Student Immigration Definitions

Obtaining J-1 Exchange Visitor
Student Category Status at Columbia

Transfer of J-1 Supervision

Change of Status to F-1

Potential Delays in Visa Issuance


Student Tax Information

Message for Canadian Students

Maintaining J-1 Status

DS-2019 Recertification

Health Insurance Overview for J-1 Students

J-1 Travel Information

DHS Information on Arrival Problems

J-1 Extension of Stay (Current Program)

J-1 Extension of Stay to Begin New Program


J-1 Work Opportunities

J-1 On-Campus Work Request

J-1 Academic Training

Employment Authorization for J-2

J-1 Leave of Absence, Suspension or Withdrawal

Student Departure Information

Home Country Residency Requirement

Reduced Course Load Request

Address Change Form

Procedures for Transfer of J-1 Program Supervision for Students


The Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has oversight of the Exchange Visitor Program and must be notified whenever you need to change your J-1 program sponsorship (supervision). This occurs when you are currently enrolled as a student in another U.S. institution under J-1 immigration status and plan to enroll at Columbia, or if you are already enrolled at Columbia under the sponsorship (supervision) of another Exchange Visitor Program (such as IIE, OAD, etc.) and are transferring J-1 sponsorship (supervision) to Columbia's Exchange Visitor Program. When the Exchange Visitor Program is notified of your planned enrollment at Columbia University, Columbia becomes your program sponsor (supervisor). Transfer of J-1 program sponsor must be completed if:

  1. you are completing an academic program or academic training at another U.S. school and intend to begin a new academic program at Columbia, or
  2. you are transferring schools in the middle of an academic program, or
  3. you are transferring to a new J-1 sponsor (supervisor) in the middle of an academic program.

An Exchange Visitor in the student category (as indicated in section 4 of the DS-2019) may transfer from one program sponsor to another only if the purpose of the transfer is to complete the original educational objective for which he or she entered the U.S. The "responsible officer" (RO) of the program from which you are transferring needs to determine that

  • the transfer is consistent with the goals of the exchange visitor program
  • the Exchange Visitor is currently in valid program status

The RO at the school you last attended or are still attending needs to update your SEVIS record with a date the transfer will be effective (Release Date) and the Columbia University's J-1 program number, which is P-1-00381. Download the Transfer-in form and complete Section 1. You should bring this with you when you meet with your international student advisor.
Once the release date has been reached, Columbia will be able to issue you a transfer DS-2019 form. When you arrive at Columbia, you must come to the ISSO to have your participation in Columbia's exchange visitor program "validated" in SEVIS. THIS IS IMPERATIVE to maintain your status in SEVIS.

If You Will Be Accompanied By Dependents

If your dependents -- spouse or unmarried children under 21 years of age -- will transfer to Columbia sponsorship along with you or will join you shortly after the transfer, you will need to provide additional documentation showing your ability to meet your dependents' expenses. Upon receipt of the required information, we will prepare the dependent DS-2019 forms to facilitate their transfer to Columbia sponsorship and the next J-2 entry visa application. You may request a DS-2019 form for your spouse and/or children anytime during your stay at Columbia.


Last reviewed: 22 February 2011 Last modified: 22 February 2011
International Students and Scholars Office
Columbia University