Loyola University Chicago

International Student and Scholar Services

Maintaining J-1 Status

Enrollment Requirements

All J-1 exchange students must be enrolled full-time during the academic year. Full-time enrollment at the undergraduate level is a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester. Failure to maintain full-time enrollment may result in the loss of your J-1 status. 


J-1 students are permitted to travel within the U.S. or abroad provided that they carry appropriate documentation. Please make sure all of your documentation is valid well in advance of your travel dates.

Traveling within the U.S.

  • ISSS recommends that you carry two forms of identification (including your passport) along with your valid DS-2019.
  • You do not need an additional visa stamp or travel signature to travel within the U.S.

Traveling abroad

  • DS-2019 with a valid travel signature endorsed by your ISSS advisor within the last 12 months;
  • Valid visa stamp; and
  • Current passport, valid at least six months after the date of your re-entry to the U.S.

To obtain a travel signature, please fill out and submit the I-20/DS-2019 Document Update Request Form along with your original DS-2019 to the OIP front desk in Sullivan 206.

The ISSS team is unable to provide same day travel signature requests. Please request your travel signature one week in advance of your departure. 

Health Insurance

In order to maintain your J-1 status, you must maintain health insurance coverage that meets the minimum requirements set forth by the U.S. Department of State. Proof of valid insurance coverage must be submitted to the ISSS team during your immigration check-in. 

The minimum requirements are as follows:

  • Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness
  • Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000
  • Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000
  • A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.

All students enrolled full-time will be automatically enrolled in and billed for Loyola's health insurance coverage. You may waive out of Loyola's coverage if you have your own insurance that meets the minimum U.S. Department of State requirements. More information on Loyola's health insurance plan, along with instructructions on how to waive out of the coverage, can be found here

Please contact ISSS if you would like a list of alternate health insurance providers that meet the U.S. Department of State J-1 visa requirements.