Maintaining Status

It is important to understand the laws and regulations affecting your immigration status. Although Berkeley International Office Advisers are available to counsel you on the legal complexities, the following basic guidelines will help you avoid unnecessary problems:

  • Maintain Your Program Objective

    You were granted a DS-2019 based on an academic objective agreed upon between you and your host department. The Department of State requires that this objective be maintained throughout your stay in J-1 status. If you plan to change your objective in any way, please notify Berkeley International Office about your plan to be sure it is legally allowed.

  • Maintain a Valid DS-2019

    Do not allow your DS-2019 to expire.Request an extension if necessary.Note: extensions, transfers, and changes of status can take at least two months to process.

  • Maintain Your Health Insurance

    You and any accompanying dependents are required to maintain health insurance for the entire period of your stay in the U.S. Your health insurance coverage must meet specific criteria as outlined by J-1 federal regulations

  • Get Off-Campus Reimbursement/Work Authorization from Berkeley International Office

    Any off-campus work authorization or reimbursement must be pre-approved by an advisor at Berkeley International Office before the date of the proposed work.

  • Keep Your Local Address Updated

    After you have a confirmed address where you will reside for at least 30 days, you are required to notify your host department and the Berkeley International Office within ten days of moving. Please notify the Berkeley International Office by sending an email to

  • Notify UCB of Early Completion

    If you are planning to complete your J-1 program more than 15 days prior to the end date on your DS-2019, notify Berkeley International Office at as well as your host department. This information must be updated in SEVIS so that you will not be held accountable for the additional time that you are not in the program