What Is The Difference between J1 and F1 Status Visas

Student visas are available for those who wish to study in the United States. There are two main types of visas designed for use by students including J1 and the F1 visas. If you are considering studying in the U.S., you will need to understand the difference between J1 and F1 status visas. These visas are very different from each other in some important ways.

F1 Visas Are for Those Who Wish To Stay

F1 visas are for students who wish to attend a university in the United States, obtain a degree, and remain in the country to work. This is a non-immigrant type of visa for those who intend to complete their academic study program in the U.S. Students must be full time and must show that they are able to support themselves during their first year in the United States.

J1 Status Visas for Cultural Exchange

The J1 visa is a non-immigrant visa for students who want to participate in a cultural, educational exchange program. To qualify for a J1 visa, the applicant must be sponsored by a private or governmental program. These students will study in the United States and return to their country immediately following their program. Generally, they are allowed to work on campus while here on a J1 visa and the length of time allowed is very limited.

Eligibility Requirements for J1 and F1 Visas

Those who wish to study in the United States must meet the criteria for the visa for which they apply. Applicants for both types must show that they have been accepted to a qualifying higher learning institution in the U.S. Proof of funding must also be provided in all cases. J-1 visa applicants must show that they maintain a physical presence in their home country.

Extensions and Return to the United States

J1 or F1 visa holders may be eligible for an extension in some cases. For J-1 visa holders, a 17-month extension is available. F-1 visa holders may request up to an 18-month extension if they plan to complete post-doctoral studies. There is no bar on returning to the U.S. for F-1 visa holders. J-1 visa holders who have studied in the U.S. for more than 6 months are barred from returning to on another J-1 status for a period of one year.

The student visa process can be complex and confusing. If you have any questions, it is best to discuss them with a qualified immigration attorney such as those at Udall Shumway PLC. Call today to schedule a consultation.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding J1 and F1 Status Visas, or other Immigration Law matters, please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at 480.461.5330, log on to udallshumway.com,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.