Entering the U.S.
You may enter the U.S. with J-1 status no earlier than 30 days before the start date indicated on your DS-2019 (see box #3), as long as you also have a valid J-1 visa in your passport.
After arrival you must submit copies of your legal documents to the ISO no later than 30 days after the start date indicated on your DS-2019.
We refer to this as the “30-day window”. The 30 days begin from the start date indicated on your DS-2019 (see box #3), not on the date you enter the U.S. with J-1 status.
Failure to meet the 30-day window results in the immediate and automatic cancellation by the U.S. government of your DS-2019. If this occurs, your DS-2019 becomes invalid even if the expiration date in box #3 is in the future.
Your DS-2019 is produced, maintained, and monitored by SEVIS. ISO cannot prevent or delay the invalidation of your DS-2019 at the end of the 30-day window unless you attend a New J-1 Scholar Orientation in a timely manner.
Without a valid DS-2019, you cannot (i) apply for a J-1 visa, (ii) enter the U.S. with J-1 status, even if you have a valid J-1 visa, or (iii) remain in the U.S. with J-1 status.
A cancelled DS-2019 means the loss of J-1 status which then means you are subject to deportation without appeal.
Loss of J-1 status as a result of a cancelled DS-2019 cannot be “fixed” from inside the U.S. You would have to depart the U.S. immediately. The possibility of being re-admitted to the country with J-1 status would be unlikely.
If you do not meet the 30-day window, you may lose your chance to come to, or to remain at UVa at all.
The start date listed on your DS-2019 form is supposed to be the date that you start your program at UVa. If you cannot arrive in time to start on the date listed, please contact the ISO so that we can amend your start date.
We may have to prepare and to send to you a new DS-2019 with a later start date in box #3. However, you must contact us well before the 30-day window closes. If you have not met the 30-day window, we cannot “fix” the problem after the window closes.