The J-1 Visa is a non-immigrant visa issued by the United States to exchange visitors participating in programs that promote cultural exchange, especially to obtain medical or business training within the U.S. J-1 students have the opportunity to study at American degree-granting post-secondary accredited academic institutions, or participate in a student internship program that will fulfill the educational objectives of the student’s degree program in his or her home country.

J-2 Dependents

All J-1 visa holders are allowed to bring their spouse and children over to the U.S. as long as the J-1 visa holder can show proof of funds to support them during their stay. Any married children or children 21 years and above will NOT be able to come over on a J-2 visa. Other family members such as parents, brothers, sisters, etc. will also NOT be able to come over on J-2 visa but may want to look into a B-2 visa. If you would like to bring your spouse or children on J-2 visas, you will need to provide the following:

  • Copy of passport photo page of each requested dependent
  • Copy of marriage certificate if requesting a J-2 for your spouse
  • Copy of birth certificate for each J-2 child
  • Proof of funds showing ability to support them ($7,000 for spouse, $5,900 for each child)

Duration of status

J-1 visitors may remain in the United States until the end of their exchange program, as specified on form DS-2019. Once a J-1 student’s program ends, he or she may remain in the United States for an additional 30 days, often referred to as a “grace period”, in order to prepare for departure from the country.

Full Course of Study

J-1 students must maintain full-time registration every fall and spring semester. Prior written authorization from an International Advisor is required in order to take a reduced course load. If students have to interrupt their studies for any reason they must contact an International Student Advisor immediately.

Program Extension

J-1 students are required to maintain the validity of their Forms DS-2019 throughout the duration of their exchange programs in the United States. J-1 must apply to their program sponsors for an extension of their J-1 status BEFORE their current Forms DS-2019 expire.

Early Withdrawal

If for some reason a J-1 student is not able to complete an academic program, s/he must notify their International Advisor and receive approval before withdrawing from his/her academic program.


J-1 students are advised to plan for international travel by first reviewing their DS-2019 immigration document. The recommended documents for travel include: a valid passport, valid immigration documents (Form DS-2019) and a valid travel signature on form DS-2019 (in most cases, no older than 12 months.

Concurrent Enrollment

J-students are only allowed to be enrolled in 0 credit hours at UMKC during regular school holiday breaks. If a J-student wishes to be concurrently enrolled, the J-student must take an equal amount of credit hours at both UMKC and the other school.


J-students are only allowed to be under-enrolled for the following reasons:

  • Vacation
  • Medical problem
  • Bona fide academic reason: student must present their International Advisor with a written statement from their academic dean or advisor recommending the reduced course load and the reason why
  • Non-degree program: if the student is engaged full-time in a prescribed course of study in a non-degree program of up to 24 months duration conducted by a post-secondary accredited educational institution.
  • Academic training
  • Final term
  • Are you currently under-enrolled? Submit this form

Information & Forms