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Comparison of F-1 and J-1 Visa Types

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F-1
J-1
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.

Requirement of Job Offer    Curricular: Yes
Pre-completion Optional: Recommended
Post-completion Optional: No   

Pre-Completion: Yes

Post-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   
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University of Illinois Springfield
One University Plaza
Springfield, Illinois 62703-5407
217-206-6600

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