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The Differences Between F-1 and J-1 Visa Status

What is F-1 Visa Status?

The F visa is a student visa created for international students who intend to pursue their academic degree at Universities within the United States. F-1 status in particular is intended for full time students. Students under this visa category are eligible to also work on campus for 20 hours or less weekly. If they wish to work more, they must contact United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, also known as “USCIS” in order to gain the proper authorization to do so. F-1 visa status is the most common student visa used by students. Curricular practical training pertaining to off campus employment and internships relevant to an individual's specific field of study are available for students in the F program .

For the F-1 visa, any source of financial support is accepted, however this financial support must be portrayed within the first year of the program.

In addition, under F-1 visa status, there is no requirement for a two-year home country physical presence or requirement for a 12-month bar.

What is J-1 Status?

The J visa is an exchange visitor visa intended for students, scholars, research assistants, professors, interns, trainees, medical graduates, etc. This particular visa is created for those who have been pre-approved to participate in exchange visitor programs that include working and studying within the United States. Any form of employment for students on a J-1 visa requires a work permit from the sponsor. On campus employment does not require a work permit, however off campus employment does require a work permit. Academic training pertaining to off campus employment or internships relevant to an individual's specific field of study are available for up to 18 months for students in the J program.

For the J-1 visa, a majority of the students' financial support must be allocated from sources outside of their personal funds. Approximately 51% of financial support must a government or institutional sponsor such as a scholarship, fellowship, stipend, waive of tuition, etc.

In addition, under J-1 visa status, J-1 dependents may be required to participate in the two-year home country physical presence as well as the 12-month bar depending of the length of their specific program.

In order to be sure that you meet the requirements for an immigrant Visa and/ or to properly file a petition, it is advisable to seek legal guidance from our immigration office today.

It is advisable to seek legal guidance from our office today as we strive to help guide you with your specific case. 

Attorney Ramona Kennedy cares about your case and will fight for you.

You can contact attorney Ramona Kennedy Law Offices (Kennedy Law LC) for an initial consultation and case evaluation. The first consultation is free of charge. 

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