The J visa is intended for individuals who intend to pursue an exchange visitor program that promotes cultural exchange here in the United States. At BYU–Hawaii, our J students fall under the university Ssudent category and are here to study and complete an academic degree. Other J visa categories include student intern, research scholar, teacher, or trainee, etc.
- DS-2019: The DS-2019 is your certificate of eligibility. Your DS-2019 serves as proof of your status while in the U.S. Do not let this form expire while you are in the U.S.
- U.S. Visa: The U.S. visa is the document that allows entry into the United States. You will also receive a visa stamp
- Passport: Your passport is the official document showing your basic biographical information. Make sure to renew your passport six months before it expires. This is part of maintaining status in the U.S.
- I-94: The I-94 is your arrival/departure record. It contains your admissions number and is another necessary document to use when travelling, applying for on-campus jobs, etc.
If you need more time to finish your program beyond the completion date on your DS-2019 Form, you must apply for an extension of program before the completion date. We recommend that you apply no less than 30 days prior.
You must be eligible to extend and must do so prior to your DS-2019 completion date. Once your program end date passes, you record will go inactive, which means you will be out of status.
Note: If you have not completed your program and your DS-2019 completion date has already passed without having it extended, you should immediately make an appointment with your International Student Services advisor.
To qualify, you must:
- be a nonimmigrant currently maintaining student status and are able to, and in good faith intending to, continue maintaining that status for the period in which the extension would be granted.
- be able to show that the delay was caused by compelling academic or medical reasons such as changes of major or research topics, loss of credits upon transfer to BYUH, unexpected research problems, or documented illnesses—delays caused by academic probation or suspension are not acceptable reasons for program extension.
- You may not extend and then immediately take annual leave.
- You must first meet with your academic advisor to finalize your map to graduation. You must remain under the 12 semester limit, unless an exception is made.
- Request a new form DS-2019—International Student Services.
- Proof of Finances—Obtain updated proof of finances if your current documents are more than three months old. This is evidence showing enough financial support for the duration of the requested extension.
- Submit Materials—Submit the materials for numbers 1, 2 and 3 to International Student Services for processing.
- Once the application is approved, International Student Services will provide you with a new DS-2019 reflecting the extended date of completion. If you have dependents in J-2 status, they will also be provided with new DS-2019s with your program extension date.
For J-1 students, on-campus employment requires prior authorization from the RO or ARO. Off-campus employment, however, requires prior work authorization for academic training.
J-1 students have the option to engage in academic training during their stay in the United States. The types of academic training available include pre-completion and post-completion. Both types are approved and authorized by International Student Services, based on U.S. Department of State standards.
Read more: J-1 Student Employment (byuh.edu)
A J-2 visa holder is the dependent (spouse or unmarried child under 21) of a J-1 visa holder. The purpose of the J-2 dependent is to accompany the primary exchange visitor while he or she pursues the degree. While the purpose of the J-2 visa holder is not to study or work, they may do so when given the proper authorization.
The J-2 visa holder may apply for employment authorization under USCIS. Employment is only authorized if the employment is not necessary for the financial support of the principal (J-1) visa holder.
In order to be eligible for employment, the J-2 dependent must be in valid status, as well as the primary exchange visitor. Please see the dependent subheading for more information on how to apply for employment authorization.
Read more: J-2 Information