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St Andrews W&M Joint Degree Program: J-1 visa information

Comprehensive visa information can be found in the Visas and Immigration section of our website. 

J-1 visa and DS-2019 document: J-1 is the visa type for which we typically sponsor international students beginning the joint degree program at St Andrews. To obtain this visa, international students are issued a SEVIS Form DS-2019 in the spring of the first year of their program at St Andrews.

After the student has received their DS-2019, they will use it to apply for a J-1 visa at the US embassy. Please see J-1 visa application procedures for more information.

The DS-2019 is valid for the remaining 3 years of the program. A reciprocity agreement between the US government and student's country of citizenship will determine for how long the visa in the passport is valid. It should be noted that the visa does not determine how long one may stay in the US. Thus, having a J-1 visa valid only for 12 months does not mean one must leave the US when the visa expires.

Arrival and entry to the US: For the first entry to the US, students may enter anytime during the 30 day period prior to the start date on the Form DS-2019.

For subsequent entries to the US, the students may enter at any time, even if that entry is taking place during the year of study at St Andrews. For subsequent entries, students need only show their passport with a valid J-1 visa and DS-2019 with travel signature.

Employment at W&M: Students in J-1 status may work on campus for W&M for up to 20 hours per week during the semester and full time during official university breaks. Eligibility for W&M employment begins on start date of the DS-2019 and expires with the end date of the DS-2019 or graduation, whichever comes first. For details see W&M Employment.

Internships in the US during your program: Immigration regulations do allow students in J-1 status to perform paid or unpaid internships in the US during their academic program. The conditions are that it must be in the student’s field of study, be considered integral to the program curriculum, and the student must have been enrolled for at least one semester prior to the start of the internship. For internships, students apply to ISSP for Academic Training (AT).

Maintenance of the J-1 SEVIS record while at St Andrews: During the Joint Degree program, students will spend two years at St Andrews and two years at W&M. The periods of study at St Andrews are academically integrated in the program and thus, the SEVIS record is maintained by W&M through the end of the program (unless a student leaves the program early).

Post-graduation employment in the US: Students in J-1 status who are completing a program of study are eligible for up to 18 months of post-graduation work authorization in the US. This work authorization is called Academic Training (AT) and is designed to allow students to gain experience in their field of study.

Students who will spend year 4 of their program at St Andrews University may apply for Academic Training while at St Andrews but must do so within 30 days of their DS-2019 expiration date. See our website for comprehensive information on Academic Training.