J-1: Reinstatement Information

If you fail to maintain your J-1 nonimmigrant status for any reason, you may need to apply for a reinstatement. It is imperative that you speak with an ISS counselor to discuss your options to regain legal status.

Correcting the record
Minor or technical infractions may be corrected by an ISS counselor without a formal application being made to DOS, provided that no more than 120 days have elapsed since the event that created the infraction. This is called "correction of the record."

The exchange visitor´s record may be corrected for technical or minor infractions only if the exchange visitor:

  • Has had 120 days or less elapse since the event that created the infraction 
  • Is pursuing or intending to pursue the original program objective
  • Has not willfully failed to maintain insurance coverage during the period which is being corrected
  • Has not been in substantive violation of the regulations
  • (Students only) Has maintain a full course of study 

Some examples of minor or technical infractions are:

  • Failure to extend form DS 2019 prior to its expiration date
  • Failure to complete a transfer of programs prior to the ending date on the current DS 2019 form
  • Failure to receive prior approval and/or an amended DS 2019 form before accepting an honorarium or any other type of payment for engaging in a normally approvable and appropriate activity

Reinstatement requires an application to and approval from the Department of State (DOS). DOS will consider the following situations for reinstatement:

  • Out of valid program status for more than 120 days after the end date on the current form DS 2019 but less than 270 days.
  • (Students only) failure to maintain full course of study without prior consultation with ISS and their academic advisor.

DOS will not consider requests for reinstatement when the exchange visitor has:

  • Knowingly or willfully failed to obtain or maintain the required health insurance coverage while in the US.
  • Engaged in unauthorized employment
  • Been suspended or terminated from the most recent exchange visitor program
  • Failed to maintain valid program status for more than 270 calendar days
  • Received a favorable recommendation from the DOS on an application for waiver of section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act