Your J-1 lawful status is the official U.S. government designation and authorization of your stay in the U.S. as a non-immigrant student.
This status is granted at your port of entry by a Customs and Border Protection officer who reviews your visa and other documents, and upon your admittance, writes your immigration status and the length of time you may remain in the U.S. on your Form I-94 shown below).
You will probably have “D/S” as the length of stay; it means “duration of status” until the program completion date noted on your Form DS-2019—providing you continue to maintain the requirements of your status.
In most instances, your visa category and immigration status will be the same, J-1, unless you change your lawful status after entering the U.S. For example, you may change from J-1 status as a student to J-2 status as a dependent of an J-1.
Since you are responsible to learn and observe the requirements to maintain your status, we encourage you to carefully review all of the related materials on this site. If you are unsure of any of the requirements, please consult with International Student Services' staff.