F-1 Status

The F-1 is the most common visa for students studying in the United States.  Full-time degree seeking students at Drew are eligible for the F-1 visa.   More detailed information on F-1 immigration regulations and maintaining status is available on the ISSS webpage and at the Department of Homeland Security’s Study in the States website.

J-1 Status

At Drew, the J-1 visa is typically used by students and scholars who are visiting the university as part of an educational exchange program.  To be eligible for the J-1 student visa, a substantial amount of your financial support must come from sources other than personal or family funding.  This funding may be a Drew merit scholarship, funds from your government or corporate sponsorship.  Students who are studying at Drew as non-degree seeking exchange students will be also be on the J-1 visa.   J-1 scholars are generally sponsored by home institutions while on sabbatical or other sponsoring organizations in the home country.  Visit Maintaining Status to learn more about J-1 program requirements, including mandatory health insurance.

Basic differences between the F-1 and J-1 Visa

F-1 Status J-1 Status
Source of Funding Students may have personal or other funding sources to be eligible for the F-1 visa. A substantial amount of financial support must come from sources other than personal or family funding.
Off-Campus Employment Students may be eligible for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT) after completing one academic year of studies. Student may be eligible for Academic Training for up to 18 months (36 months for post-doc apppointments).
On- Campus Employment Eligible without special work authorization. Program sponsor (Drew University for most students) must authorize.
Dependents Dependents not eligible for employment.  Eligible to study part-time in the U.S. or full-time if student is K-12. J-2 dependents can apply to USCIS for work authorization for one year periods through the duration of the J-1’s program.  Eligible to study part-time or full-time in the U.S.

Special Considerations for the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program

Two-Year Home Residency Requirement

Some students may be subject to the two-year home residency requirements if:  1)  Funding is received from the home government or the U.S. government or 2) The home government has requested that students who are trained in a particular field (where there is a shortage of qualified personnel) return home for two years after completion of studies.   The “Exchange Visitor Skills List” is available on the State Department’s website.

12 Month Bar After Previous Participation in a J Program

A person  is not eligible to begin a new exchange program as a Professor or Research Scholar if he or she was physically present in any J status (including J-2 status) for “all or part of” the “twelve month period immediately preceding the program start date.  This rule does not apply to exchange visitors who were in the U.S. for less than six months or for those completing a program transfer.

24 Month Bar on Repeat Participation

After completion of the J-1 exchange visitor program, a scholar or professor is prohibited from returning to the U.S. in the J-1 Research Scholar or Professor category for 24 months. This does not prohibit an exchange visitor from returning on a tourist/business visa or possibly in another non-immigrant category (such as the F-1 visa).