30-Day Grace Period
Permission to stay in the United States is indicated on the I-94 departure card, the small white card which is usually stapled inside one’s passport upon entry into the USA. It indicates the date and port of entry to the US, the immigration classification (J1) and the date until which the Exchange Visitor is allowed to remain in the US.
For most J-1 Exchange Visitors, the term “D/S” (Duration of Status) is written on the I-94 and DS-2019. This means the Exchange Visitor may continue in program activities until the end date on the DS-2019. No official program activities or work can take place after this program end date; however, Exchange Visitors are given a grace period of 30 days after the program end date to depart the USA.
The program end date is very important! If an Exchange Visitors wishes to remain in the US beyond this date, extending the current program or transfering to another program, it must be done before the program end date. Unit hosts should consult with the IP office to request program extensions.
Overstaying one’s status (i.e. program end date + 30-day grace period) is a SERIOUS immigration violation that almost always has long-term consequences. Any future visa applications are likely to be denied, regardless of the visa classification or purpose of visit.