J-1 Students

The J-1 student visa status is designated for degree and non-degree NNU students participating in official exchange programs with Northwest Nazarene University or students sponsored substantially by funding from any source other than personal or family funds.

Maintaining Status

Benefits of J-1 Status

As a J-1 Student in good standing you may:

  • Obtain authorized employment
  • Request dependents to join you
  • Travel outside the US
  • Participate in professional internships in your field of study through Academic Training
  • Extend your stay, if needed, to complete your degree or complete an internship.
  • Transfer to another school
  • Change immigration status

Eligibility for Benefits

To maintain your J-1 status you must:

  • Maintain Key Documents
  • Ensure all of your documents are accurate and valid. See document page for details.
  • Obey Dept. of Homeland Security Regulations
  • Follow all rules and regulations related to your status, such as those involving employment and enrollment (see below).
  • Report Changes to the Registrar
  • Keep the Registrar up-to-date on all changes related to your status including address, phone, email address, degree program, financial support, etc. Most changes must be reported within 10 days.
  • Maintain Full-Time Enrollment

Enrollment Guidelines

International students must successfully complete a full-time class load every semester. Full-time is a minimum of 12 credits for undergraduates and 6 credits for graduate students. Students with a J-Visa may not count online courses toward full-time enrollment. The following grades are acceptable for maintaining your status: A, B, C, D, and P (Pass). The follow grades are NOT acceptable for maintaining your status: F (Fail), AU (Audit), I (Incomplete), W (Withdraw). Failure to complete the full-time credit requirements may jeopardize your immigration status! Contact the Registrar with any questions concerning enrollment requirements. View NNU's Acadamic Calendar for information about add/drop, class changes, and withdrawals deadlines.

Change of Level

If you have completed a degree and are accepted into another degree program at NNU, you must obtain a new DS-2019 form before your current DS-2019 expires or before you change academic levels. When requesting a new DS-2019 you must bring new financial statements demonstrating your ability to pay all living expenses and tuition for one year. Failure to obtain your new DS-2019 in a timely manner may jeopardize your immigration status.

Reduced Courseload

Full-time enrollment (12 credits for undergraduates; 6 credits for graduates) is mandatory for J-1 students. If you are having difficulty successfully completing a full-time class schedule, talk with the Registrar immediately! Under-enrollment may be authorized in the following exceptional circumstances.

Academic Reasons

One term of under-enrollment may be authorized by the Registrar for compelling academic reasons. You must receive authorization before the 4th week of the semester, and you must resume full-time enrollment the following term.

Medical Reasons

The Registrar may authorize up to 12 months of under-enrollment for medical reasons documented by a medical doctor, osteopath, or psychologist. Alternative medical providers and social workers are not authorized to provide documentation. Medical issues related to J-2 dependents are not valid for course reduction for the J-1 student. If you are experiencing serious medical or psychological issues, speak with the Registrar.

Final Semester of Study

You may be under-enrolled during your final semester of study. You must notify the Registrar before the 4th week of your final semester using the Reduced Courseload Form. Graduate Thesis/Dissertation/Project

After completing all necessary coursework for your graduate degree program, you may be enrolled in 1 or more credits per semester while completing your thesis, dissertation, comprehensive exams or graduate project. You must submit a Reduced Courseload Form signed by your academic advisor to the Registrar by the second week of each semester.

Extension of Stay

If you will not complete your degree program within your program end date, you are required to apply for a program extension before the completion date on your DS-2019 form. To receive a program extension you must demonstrate that you are enrolled full-time, show financial documentation, and have legitimate academic or medical reasons for the delay. If approved, the Registrar will provide a new DS-2019 form and notify the US Customs and Immigration Service of the change. Please contact the Registrar for information on the extension process.

If you are unable to demonstrate valid academic or medical reasons for the delay, you will be considered in violation of your immigration status and must apply for reinstatement of your J-1 status.

Employment

As a full-time J-1 student you may work on campus if working will not interfere with your enrollment or delay progress on a degree program. If you are a new student, you are eligible to work on campus after checking in with the Registrar up to 30 days before the start of the semester. If you are a transfer student you may be eligible to work as soon as you receive your DS-2019 for study at NNU. Prior to working, you must obtain a letter of authorization from the Registrar and provide it to the NNU Payroll Office. You must also have a Social Security number.

Federal regulations limit your employment to 20 hours per week while classes are in session. During your vacation term you may work full-time even if you choose to take one or two classes. However, you may not work full-time and attend classes full-time during the same semester.

The Department of Homeland Security does not necessarily distinguish between paid employment and volunteer work. Always obtain authorization prior to working regardless of whether you will be paid.

You must receive written permission from the Registrar BEFORE beginning any on- or off-campus employment. Any employment authorization will be included on your DS-2019 document and in the SEVIS system, per US regulation.

