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Visa Status Adjustments

There are a number of reasons why a J-1 Exchange Visitors (EV) may need to adjust their J-1 status and/or their DS-2019.

Jump to instructions for:

Extending or Transferring Status

How to Extend or Transfer Status

Whether applying for an extension or transferring from a different department at NU, the Northwestern host department and visitor will complete the same steps -- assembling documentation, etc. -- specified for incoming J-1 exchange visitors. The EV's job description (also called "program objective") must remain the same during the entirety of the J-1 program.  After the International Office Advisor approves the department's request:

  • For extensions: The IO will issue the DS-2019. The EV will be asked to pick up the DS-2019 at the International Office. The English Proficiency Attestation form is not required for extensions.
  • For transfers: The IO will issue the new DS-2019 indicating the new NU host department on/after the new start date occurs, not before.
  • J-1 Transfer-In Form (required)

Out of U.S. Status

If a J-1 EV will continue participation in his/her program at NU while at another institution outside of the U.S. for more than 30 days, he or she should request Out of U.S. status. (It is not required for vacations outside the U.S.) It will be authorized for no more than 1 year at a time. 

If the EV will not be pursuing his/her J-1 program objective while abroad, the J-1 early departure should be pursued instead.

Status Requirements

In order to comply with the Out of U.S. status, the EV must:

  • Maintain active health insurance and NU appointment for the duration of the Out of U.S. status  
  • Communicate with the IO and the NU department and report any changes while in Out of U.S. status
  • Maintain J-1 program objectives while outside of the U.S. and resume his/her objectives upon return to the U.S. 
  • Remember to obtain a valid travel signature, necessary for entry into the U.S. in valid J-1 status

If the EV wishes to make short visits to the U.S. in the middle of Out of U.S. status, this is possible and does not require a new form or a change in dates.

How to request Out of U.S. status

Submit the Out of U.S. Request Form at least five business days before the EV departs the U.S.

Note: The IO cannot extend the Out of U.S. period once the return date has passed. Please notify us in advance if the plans change.

Early Departure

Early departure is required for the following situations:

  • Completion of program more than 15 days before intended end-date
  • Resignation or termination from program
  • Change in immigration status
  • Transfer J-1 record to another U.S. institution

How to Request an Early Departure

Submit the J-1 Early Departure/Transfer Out Form to our office.