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Office of International Affairs


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UTHealth and THI exchange visitors who require an extension of Form DS-2019 within the maximum length of times allowed according to each category must submit updated documentation to the Office of International Affairs at least 4 weeks prior to expiration of current SEVIS form DS-2019.   


Exchange visitors planning on transferring out from UTHealth to another J-1 sponsoring program must submit a written request to the Office of International Affairs (OIA) so that an International Advisor may transfer the SEVIS electronic record to the new sponsoring program.  

Maintenance of J-1 Status

All exchange visitors must maintain J-1 status by:

Additionally, if the J-1 is on a Student category:

Please consult with your International Visitor Advisor in the Office of International Affairs (OIA) if you have any questions regarding maintenance of the J-1 non-immigrant status.

J-1 / J-2 Health Insurance Coverage

Exchange visitors on J-1 status and their J-2 dependents are required by federal regulations to maintain basic health insurance coverage for medical care as well as supplementary coverage for medical evacuation,  and repatriation of remains. To learn about minimum requirements and type of insurance required according to the type of relationship with UTHealth (visitors, employees with benefits, employees without benefits, etc.) refer to the documents and links provided on the Health Insurance Coverage page.

Travel and Re-entry in J-1 Status

Any travel abroad of a J-1exchange visitor or J-2 dependent requires the signature of the Responsible or Alternate Responsible Officer of the J Exchange Program sponsoring your stay in the U.S. If your J Exchange Visitor Sponsor is not located in the city where you reside (e.g. ECFMG, USAID, IIE, satellite campus), please allow sufficient mailing time (30-60 days) for the document to be signed and returned. 

In cases where the UTHealth is the J-1 Exchange Program sponsor, visitors must schedule an appointment to meet with an OIA International Visitor Advisor in order to obtain a travel endorsement signature on Form DS-2019. Failure to obtain the endorsement  signature prior to travel abroad could prevent re-entry to the U.S. 

Upon re-entry to the U.S, it is critical that visitors present their valid original immigration documents to OIA: passport valid for at least six months beyond the date of re-entry to the United States, valid J-1 visa stamp (except for Canadian citizens), original Form DS-2019 containing travel endorsement in "Travel Validation By Responsible Officer" box on lower right side of Form DS-2019, and current Form I-94 admission record.

Adding Dependents on J-2 status

To add a non-U.S. citizen spouse and/or unmarried children (under age 21), to join the J-1visa holder in the United States, a J-1 exchange visitor may request issuance of Form DS-2019 through the Office of International Affairs. SEVIS Form DS-2019 will be required by the U.S. Consulate when applying for the J-2 visa stamp. 

Contact us for questions related to J visa sponsorship.