Working on Campus

As a full-time student, you may work on campus if working will not interfere with your enrollment or delay progress on a degree program. If you are a new student, you are eligible to work on campus after checking in with the Registrar up to 30 days before the start of the semester. If you are a transfer student you may be eligible to work as soon as you receive your DS-2019 for study at NNU. Prior to working, you must obtain an International Student On-Campus Employment Approval Form from the Registrar and provide it to the NNU Payroll Office. You must also have a Social Security number.

Federal regulations limit your employment to 20 hours per week while classes are in session. During your vacation term you may work full-time even if you choose to take one or two classes. However, you may not work full-time and attend classes full-time during the same semester.

If you have been in J-1 status for one academic year and you are experiencing unforeseen, documented financial difficulty, you may be eligible to apply for Economic Hardship employment authorizaton.

As an international student you are not eligible for “work study” jobs on campus. You are eligible to apply for most other positions on campus. You can receive assistance finding an on-campus job from the Career Center located in the Student Center.

The Department of Homeland Security does not necessarily distinguish between paid employment and volunteer work. Always obtain authorization prior to working regardless of whether you will be paid.

You must receive written permission from the Registrar BEFORE beginning any on- or off-campus employment. Any employment authorization will be included on your DS-2019 document and in the SEVIS system, per US regulation.

Academic Training

J-1 students who wish to work off-campus in an employment or internship opportunity in their field of study may apply for J-1 Academic Training. You must apply before you complete your J-1 student program. Academic Training employment or internships can be paid or unpaid and may be done part-time during your studies or full-time during vacation periods. Many students participate in professional internships immediately following their studies. You may apply to extend your J-1 status to do an Academic Training internship or employment opportunity to begin immediately following your studies. To qualify you must:

  • be a full-time student in good academic standing,
  • obtain an internship or off-campus employment opportunity in your field of study at NNU,
  • obtain a recommendation from an NNU professor or advisor in your field of study, and
  • obtain authorization from the Registrar before beginning any work.

A J-1 student must have authorization from the Registrar before beginning any internship. For more information on how to apply for Academic Training, please see the Academic Training Request Form.

Social Security and Tax Info

If you will be employed in the US you must have a Social Security Card. You must have an employer job offer letter before you can apply for a card. You may apply for a card at any Social Security office. They require you to bring your:

  • Employment authorization letter
  • Employer job offer letter, to include the title of your position, your start date, the number of hours you will work per week, and your supervisor's name and telephone number
  • Passport
  • I-94 Departure Card (white card from Customs) or printed copy of the electronic I-94 form (I-94 Replacement)
  • DS-2019 or I-20 Certificate of Eligibility form
  • Application for a Social Security Card

Be sure to GET YOUR RECEIPT as this is your only proof of employability until you receive your card in the mail. Be sure to provide the Social Security Office a valid mailing address on your application.

Social Security Office Location:
1118 South Kimball Ave
Caldwell, ID 83605.

Tax Information

April 15th is the deadline for reporting income from the previous year. Reporting can be done as soon as you get your tax documents from your employer. To find out about your requirements and responsibilities, please consult a tax advisor and read the information on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website: https://www.irs.gov/

IRS Income reporting information can be found: International Taxpayers. Foreign Student and Scholars

Travel

In order to travel outside of the U.S. you need to carry following documents:

  • DS-2019 Form (signed by RO/ARO)
  • Passport (valid at least 6 months into the future)
  • J-1 Visa (visa in most cases should not be expired)
  • I-94 Card

In addition to the above documentation it can be helpful to bring evidence of your financial support, such as a bank statement or scholarship letter and proof of your continued enrollment (unofficial transcript) at NNU when traveling.

Obtaining a Travel Signature

It is essential that you obtain a travel signature on your DS-2019 form from the RO or ARO before attempting to travel outside the US! You may drop off your DS-2019 at the Registrar's Office front desk and the Registrar (RO) will sign the document for travel within a week.

Canadian Students

Canadian students do not require a visa to enter the U.S. However, they are still considered international students and must have a valid DS-2019 when re-entering the US. Canadian students must make sure to receive an I-94 card at the U.S. port-of entry marked “J-1”.

Dependents or Visiting Relatives

A DS-2019 may be issued for your legal spouse or minor children to apply for a J-2 visa to travel to the United States. You must first provide financial documentation that shows their full support during their stay.

If a J-1 student will be away from NNU for more than 30 days it is advised that any J-2 family members depart with the J-1 student.

Airport and transportation information

Flights should be arranged to Boise International Airport (BOI). Taxi service is available outside of the airport arrival area. The cost is approximately $75 to NNU. Public transportation around NNU is limited. Valley Ride bus information.

