J-1 Reinstatement and Record Correction

J-1 Reinstatement and Record Correction

J-1 students on occasion may fail to maintain valid J-1 student status. The reasons for this may be due to circumstances beyond the J-1 student's control, inadvertent error, or willful failure to comply with the relevant regulations.

J-1 regulations distinguish between violations of J-1 status that are procedural and fairly minor and violations are those that are more substantive. Minor violations can be 'corrected' whereas major violations require application to the U.S. Department of State for reinstatement. Reinstatement procedures are demanding and difficult, and approval is not guaranteed. Furthermore, certain kinds of J-1 immigration violations lead to automatic termination of J-1 status.


Correction of a J-1 Record

Examples of minor errors or violations in a student's record include the following:

  • submitting an otherwise completed and acceptable application for a J-1 extension after the DS-2019 has expired
  • failure to complete a J-1 transfer process due to administrative delay or oversight
  • submitting an otherwise completed and acceptable application for J-1 Academic Training or other type of authorizable J-1 employment.

In the event that you fail to submit a request for an extension or for Academic Training before your DS-2019 expires, the OIS will review your request an issue a new DS-2019 that 'corrects' your J-1 record and extends you as necessary, to allow you to continue your studies and/or Academic Training. A correction cannot be granted:

  • if the request for correction is made more than 120 days after your DS-2019 has expired or the infraction took place, whichever is earlier
  • if you have willfully failed to maintain adequate health insurance during the period which is being corrected
  • if your request is connected to an academic or professional objective other than the one indicated on your Form DS-2019
  • if your request for employment authorization is unauthorized, i.e., is for an activity that is not normally approvable under J-1 employment guidelines
  • if you have failed to pursue a full course of study, or have a history of repeated violations of J-1 immigration regulations.


When is Reinstatement Necessary?

Reinstatement to J-1 status becomes necessary if there is a more substantive violation of J-1 regulations.  Examples of such violations include:

  • Failure to pursue a full course of study without authorization from the OIS and your academic advisor
  • Failure to seek a correction of your record within 120 days of committing a minor infraction

In the event that you have committed a substantive violation of J-1 regulations, the OIS will advise you directly of reinstatement procedures. Approval for reinstatement is not guaranteed.


Violations that Lead to Automatic Termination

Certain kinds of regulations automatically lead to termination of J-1 status. Procedures for record-correction or reinstatement are not available in these circumstances:

  • Failure to maintain adequate health insurance coverage that meets U.S. State Department requirements for yourself and/or your J-2 dependents
  • Unauthorized employment (i.e., employment that cannot be authorized under the framework of J-1 regulations)
  • Suspension, termination, or expulsion from your academic program

Contact the Office of International Services at tcintl@tc.columbia.edu with information regarding the above.

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