F-1 & J-1 Comparison

Every full-time degree student at Yale is eligible for the F-1 visa and the majority of Yale international students hold this visa status. Some students may also be eligible for the J-1 student visa, an exchange visitor option.  The J-1 visa is part of a larger U.S. Department of State mission to foster cultural and educational exchange between countries. To be eligible for the J-1 student visa, a substantial portion of your financial support must be from a source other than your personal assets.  This can include Yale funding or scholarship from another organization. Students with only personal or family funding are NOT eligible for J-1 status.  There are a few basic differences between the F-1 and J-1 visa types, which are outlined in the chart below.









 

F-1 Status

J-1 Status

 
Source of Funding No funding source requirements. Can be funded through personal, Yale, or independent scholarships. A substantial portion of funding must be from a source other than personal assets. 
On Campus Employment

Part time (up to 20 hours/week) when school is in session, full time during periods of recess.

Part time (up to 20 hours/week) when school is in session, full time during periods of recess. Prior permission must be obtained from OISS. 

Off Campus Employment

Optional Practical Training - up to 12 month period per degree level of training directly related to their studies. No job offer required prior to application.

Academic Training – Duration equal to length of study or 18 months whichever is shorter.  PhD students eligible for up to 36 months.  Graduating students must have job offer within 30 days of graduation.

Dependents F-2 dependents are not eligible for employment.   J-2 dependents are eligible to apply to USCIS for permission to work in the US after their arrival. 
Requirement to Return Home upon program completion

No requirement to return home upon program completion.

Some Exchange Visitors and their dependents may be subject to the two year home country physical presence requirement upon program completion.

Bar to J-1 Scholar Status None J-1 students completing an academic program will be subject to a 12 month wait before they are able to use the J-1 research scholar/professor category.