The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has issued a guidance directive notifying institutions of new procedures for J-1 exchange visitors who complete their programs early. 

Effective immediately, J-1s who complete their program more than 15 calendar days prior to the end date listed on their DS-2019 are now eligible for a 30-day grace period. Exchange visitors who complete their program on time or less than 15 calendar days prior to the end date listed on their DS-2019 form are also eligible for their 30-day grace period, which begins the day after the end date listed on the exchange visitor’s DS-2019 form. During the 30-day grace period, exchange visitors can travel within the United States and/or prepare for their final departure. Exchange visitors are not eligible to participate in their program objective during their grace period, whether paid or unpaid. 

The procedure for notifying the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) of a J-1 exchange visitor completing their program early remains the same:

  1. Departments notify their Academic HR Generalist of the new J-1 end date via an HR Service Request System (SRS) "separation" ticket.
  2. Academic HR Generalist processes the separation of the scholar’s UCSF academic appointment.
  3. Academic HR Generalist submits an ISSO Program Completion form to the ISSO.
  4. ISSO shortens the program end date in the government system for J-1 exchange visitors who complete their program more than 15 days prior to the end date listed on their DS-2019 form. Based on the DOS Guidance Directive, the ISSO will not shorten exchange visitor programs in the government database for J-1s who complete their program less than 15 calendar days prior to the program end date listed on their DS-2019. No further action is needed when exchange visitors complete their program less than 15 calendar days prior to the J-1’s program end date. 

For more information on this and other recent changes we encourage you to visit the ISSO website.

If you have questions, please contact Holly Nigorizawa in the ISSO.