Maintenance of Status

International students and scholars are responsible for maintaining their immigration status.

To maintain status:

  1. Keep your passport valid at all times.
  2. Do not work without proper authorization.
  3. Notify USCIS (formerly INS) of change of address (10 days from moving) or name change. Visit OISS for assistance with these matters.
  4. Obtain extensions of stay as needed before your current status/ form expires.

Form I-94 shows your arrival date in the United States and should be stapled to your passport until you leave the country. It also indicates your status - J-1, H-1B, etc. - and your expected departure date from the U.S. D/S (Duration of Status) means that J-1 scholars may remain in the U.S. until completion of their current exchange program or as indicated on DS-2019 (formerly IAP-66) as long as they are maintaining status, whichever is earlier, plus 30 days.

Form DS-2019, for J-1 only, is to be kept with your passport for travel and re-entry to the U.S. and for permission to work.

Extension of Stay

Please note the expiration date of your current immigration status or immigration forms. If the extension is needed, please work with your departmental administrative person to renew your status in a timely fashion. Forms and instructions, as well as application deadlines, can be found at

Travel Outside the U.S.

You will need the following documents to re-enter the United States after a temporary absence:

  1. Valid passport
  2. Valid U.S. visa
  3. For J-1s, valid DS-2019 endorsed by OISS or other appropriate Program Sponsor
  4. For H-1Bs and O-1s, letter from a supervisor verifying continued employment
  5. For H-1Bs and O-1s, original approval notice plus a copy of the I-129 petition filed on your behalf

Special Note on Travel to Canada

  1. Check with an OISS advisor for the latest travel-related rules prior to each trip abroad
  2. Might need to obtain Canadian entry visas (
  3. Carry proper documents to re-enter the United States

Permission to Work

Employment options are limited for nonimmigrant scholars. Visit an OISS advisor for information regarding current regulations. Please note that all employment must be authorized in advance by either USCIS or OISS.

For more information on immigration regulations, please see an OISS advisor.