their “home” country and be physically present there for two years or obtain a waiver from the U.S. Department of State of this requirement before being eligible to apply for H status (temporary worker and immediate family), L status (intracompany transferee and immediate family) or immigrant status (permanent resident or green card holder).