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Exchange Student F1 vs J1 Visa Differences

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Deciding which visa classifcation to enter your exchange program on…

F-1 STUDENT VISA    

  • Must maintain full course of study and be making normal progress towards program completion
  • Student may engage in on-campus employment without approval from the International Students & Scholars Office
  • Eligibility for optional or curricular practical training is only available after completion of one full academic year for degree seeking students.
    • Students under the exchange program are not eligible for curricular/optional practical training
  • Students entering on a F-1 visa may change their program from non-degree seeking to a degree seeking program
  • Student entering on a F-1 visa have a 60 day grace period after the completion of their program to depart the United States

J-1 STUDENT VISA

  • Must maintain a full course of study and be making normal progress towards program completion
  • Students may not engage in any type of employment without approval from the International Students & Scholars Office.
  • Students entering on a J-1 student visa are not eligible to change their program from a non-degree seeking to a degree seeking program without a change in category (fee applicable)
  • Students entering on a J-1 student visa in a non-degree program are allowed no more than 24 months in this category – this includes the time period spent studying and any time spent in academic training
  • J-1 students are eligible for Academic Training. This training is permitted at any stage of the program while enrolled or after completion of the program.
    • Academic Training will be approved for the equivalent time spent enrolled as a student and must begin no more than 30 days after completion of your program.
    • Must have a job offer prior to training approval and completion of program.
  • All students must provide health insurance coverage - in addition - J visa holders must meet the minimum insurance requirements under the J Exchange Visitor Program
  • Students entering on a J-1 visa have a 30 day grace period after completion of their program to depart the United States.