J-1 Student Classification

The J-1 student category is an alternate immigration option for students who receive qualifying financial sponsorship or who are participating in a formal university exchange program. Please review the outline of J-1 Student Rights and Responsibilities.

Once we receive the required admission, biographical, and financial documentation, you will receive a Form DS-2019 from BU.


To be eligible for J-1 student status, you must be admitted to or enrolled in a full-time degree or non-degree program. You may qualify if you are financially sponsored by your home government, if you receive substantial funding from scholarships or a private sponsor, or if you are at BU as part of a formal exchange program.

Length of Permitted Stay

As a student in J-1 status, you are admitted to the US for “D/S” (duration of status)—this allows you to stay until the end date reflected on your Form DS-2019, as long as you maintain full-time registration, legal status, and maintain a SEVIS record in good standing. If you finish your program early, your DS-2019 will be adjusted. At the end of your program, J-1 status permits a 30-day grace period for you to prepare for departure from the US.


Limited work permission is available for on-campus employment and off-campus placements related to your major field of study. Qualifying family members may be eligible for J-2 dependent status.

The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is administered by the US Department of State (DOS) and is intended for educational, scientific, and cultural exchange. As a J-1 student, you will be expected to return to your home country following your exchange program. In some cases, you may be subject to a two-year home residence requirement. In addition, you may be temporarily barred from returning to the US as a J-1 research scholar or J-1 professor.