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While you are an international scholar in the United States, you need to maintain your visa status.

Regardless of your category, you must:

  • Keep a valid passport during your entire stay. Your dependents should also have valid passports during their time in the U.S.
  • Check in with OISS when you arrive.
  • Report any changes to your address or contact information to OISS.
  • File an income tax return every year while you are in the U.S.

Each visa category has additional requirements for maintaining status. If you have questions or concerns, contact us.

J-1 Scholars

  • Purchase health insurance for you and for your family.
  • Notify OISS of any changes to your program before you engage in unlawful activity.
  • Do not work without authorization.
  • Request a signature on your DS-2019 if you are traveling abroad. Traveling without a valid signature from OISS will result in problems at the port of entry.
  • Request an extension from OISS if your department wants to extend your program beyond the date listed on your DS-2019.
  • If you need to do research outside of the United States for more than 30 days, you and your faculty host must fill out the J-1 Out of Country Request Form in iHome
  • When your program ends, leave the U.S. within 30 days.

H-1B, O-1 and TN Scholars

  • Fill out a Form I-9 within the first three days of your employment at Lehigh.
  • Get approval from OISS for any changes to your employment.
  • If you plan to leave the U.S., contact OISS at least three weeks before your departure.
  • Before your program ends, contact OISS to determine when you should leave the U.S.

Immigration Site Visits

The United States government, through certain federal agencies, may attempt to contact Lehigh University employees for immigration-related information about a particular international student, staff or faculty member. The inquiry can be a telephone call, letter or visit to campus, either scheduled or unscheduled.

The university has developed a protocol to help employees respond (Lehigh log in required). If you have any questions or concerns about this protocol, please contact OISS.