UMD: A Globally Connected University

Change of Status

Change of Status

You have been offered an appointment as a Research Scholar or Professor within a department of the University of Maryland College Park. The J-1 visa is the most commonly used visa for post-doctoral researchers and non-tenured teaching positions.

In order to change your status to J-1 within the United States, please refer to the procedures information below. This process is dependent on your current immigration status. Please consult with an ISSS advisor before deciding to change status in the U.S.


  1. The UMD Department has offered you an appointment. The department will notify International Student & Scholar Services to issue a DS-2019 form and mail it to you to include in your application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services center.
  2. In order to process and issue your DS-2019 form, you will need to complete all necessary forms on iTerp. Your UMD department will request a DS-2019 form on your behalf from ISSS.
  3. Once you have received the DS-2019 form from ISSS, you will submit the following to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services center:
    • Form I-539
    • I-797 form: Proof of payment of SEVIS I-901 fee ($220)
    • Letter from UMD Department regarding the conditions of your employment.
    • $290 check payable to "Department of Homeland Security"
    • Your signed DS-2019 form (your signature must be on the bottom of the form)
    • A copy of your I-94 record (and those of any dependents to be changed to J-2). Your I-94 record can be accessed at
    • Supporting documentation verifying your current status, such as a visa stamp
    • Cover letter explaining why you wish to change status.
    • Completed Change of Status Acknowledgment Form for J-1 Scholars
    • Anyone in A or G status will also need to fill out a form I-566 for clearance from their organization or embassy and the U.S. Department of State
    • Please indicate clearly, "I-539 : Change of status form", on the outside of the envelope. Use a form of U.S. Mail that is traceable and retain photocopies of your complete application for your records.
    • The application should be sent to the following address if you reside in Maryland, Virginia or Washington, DC:

    For U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Deliveries:
    P.O. Box 660166
    Dallas, TX 75266

    For Express mail and courier deliveries:
    ATTN:  I-539
    2501 S. State Highway 121 Business
    Suite 400
    Lewisville, TX 75067


    NOTE: If your address is not local to the University of Maryland, please contact ISSS at (301) 314-1469 to determine the correct service center.

  4. You should receive a notice from the USCIS within two to three weeks indicating that they have received your application. The notice contains a receipt number that you can use to check the status of your application online.
  5. If your application is approved, you will have J-1 status inside the United States. If you travel outside the US and intend to return as a J-1 visitor (student, scholar,etc), you will need to obtain a J-1 visa from a US Embassy or Consulate abroad. If your application is rejected, please contact an advisor in ISSS.