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F & J Student Visa Categories

The two primary student visas, F-1 & J-1, are compared below. The ISO will determine which category is more appropriate for you based on information from you and your admitting department. For either category, you will need a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019) to apply for the appropriate visa. The majority of our students receive documentation for the F-1 visa, however the J-1 visa is sometimes required by government sponsors. If you prefer a J-1 student visa you must indicate your request on the New Student Intake Forms. Self-funded students are not eligible for the J-1 student visa. Be sure you understand the rules of either visa category before returning the form. For additional information on student visas, please see the US Department of State.


F-1 Students (Form I-20)

  • No residency requirements for changing status to another visa category in the future
  • Source of funding can come from any combination of sources
  • F-2 dependents are NOT eligible for employment or full-time study
  • Health insurance is not mandatory by government regulation but is required by the University and is strongly recommended for all dependents
  • $350 SEVIS Fee required for initial I-20 (not required for dependents)
  • On-campus employment is automatically granted during the program
  • Optional Practical Training can be recommended to allow students 12 months (and possibly an additional 24 months for students in the STEM Fields) work authorization related to the field of study
  • See more about the F-1 Student immigration category


J-1 Students (Form DS-2019)

  • Potential 2-year home-residency requirement (for J-1 and dependents) before gaining eligibility to change or adjust visa status, including long term employment or permanent residency
  • Majority of funding must be from sources other than personal or family funds
  • J-2 dependents are eligible to apply for work authorization and may enroll in full or part-time study
  • Health insurance is mandatory for J-1 students and J-2 dependents
  • $220 SEVIS Fee required for initial DS-2019 (not required for dependents)
  • On-campus employment must be approved in advance by ISO or program sponsor
  • Academic Training can be granted for up to 18 months work authorization (and a possible total of 36 months for Doctoral candidates), provided the work is related to the field of study and a job offer letter is available in advance
  • See more about the J-1 Exchange Visitor immigration category


Non-UR Immigration Sponsorship

If you will enroll at the University under the immigration sponsorship of another organization, or in a non-student immigration status, ISO may still serve as a resource during your studies.  Please consider additional information on Studying in Non-University Sponsored Categories.