Beginning a New Program of Study
J-1 students are allowed to begin a full-time program of study while on AT. However, you will most likely want to quit working and focus on your studies. You will probably also want to continue to have a student status that will allow you to remain in the U.S. long enough to finish your new program. How can this be done?
Before your Academic Training expires and:
...you are admitted to a school different from the school that recommended your AT,
...you will need to apply for a transfer of your J-1 status to the new school (see below)
...you want to return to the same school that recommended your AT
...you will need to request a new DS-2019 for a "change of level." Speak with an Adviser at Berkeley International Office to discuss the process for getting this done.
...you want to change your status (to an F-1 student, for example)
...you will need to speak to an Adviser at Berkeley International Office about this somewhat complex process. In some cases, it may require traveling out of the U.S. Allow plenty of time to plan for such an event.
J-1 Transfer “Release”
All J-1 students in the U.S. have an electronic SEVIS record that is "owned" by the school they are admitted to. Although students may apply for admission to many schools, the SEVIS record can only be held by the admitting school. No other schools can see this record or make changes to it. When you decide to leave one school to attend another, your record is electronically transferred to that new school on a certain "release date." After the release, the new school will have your SEVIS record, be able to make changes to it and can issue a new DS-2019 for you.
Please Note: The J-1 transfer process requires close coordination between your old school and your new school. Be sure to consult with Advisers at either of these schools early (before your AT expires) so you have more options for planning the transition.