Overview of Visa Categories
F vs. J: Which Status is Right for You?
Any source of readily available financial support is acceptable.
Must show financial support for the first year of the program when requesting the initial document.
A substantial portion of financial support must be from a source other than personal/family funds.
Must show financial support for entire length of the program when requesting the initial document.
|Dependents||F-2 dependents are eligible to study in the U.S. They are not eligible for employment authorization in the U.S.||
J-2 dependents are eligible to study in the U.S. They are eligible to apply for employment authorization in the U.S.
|Two-Year Home-Country Physical Presence Requirement||There is no home residency requirement following the completion of the program.||Some J-1 students will have a home residency requirement following the completion of the program.|
|On-Campus Employment||Does not require employment authorization.||Requires employment authorization from program sponsor.|
|Off-Campus Employment||May be eligible for Curricular Practical Training (CPT), Optional Practical Training (OPT), and STEM OPT Extension.||May be eligible for Academic Training (AT). The duration is equal to the length of study or 18 months, whichever is shorter. Ph.D. students are eligible for up to 36 months of AT.|
|Grace Period||60 day grace period after program completion or OPT completion.||30 day grace period after program completion or AT completion.|