J-1 Student Information for Advisors

The J-1 is an exchange visitor visa.

Eligibility for J-1 Student Visa

  • Student must be admitted to a degree program or a non-degree program that has a predetermined educational objective in which they will be full-time.
  • The student or the exchange program in which they are participating in must be:
    1. Funded directly or indirectly by the U.S. government, the student’s home government, or an international organization of which the United States is a member by treaty or statute, or
    2. Substantially supported by funding from any source other than personal or family funds (such as a UMN assistantship), or
    3. Carried out pursuant to a written agreement between:
      • An American and foreign educational institution
      • An American educational institution and a foreign government
      • A U.S. state or local government and a foreign government
  • Student is required to have health insurance for themselves and their dependents that meets the minimum requirements by J regulations during their entire stay in the U.S.

Maintaining J-1 Status

  • Student must study at the educational institution that is listed on their DS-2019.
  • Student must be full-time. Full-time is 6 credits per semester for Graduate students, 12 credits per semester for continuing undergraduates, non-degree, and professional school students, and 13 credits for newly admitted Fall 2020 undergraduates including transfers.


J-1 work authorization can only be issued by the sponsoring agency that issued the student's DS-2019. Below are the work options for J-1 students whose DS-2019's were issued by the University of Minnesota (academic programs only). If the DS-2019 was issued by another agency, the student must contact that agency for information about work authorization.

On-Campus Work

  • Authorization not necessary for 50%-time employment or less if the DS-2019 was issued by the University of Minnesota and the student's paycheck is issued by the UMN. However, the financial sponsor may require the student to seek approval for employment from them. 
  • Includes student employment jobs and graduate assistantships.
  • Can begin working first semester at the University if registered. 
  • Must be considered a full-time student by registration or valid Exception From Full Course of Study Form must be submitted.
  • Hours limited to 50% (20 hours per week) during the academic year, and 100% (40 hours per week) during vacation periods or with full-time academic training authorization from the office that issued the DS-2019. 
  • For graduate assistantships, jobs are posted:
    • On the Graduate Assistants Office website
    • In your academic department

Review the J-1 employment section for more information.

Last updated: June 7, 2021