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Choosing Between F-1 or J-1 Visa

American University is authorized to issue an I-20 "Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status" and DS-2019 "Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status" for students admitted to a full-time academic program. Most American University international students hold F-1 visa status, however, some students may be eligible for or required to have J-1 visa status.

See a comparison of the F and J visa (PDF)

F-1 Student Visa Status 8 CFR 214.2(f)

The F-1 is the most common visa for students studying in the United States. Full-time degree seeking students at AU are eligible for the F-1 visa.

J-1 Exchange Visitors Status 22 CFR Part 62

To be eligible for J-1 status, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. The student or his or her program are financed directly or indirectly by:
    (i) The United States Government;
    (ii) The government of the student's home country; or
    (iii) An international organization of which the United States is a member by treaty or statute;
  2. The program is carried out pursuant to an agreement between the United States Government and a foreign government;
  3. The program is carried out pursuant to written agreement between:
    (i) American and foreign academic institutions, such as Abroad at AU or Washington Semester Program;
    (ii) An American academic institution and a foreign government; or
    (iii) A state or local government in the United States and a foreign government; or
  4. The student is supported substantially by funding from any source other than personal or family funds

Questions About Your Status

Contact an ISSS advisor at American University if you have any questions about your current or future immigration status.