Transfer Process

SEVIS Transfer to NNU

For your SEVIS record to be transferred to NNU from another school you must meet the following requirements:

  • Admission to NNU
  • Valid J-1 Status (demonstrated on the Transfer Information/ Clearance Form)
  • Full-time course load maintained at your previous school
  • Proof that your academic plan at NNU is a direct continuation and in the same field of studies as your original plan of study at your first J-1 university or college.
  • Please provide contact information for your J-1 International Student Advisor at your previous school before you complete the procedures for transferring your SEVIS record to NNU. After your SEVIS record is transferred, contact your admissions counselor for information about obtaining your new DS-2019.

Orientation and Immigration Check-in

A mandatory orientation session is required for all new NNU J-1students. You will receive email information about the orientation.

You are also required to check-in within 15 days of the start of the term with the Registrar. Failure to complete your immigration check-in will place you in violation of your student status.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: My new DS-2019 from NNU doesn’t have an immigration stamp. Is that okay?

A: Yes. New DS-2019s are issued for a variety of reasons and are only stamped upon entry or re-entry into the US.

Q: I am transferring to NNU from another school. When can I start working?

A: After your SEVIS record has been transferred to NNU, as long as you have completed at least one academic term at your previous school. You may only work on the campus which currently maintains your DS-2019. You are eligible for off-campus employment after one full academic year in the US, including all schools you’ve attended. See Employment for more information.

Q: Do I need to keep my old DS-2019(s) or can I just throw them away?

A: Never throw away your old DS-2019s. They provide a record of your immigration history.

SEVIS Transfer from NNU

To transfer your SEVIS record from NNU to your new school, you must follow these steps:

  • Submit the NNU Transfer Request Form
  • Supply a copy of your admission letter to your new school
  • Supply proof that your government or embassy approves your transfer, if you receive support from them.
  • In your new school’s admission documents there may be a Transfer Clearance Form that verifies your J-1 status. NNU will complete this form for you, but will not transfer your SEVIS record until the above steps are complete.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When can my SEVIS record be transferred to a new school?

A: Your record can only be transferred between semesters and must be transferred before the first day of the next term at NNU.

Q: I plan to travel outside the US before classes start at my new school. Which DS-2019 do I need to come back to the US?

A: You will need the DS-2019 from your new school. Once your SEVIS record is transferred your DS-2019 from NNU is no longer valid.

Q: I have a job on campus. Can I work after my SEVIS record has been transferred? What about Academic Training?

A: No. All work authorization at NNU ends when your SEVIS record is transferred.

Q: I’ve completed my transfer to my new school. Can I throw away my old DS-2019 from NNU?

A: No. Never throw away your old DS-2019s. They provide a record of your immigration history, which you may need for filing for new immigration statuses in the future.

About SEVIS

What is SEVIS?

The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is an internet-based system allowing universities and other academic programs to exchange data on the visa status of international F-1 and J-1 students and J-1 scholars with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). SEVIS benefits students and scholars by improving the speed and accuracy of their application processes.

How does SEVIS work?

  • NNU uses SEVIS to notify USCIS when it admits a new international student or invites a new J-1 scholar. USCIS approves the University’s request to issue form I-20 (for F-1 students) or form DS-2019 (for J-1 students or scholars) through SEVIS. The University sends the form to the student or scholar.
  • If you are a new F-1 student then you will pay a SEVIS fee of $200 to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.New J-1 students and scholars will pay a $180 SEVIS fee to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. For information on paying the SEVIS fee, please see the US government SEVIS I-901 fee website
  • A new F-1 or J-1 student or J-1 scholar visits a US Consulate abroad, which uses SEVIS to confirm the validity of the student’s or scholar’s I-20 or DS-2019. The consulate issues the student or scholar visa. For a list of US Consulates in your home country, please see the US Embassies website.
  • At the airport, a USCIS officer reports the F-1 or J-1 visa holder’s entry into the U.S. to SEVIS.
  • Upon arrival at NNU, the student or scholar checks in with the Registrar, who confirms the student’s or scholar’s arrival at NNU through SEVIS.
  • The University provides regular reports to SEVIS throughout the student’s academic career or scholar’s research or teaching program.
  • The student’s or scholar’s departure from the U.S. is recorded in SEVIS.

What data does NNU report to SEVIS?

  • F-1 and J-1 student enrollment or failure to enroll
  • Student’s or scholar’s change of legal name or address
  • Early graduation of a student prior to end date on the I-20 or DS-2019
  • Disciplinary action taken due to criminal conviction
  • Student’s un-authorized drop below a full course of study
  • Student or scholar termination date and reason for termination
  • Student’s failure to maintain status or complete program of study
  • Other data such as program extensions, school transfers, changes in level of study, employment authorizations and reinstatement

SEVIS Information Resources

Visit the SEVIS homepage or Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) for more information. Also see the SEVIS/I-901 fee website and US Embassies website.