Roles and Responsibilities

J-1 scholars on WSU’s DS-2019s should be aware of how the new federal immigration regulations will affect them (more information can be found on our website under SEVIS Information).

IMPORTANT NOTE: This information is not exhaustive and is subject to change without notice. You should contact the Office for International Students and Scholars at (313) 577-3422 to arrange an appointment to discuss any changes in your program or questions or concerns related to your legal status in the United States.


  • You must attend OISS New Scholar Orientation (includes check-in) immediately upon arriving in the United States. If not possible, you must report to OISS within 7 days of your program start date. This includes all J-1 scholars ( paid or unpaid by the university). If your SEVIS record is not activated within 30 days of the program start date, you are out of status and must leave the country. This start date can be found on your form DS-2019 issued by WSU.

Note: If you are unable to make the arrival date listed on your DS-2019, the host department must contact OISS so that your entry date can be deferred in the SEVIS system. If this is not done, and you check in beyond 30 days, there will be no way to activate your record in SEVIS. It is, therefore, critical for you to be in contact with your host department and OISS to confirm your arrival date.

  • New Scholar/Employee Orientation is at 9:00 a.m. on Mondays and 2:00 p,m, on Thursdays. J-1 Scholars should inform the OISS front desk that you are here for “New Scholar Orientation.” J-1 Students should state that they are here for “New Student Check-in” and can come Monday thru Friday. Upon orientation, you must provide OISS with your U.S. address. This address must describe a residence. It cannot be a P.O. Box or an office address. It can be a “care of” address. Bring your DS-2019, your I-94, and your passport to check in. You will also be asked to complete an I-9 if you are employed by the University.


  • You and your dependents must have current passports at all times.  An expired passport will mean you are out of status.  If you as the J-1 are out of status, so are your J-2 dependents. 
  • You must always be in possession of a valid DS-2019, which accurately reflects your purpose for being at WSU.  If it is close to expiring, you should request an extension from your host department (no earlier that three months in advance).
  • You and your dependents are required to maintain health insurance and repatriation coverage (which is not covered by health insurance provided through your employment with WSU – can be purchased at OISS) during your J exchange visitor program in the United States.
  • You must come to OISS to have your DS-2019 signed if you will travel outside the United States.  
  • You must also report any life event that may affect your immigration status such as birth of a child, marriage, change of legal name, divorce or death.  This rule also extends to J-2 dependents.  
  • All J-1 scholars will be required to pay the Wayne State University’s Institutional SEVIS Fee ($50) every six (6) months.  The first payment is required during New Scholar Orientation. Please pay the fee at the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) in person.  We currently accept a personal check or a bank cashier’s check (payable to “Wayne State University/OISS”).  Or if your department is willing, this fee could be paid by an IRB (internal requisition and inter-account bill).  No cash or money orders please.  
  • You must report any change of address to OISS within 10 days. 
  • If you are working at WSU you will need a social security number.  If you do not have a social security number, come to OISS for further information.


  • When your program is finished, you must check out at OISS. OISS is required to report your program end date to the federal government. This could be the end date on your DS-2019 or it could be a prior date if you complete your program early.


  • Request for extension must be made by your host department.
  • Your program must be extended before the end date on your current DS-2019. If the end date lapses, then no extension is possible and you must leave the United States.
  • To ensure that this process runs smoothly, have your host department send OISS any extension paperwork at least a month prior to the program end date, but no earlier that three months prior to the current program end date. OISS will then verify that you are eligible for an extension and process the paperwork.


  • J-1 scholars who plan to transfer to another institution must inform OISS of their intent to do so prior to transferring so that this can be properly noted in the SEVIS system. They need to download the transfer out from from the OISS website, complete it, and turn it in to OISS. Under the SEVIS system, the current J program and the transferring J program will work together to complete the transfer process.


  • Reinstatement to legal status will rarely, if ever, be granted in the U.S. to scholars who lose their status. If you are out of status, you must return home with no guarantee of being issued a visa to return to the U.S.
  • J-2 dependents may request work permission from USCIS or attend school while they are in the United States.
  • If you have any U.S.-source income in any given year, you must file U.S. income tax returns. Please contact the U.S. Internal Revenue Services for more information.

Updated 7/2005