Some scholars may extend their permission to stay and work at MIT. You are permitted to remain in the United States until the end date shown on your visa document (such as the Form DS-2019 or I-797) or on the most recent admission stamp in your passport or paper Form I-94. The expiration date of your visa stamp is not relevant in this respect. If you seek a longer affiliation, discuss this with your supervisor or department headquarters several months in advance. Scholars who have registered with the ISchO are entered into the ISchO's database, and we send a reminder memo to your department four months in advance of the expiration of current appointment or document end date, whichever comes first. It is important for your department to complete the requested information so we may issue the appropriate instructions and any necessary document or withdraw your file from our records.
If you are in J-1 visa status, refer to the end date of your Form DS-2019 rather than your admission stamp or Form I-94. Permission to work at MIT and to leave and reenter the United States in J-1 status ends as of the end date on your DS-2019 or the last date of your appointment, whichever is earlier. This date is followed by an automatic 30-day grace period during which you may remain in the United States. Applications for extension of stay must be submitted before your authorized stay expires. How to Extend Your J-1 Status
Each nonimmigrant status has an associated time limit: 5 years for J-1 scholars in the Research Scholar or Professor category, 6 months for J-1 scholars in the Short-Term Scholar category, 6 years for H1-B scholars, and 1 year at a time with annual renewals for TN scholars. Individuals on F-1 Practical Training and J-1 Academic Training are also authorized to work only for a specific period of time.
If you think you may wish to remain on appointment at MIT for longer than the limit that is allowed in your current nonimmigrant status, it is crucial for you to talk with an ISchO staff member well before your authorized stay expires. A change of status may be possible, but requires careful advanced planning. Those in J-1 status should inquire about options more than one year in advance.
Those who are currently in J-1 (or J-2) Research Scholar or Professor categories or those whose previous J-1 or J-2 visa status in those same categories was completed on or after November 18, 2006, must be aware of the 24-month bar if they anticipate returning to MIT or visiting another U.S. institution in the future under the same visa categories.
You will become subject to the 24 month bar if:
If you are subject to the 24 month bar, you must wait at least 24 months before you may begin a new J-1 Research Scholar or Professor program. For more information, please consult an ISchO advisor.
Those who anticipate a return visit to MIT or another U.S. institution should also be aware of the 12-month bar. The bar prohibits a person who has been in the United States in J-1 or J-2 status, in any category, within the past 12 months from a subsequent visit in the J-1 Research Scholar or Professor category unless one year has lapsed. However, the 12-month bar does not apply if the previous stay in the United States as a J-1 or J-2 visitor was in the Short-Term Scholar category and/or was of less than 6 months duration. It also does not apply if a J-1 transfer is processed with no gaps between the two J-1 programs (not to exceed 5 years).
The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRAIRA) imposes strict penalties on people who overstay their nonimmigrant status (the period for which they are authorized to be in the United States). It is important to avoid this situation and seek any necessary assistance from the ISchO. When applying for a new visa stamp abroad, be prepared to demonstrate the purity of your immigration record. Generally, the term "overstay" refers to a person who has stayed in the United States past the expiration date of the Form I-94 or other applicable document. If a person completes or otherwise interrupts the activity for which he or she was admitted earlier than the end date on the applicable document, the relevant date is typically the completion date.
An "overstay" suffers three consequences under this law:
The ISchO is here to help clarify confusing regulations, assist you to stay in legal status throughout your stay at MIT, and, to the extent possible, help you avoid difficulties when traveling in and out of the United States. Please contact us as needed.
Last Updated: August 2015