Important Information about the J-1 Visa Program

About J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa Status

The general purpose of the Exchange Visitor Program is to promote international educational and cultural exchange to develop mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and other countries. At Purdue University, there are three types of J-1 exchange visitors: students, scholars, and professors. An exchange visitor must not be a candidate for a tenure-track position.

The J-1 Program at Purdue

The J-1 program at Purdue is frequently used to provide opportunities for individuals to pursue scholarly, academic and research pursuits at Purdue as well as for students participating in exchange programs.

Purdue Foundry Partnership

In conjunction with the Purdue Foundry, the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship utilizes the J-1 visa program to assist individuals with obtaining a J-1 in order to research the entrepreneurial processes of ideation, business model generation, business plan creation, customer discovery and ultimately creating and launching a new venture.

Application Process

Individuals wishing to pursue J-1 visa status for entrepreneurial activities will work jointly with the Purdue Foundry and the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship to request the documents required for the visa application from the International Students and Scholars office.

Entering the U.S. (DS-2019 and J-1 Visa)

As a J-1 exchange visitor, you will need a Purdue University issued DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitors and a valid J-1 visa (the visa stamp in a passport) issued by the U.S. embassy or consulate abroad to enter the U.S. Canadian citizens need a DS-2019 but do not need a U.S. visa. You should also carry proof of SEVIS I-901 Fee payment. Please be advised that you may not enter the U.S. more than 30 days prior to the begin date on your DS-2019 (item #3) and not later than 15 days after the begin date. When you enter the U.S., you will receive an I-94 Arrival/Departure Record card marked “J-1” and “D/S” (duration of status).

Mandatory Immigration Check-In with Purdue University

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security requires you to complete an immigration check-in within 5 business days of your arrival. Failure to complete the mandatory immigration check-in will cause your J-1 program to be terminated automatically and end your immigration status.

Maintaining Legal J-1 Status

As a J-1 exchange visitor, you must meet certain obligations to maintain legal immigration status. Maintaining status is necessary to receive the benefits of J-1 status in the future, such as applying for a change of status, if needed. Failure to maintain your non-immigrant status can result in serious problems with immigration and could lead to deportation from the U.S.

J-1 Scholars and Professors

To maintain legal J-1 status, a J-1 scholar or professor must:

  • Complete the Mandatory Check-In Process
  • Have a valid DS-2019. Extensions can be completed with your J-1 sponsor.
  • Have a valid passport. The passport must be valid for at least 6 months into the future.
  • Conduct employment only as indicated on the DS-2019.

NOTE: Departments must contact ISS if they would like the exchange visitor to engage in collaborative work outside of Purdue or if the exchange visitor wishes to participate in occasional lectures at another institution.

  • Maintain required health insurance coverage.

Program Requirements

Applicants will need to demonstrate their plans to pursue entrepreneurial activities related to the creation of new ventures. Applicants will be expected to demonstrate:

  • A commitment to participate in Purdue Foundry programs such as Firestarter (ideation), Business Model Creation, Commercialization Planning, and Collaboration with Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIR).
  • A commitment to participate in networking and entrepreneurial activities including Foundry Grounds, Spirited Entrepreneur, Foundry X.
  • A commitment to participate in educational seminars and activities of the Purdue Foundry.
  • Sufficient funding to support living and other expenses while at Purdue.
  • A commitment to and sufficient funding for the establishment of a business location at Purdue at a Purdue Foundry supported location like the Purdue Research Park, The Railyard, and The Anvil.

Applicants must also have an undergraduate degree.

Health Insurance Requirement

All exchange visitors and their accompanying dependents at Purdue University are required to have health insurance coverage that meets the University's standards. You must enroll in an approved insurance program at the mandatory immigration check-in program.

Travel Outside the U.S. and Re-entry

When traveling outside the United States, you will need to have the proper documents to return including:

  • Passport valid 6 months into the future
  • Valid DS-2019 with travel signature less than 1 year old
  • Valid J-1 visa (for citizens of certain countries, reentry from Canada, Mexico, and the adjacent islands may be allowed with an expired visa)

Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement (212[e])

Under specific circumstances, a J-1 exchange visitor may incur a Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement. The J-2 dependents are subject to this same requirement if the J-1 visa holder is subject to the requirement. This means that neither the J-1 nor the J-2 may change immigration status to H, L, or Permanent Residency without first returning to his/her country for two years or obtaining a waiver of this requirement. If the Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement applies, change of status to another non-immigrant classification, such as F-1, in the U.S. is prohibited. If the individual is subject to this requirement, the J-1 visa stamp or DS-2019 form will indicate that the bearer is subject to “212(e)”.
For more information about 212(e), please visit the U.S. Department of State web site. 


In addition to employment at Purdue University, J-1 scholars and professors are only eligible to be authorized for incidental employment, such as providing occasional lectures or consulting. Incidental employment must be approved by ISS prior to the activity.

It is Purdue University policy that you may not be employed by Purdue University for one year prior to J-1 Visa application. For questions regarding employment prior to applying for J-1 status, please contact ISS.


Dependents are defined as a spouse and minor children (under age 21) of the J-1 exchange visitor. Dependent spouses and children enter the U.S. on J-2 dependent visas. Each dependent is required to have an individual DS-2019 to obtain a J-2 visa stamp from a U.S. embassy or consulate and to enter the U.S. (Canadians are exempt from the visa requirement).

Having J-2 status does not enable a J-2 dependent to work, but it gives the person the ability to apply for permission to work from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office through an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) (Form I-766). The J-2 dependent does not have legal permission to work until the EAD is approved by USCIS.


All J-1 exchange visitors must file federal tax forms every year that they are in the U.S. The deadlines to file the forms are April 15, if U.S. money is earned, and June 15, if no U.S. money is earned.

Grace Period

When a J-1 exchange visitor completed his or her program, a 30-day grace period begins. During these 30 days he/she may remain in the U.S. and prepare to leave. It is not permissible to work during the grace period. Nor may one exit the U.S. and reenter as a J-1 during the grace period.

Continuation within the Program

While the J-1 program allows up to five (5) years total in the United States, participants in the Purdue Foundry program will be supported for the following:

  • An initial support for a two (2) year period that may be extended contingent upon compliance with the commitments above.
  • Annual extensions of up to a total of two (2) extension years.
  • A final one (1) year extension may be available on an exception basis only.

How to Apply

To apply for the program or find out more information, please contact

*Disclaimer - The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.  Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information.