International Support Services

Comparison of F-1 and J-1 Visa Types

Topic F-1 J-1
EligibilityRestrictions None Cannot be self-funded unlessparticipating in an exchange program pursuant to a formal writtenagreement between educational institutions or governmental offices.
On-campus Employment Available up to 20 hours perweek when school is in session and 40 hours per week during annualschool holidays. Same as F-1
Off-campus Employment Yes: Can be authorized forunforeseen financial hardship, Curricular Practical Training, or Pre-and Post- Practical Training. Must have been in F-1 status 9 months toapply. Yes: Can be authorized forunforeseen financial hardship or Academic Training.
Practical/AcademicTrainingTypes Curricular Practical Training(CPT)
Optional Practical Training(OPT)
Academic Training may (Optionalor Required) may take place before or after graduation.
Time Limits
  • CPT: None although if you usemore than 12 months or full-time CPT, you lose your eligibility for anyOPT.
  • Optional (Pre- and Post-completion, combined): 12 months maximum. Can apply up to 60 daysfollowing program completion. Unemployment limit of 90 days during OPT,120 days for STEM majors.
Note: In general, the period ofAcademic Training may not exceed 18 months or the amount of time spentin the academic program, whichever is less.
  • Non degree: 24 months maximum,including the academic program itself
  • Degree: Pre-doctoral, 18 monthsmaximum Post-doctoral, 36 months maximum (for post-doctoral researchonly).
Requirement of JobOffer
  • Curricular: Yes Pre-completion
  • Optional: Recommended
  • Post-completion Optional: No
  • Pre-completion: Yes
  • Post-completion: Yes. Must havejob offer within 30 days of completion of studies and you must applybefore you complete your program as well.
Authorization fromDepartmentof Homeland Security
  • Curricular: Not required.Authorization is obtained from International Office advisor.
  • Pre- andPost-completion:Required before student may begin work. Authorization takes 3-4 months.
None required. Authorization isobtained from the International office advisor.
Possibility ofChanging Status Yes, fairly easy.

It depends. May be problematicfor students subject to the 2-year home residency requirement.

Note: Not every country orstudent from specific country will be subject to the 2-year homeresidency requirement. (Rule 212.e)

Work Authorizationfor Spouse None possible. Yes, with evidence that salaryis not needed to fund stay, and it requires DHS approval –may take 3-4 months.
Insurance Requirementfor VisaStatus None per visa category.Although the University requires all students to carry insurance, thisis not a federal requirement, nor does it apply to spouses. Yes, for J-1 students and alldependents. Willful failure to maintain adequate health insuranceresult in the student’s termination from the J-1 program,thus also terminating his/her J-1 status.
Permission to Stay in U.S.after Completion of Studies 60 days granted automatically.No work or re-entry to U.S. during this period. 30 days granted automatically.No work or re-entry to U.S. during this period.