The State Department has provided new guidelines for exchange visitors (J-1), currently in the US legally because of the outbreak of the Coronavirus.  Under the guidelines, the USCIS may under extreme circumstances, extend or change the status of student in this category, and sometimes approve student work authorization for the student who cannot leave the US at the end of their visas because of the fear of the disease in their native country.

Also, those exchange students subject to the two-year home residency requirement, may apply to the USCIS for a waiver of that requirement because of the disease or apply to their home country government for a “No Objection Statement” and submit it as an update to their application with the USCIS.