J scholars and their dependents may enter the U.S. 30 days prior to the start date listed on their DS-2019. If you arrive to campus early, keep in mind that you are NOT authorized to work until the start date listed on your DS-2019. Instead, we suggest you use this time to acclimate to campus and your new accommodations.
Following completion of your J scholar program, you have a 30 day grace period to remain in the U.S. as a tourist and finalize departure plans. During this grace period J scholars are NOT permitted to work. This grace period simply provides you the opportunity to prepare for departing or traveling within the U.S., or apply to change to another status. Once you exit the U.S., you will not be permitted to re-enter in J status if your program has finished. You can re-enter the U.S. in another status, such as a tourist, if you choose.
H-1B status does NOT have a formal grace period. You may not enter the U.S. more than ten days prior to the start of employment. If your employment terminates with the university earlier than initially anticipated, the H-1B will be revoked. By law, when your H-1B status/employment ends, you must leave the U.S. no later than the termination date or apply for a change of status immediately. An informal “grace period” may be granted by CBP, which allows you to remain in the U.S. for an additional ten days after the end of the H-1B validity period. This may be reflected on your electronic I-94 record or paper I-94 card. This is not a guaranteed grace period provided for by law and there is no way to ensure that remaining beyond the last date of employment will not be viewed as an overstay of your immigration status. During this “grace period” you are NOT permitted to work.