Comparison of F-1 and J-1 Visa Types

Requirement of Job Offer

Eligibility Restrictions None Cannot be self-funded unless participating in an exchange program pursuant to a formal written agreement between educational institutions or governmental offices
On-Campus Employment Available up to 20 hours per week when school is in session and 40 hours per week during annual school holidays Same as F-1
Off-Campus Employment Yes: Can be authorized for unforeseen financial hardship, Curricular Practical Training, or Pre- and Post-completion Optional Practical Training Yes: Can be authorized for unforeseen financial hardship or Academic Training
Practical/ Academic Training Types 1)Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
2)Optional (pre- or post-completion) Practical Training (OPT)
Optional or Required Academic Training may take place before or after graduation
Time Limits Curricular: None, although if you use more than 12 months of full-time CPT, you lose your eligibility for any OPT
Optional(Pre- and Post-completion, combined): 12 months maximum
Note: In general, the period of Academic Training may not exceed 18 months or the amount of time spent in the academic program, whichever is less.Nondegree: 24 months maximum, including the academic program itself
Part-time Academic Training counts the same as Full-time Academic Training.
Curricular: Yes
Pre-completion Optional: Recommended
Post-completion Optional: No
Pre-Completion: YesPost-completion: Yes. Must have job offer within 30 days of completion of studies and you must apply before you complete your program as well
Authorization From USCIS Curricular: Not required. Authorization is obtained from International Office advisor.
Pre- and Post-completion Optional: Required before student may begin work. Authorization takes 3-4 months
None required. Authorization is obtained from the International Office advisor
Possibility of Changing Status Yes, fairly easily It depends. May be problematic for students subject to the 2-year home residency requirement
Work Authorization For Spouse None possible Yes, with evidence that salary is not needed to fund stay, and it requires USCIS approval
Insurance Requirement per Visa Status None per visa category. Although the College requires all students to carry insurance, this isnota federal requirement, nor does it apply to spouses Yes, for J-1 students andalldependents. Willful failure to maintain adequate health insurance as defined by federal regulations will result 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 30 days granted automatically