Once a student is admitted to the United States in J-1 status, s/he must meet certain obligations relative to the J-1 student visa. The student in J-1 status must:
You will be required to report to International Student and Scholar Services at the beginning of each semester to complete a biographical form and submit copies of your current I-94, passport, DS-2019 and visa.
Except in very limited circumstances an international student must maintain a full course of study throughout his/her education. At JMU an undergraduate full load is considered 12 credit hours, and a graduate full load is considered 9 credit hours. If you meet any of the following criteria you MAY be eligible for a waiver of this requirement for some of the time you are a student:
If you believe you may be eligible for a waiver of the full-time requirement, you must complete a Request for Underload Form (found here) and return it to the ISSS office along with documentation verifying your circumstances BEFORE DROPPING ANY CLASSES. We are unable to approve an underload after the courses have already been dropped - the permission to drop below full-time must be approved first, then classes may be dropped at the Registrar's Office if your request for a waiver is granted.
It is mandatory that all J-1 visitors have medical insurance coverage while attending JMU. The cost of the student health insurance coverage which JMU authorizes will be added to your tuition and fees bill. Once paid, you will automatically be added to that insurance policy. You should come to International Student and Scholar Services to obtain your health insurance card and a copy of the policy.
You can obtain additional information regarding the government's requirements related to health insurance coverage here.
As with other aspects of your stay, the government regulates how and when an exchange visitor may extend his/her stay. These regulations differ depending upon what type of student program you are in.
Degree Seeking Students: You may find that the time given on your DS-2019 is not sufficient to meet your education requirements. This is especially true if you have changed or added a major or you wish to obtain several minors prior to graduation. If you find that you need an extension of your DS-2019, you must complete the Request for Extension Form (found here) and return it to staff at ISSS PRIOR TO THE EXPIRATION OF YOUR CURRENT DS-2019. We are unable to extend the DS-2019 in SEVIS after the expiration of your current DS-2019. Also, please note that we are legally not permitted to extend your DS-2019 if you need the extension only because you have performed poorly academically and have therefore not accrued the number of credits you need to graduate.
Non-Degree Seeking (Exchange) Students: After you begin classes at JMU, you may find that you wish to extend your program here and the time given on your DS-2019 is not sufficient. Should you wish to extend an exchange program, you must first receive permission from both JMU and from your home school. If you receive permission from both your home school and from JMU, you must complete the Request for Extension Form (found here) and return it to staff at ISSS PRIOR TO THE EXPIRATION OF YOUR CURRENT DS-2019. We are unable to extend the DS-2019 in SEVIS after the expiration of your current DS-2019.