Immigration requirements

Students participating in reciprocal exchange programs are issued Form DS-2019 from UT which allows them to apply for a J-1 student visa at a U.S. consulate. The DS-2019 is issued for the duration of their academic study period, usually one or two semesters. Reciprocal exchange students enroll in a non-degree academic program, according to the terms of exchange agreements between UT and their home universities.

  • Consult with the Exchange Coordinator in the International Office for questions concerning all immigration matters.
  • If you are a U.S. citizen or have dual citizenship with the U.S., you must enter the U.S. with a U.S. passport. You cannot apply for a J-1 visa.
  • For important information about your immigration status, read the New Student Immigration Information page.
  • The DS-2019 will be issued by the Exchange Coordinator in International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS).
  • The J-1 visa stamped in the passport is for permission to enter the U.S. Once you enter the U.S., the DS-2019 and I-94 form, received at the port of entry, are the active documents that give you permission to remain in the U.S.
  • Your DS-2019 is valid until the date in section 3. You may remain in the U.S. up to 30 days after this date. However, you cannot re-enter the U.S. as a student using your DS-2019 after the date in section 3. If you have on-campus employment the end date on your DS-2019 is the last day you can work. The DS-2019 can be extended for Academic Training work authorization. The authorization must be in place before the original DS-2019 expiration date.
  • If you plan to leave the U.S. and re-enter during your program, be sure your DS-2019 has been signed by an ISSS immigration advisor before you leave the U.S. Check to see that your passport, visa and DS-2019 are valid for re-entry. Students traveling to Mexico, the Caribbean, or Canada should read our visa page for information about re-entering the U.S. with an expired visa.

Full-time course load requirement

United States immigration regulations stipulate that students must be registered for a "full-time course load" unless their academic programs state otherwise. A full-time course load at UT is 12 credit hours of undergraduate courses or 9 credit hours for MBA and 10 credit hours for the Law exchange program.