F-1 vs. J-1 Status
Most international students attend UNC-Chapel Hill in F-1 immigration status. J-1 Exchange Visitor status may be required due to the terms of a scholarship or fellowship, or may be requested by those who are eligible and specifically request the Form DS-2019 (to obtain J-1 status).
Please note: students who are solely supported by personal funds are not eligible for the J-1 visa.
|F-1 Immigration Status||J-1 Immigration Status|
|Work Authorization||F-1 Immigration StatusJ-1 Immigration Status Can be employed on-campus up to 20 hours per week during the academic semester and full-time during the summer and school holidays. Eligible students may apply for off-campus work authorization (curricular or optional practical training or employment authorization due to severe economic hardship) only after one full academic year in F-1 status.||Can be employed on-campus (with written authorization of the sponsor of the J-1 program) up to 20 hours per week during the academic semester and full-time during the summer and school holidays. Students may apply for off-campus work authorization if they meet certain strict regulatory requirements for Academic training, or in rare cases for severe economic hardship.|
|Dependents||F-2 dependents are NOT allowed to work in the US.||J-2 dependents may apply to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for work authorization after arrival in the U.S. J-1 visa holder must also maintain health insurance for themselves and all dependents for the duration of their stay. More information is located here.|
|Two-Year Home Country Residence Requirement||Not applicable.||J-1 exchange visitors may be subject to a two-year home country residence requirement.|
Additional information about the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program and the two-year home country residence requirement is available on the Department of State’s website.