Summary Sheet of F-1 and J-1 Visa Categories

F-1 VISA

DESCRIPTION:

F-1 student is a nonimmigrant pursuing a “full course of study” in pursuit of a specific educational or professional objective at an academic institution that has been designated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Department of Homeland Security (DHS). After completion of the program, the F-1 student is expected by the U. S. government to return to his/her residence abroad.

REQUIRED FORMS:

School:
  • Certification of Funds form – mailed to student upon admission to Fletcher.

Consulate:
  • Form SEVIS I-20.
  • Evidence of financial ability to meet expenses.
  • Evidence of English ability sufficient for course of study.
  • Evidence of intent to depart the U.S. after completion of studies.
  • Passport valid for at least 6 months after arrival in U.S. – be aware that the Consulate may require a passport valid for entire program of study depending on country issuing the passport.
  • Form DS-156 “Nonimmigrant Visa Application”.
  • Form DS-157 “Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa Application” Required of all male nonimmigrant visa applicants between the ages of 16 and 45. Consular officers reserve the right to require a DS-157 from any applicant.
  • Form I901, “Fee Remittance for Certain F, J & M Nonimmigrants” and receipt showing payment of the above fee. Payment must be made and student must have receipt before U.S. Embassy/Consulate appointment.
  • Photograph for each visa applicant including dependents.
  • Consular Fee. (approx. $100.00)

NOTE: You will be required to make an appointment at the Consulate in order to apply for your visa.

EMPLOYMENT IN F-1 STATUS:

  • Students must have a Social Security Number in order to work either on-campus or off-campus. Applications and recommendation letters may be obtained from Carol Murphy, International Student Advisor. You must show proof that you have employment before you apply for a Social Security Number or your application will be denied.
  • Student may work on-campus for no more than 20 hours per week while school is in session and 40 hours during breaks. No application to DHS is needed for on-campus work.
  • Eligible for a total amount 12 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT) after being in F-1 status for one academic year. This is employment during or after completion of studies and is off-campus. Typically students use approximately 2-3 months of practical training for a summer internship and the remainder of 9-10 months upon graduation. Application must be made to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) through the International Student Advisor at Fletcher, Carol Murphy. USCIS approves application and issues an Employment Authorization Card (EAD). Approval can take 8-10 weeks from submission of the application. Application must be made before graduation/completion of program.

J-1 VISA

DESCRIPTION:

  • College and university students are eligible for the Exchange Visitor Program only if any time during their college studies in the U.S. they meet one of the following four criteria:
    1. They or their program are financed directly or indirectly by the U.S. government, the student’s home government, or an international organization of which the United States is a member by treaty or statute;
    2. The exchange program is carried out pursuant to an agreement between the U.S. Government and a foreign government;
    3. The exchange program is carried out pursuant to a written agreement between:
      • An American and foreign educational institution
      • An American educational institution and a foreign government
      • A U.S. state or local government and a foreign government; or,
      • The exchange visitor student is supported substantially by funding from any source other than personal or family funds.

      REQUIRED FORMS:

      School or Sponsor:
      • Certification of Funding (usually provided by program sponsor).

      Consulate:
      • Form DS-2019, executed by the Responsible Officer (RO) of the sponsoring organization and completed and signed by the exchange visitor.
      • Evidence of financial ability to meet expenses.
      • Evidence of English ability sufficient for exchange program.
      • Evidence of residence abroad and intent to depart the U.S. after completion of the program.
      • Passport valid for at least 6 month after arrival in U.S. – be aware the consulate may require a passport valid for entire program of study depending on country issuing passport.
      • Form DS-156 “Nonimmigrant Visa Application”.
      • Form DS-157 “Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa Application” required of all male nonimmigrant visa applicants between the ages of 16 and 45. Consular officers reserve the right to require a DS-157 from any applicant.
      • Form I901, “Fee Remittance for Certain F, J & M Nonimmigrants” and receipt showing payment of the above fee. Payment must be made and student must have receipt before U.S. Embassy/Consulate appointment.
      • Photographs for each visa applicant including dependents.
      • Consular Fee. (approx. $100.00)

      NOTE: You will be required to make an appointment at the Consulate in order to apply for your visa.

      EMPLOYMENT IN J-1 STATUS:

      • Students must have a Social Security Number in order to work either on-campus or off-campus. Applications and recommendation letters may be obtained from Carol Murphy, International Student Advisor. You must show proof that you have employment before you apply for a Social Security Number or your application will be denied.
      • Students are eligible for on-campus employment authorization. Limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session and 40 hours during breaks. Employment must be authorized in advance and in writing by the Responsible Officer of the program that issued the DS-2019.
      • May apply for Academic Training any time during the course of study if
        • student is in good academic standing
        • proposed employment is related to field of study, and
        • health insurance coverage is maintained in the U.S. for student and any dependents for duration of employment.
        • Eligible for a maximum of 18 months academic training. Vacation period employment counts towards 18 months.
        • Must have a job offer in writing and letter of recommendation from academic advisor.
        • Must apply before graduation/completion of program.