Immigration Status Types
The following is a list of nonimmigrant statuses that are commonly seen when advising international students and scholars. For information about employment authorization for these immigration status types, refer to the "Visa Options for Employment Eligibility."
B-1/B-2: Visitors for business and tourism, respectively. They may not register for classes.
E-3: Employment-based visa status for Australian citizens. This must be initiated by the employer, and may be used for jobs that require the minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a specialized field.
F-1: Student visa status used primarily by degree-seeking students. F-1 students must follow certain regulations set forth by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including but not limited to being a full-time student. F-2 is the dependent (spouse/child) status of F-1.
J-1: Exchange visitor visa status. UMN is authorized to offer five J-1 categories (Research Scholar, Professor, Short-term Scholar, Student-Intern, and Student). The first four categories are individuals who are coming to the UMN to do research, teach a course, receive training, etc. The student category is for someone who is admitted into a program of study and intends to be a student. The Exchange Visitor program objective is “to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchanges” (Fulbright-Hayes Act, 1961). J-1 exchange visitors must follow certain regulations set forth by the Department of State (DOS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). J-2 is the dependent (spouse/child) status of J-1.
H-1B: Employment-based visa status for temporary workers in a specialty occupation. This must be initiated by the employer, and may be used for jobs that require the minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a specialized field. H-4 is the dependent (spouse/child) status of H-1B.
O-1: Employment-based visa status for persons of extraordinary ability. O-3 is the dependent (spouse/child) status of O-1.
TN: Employment-based visa status for Canadian and Mexican citizens. TD is the dependent (spouse/child) status of TN.
WB/WT: Visitors for business and tourism, respectively, but the requirement for an entry visa stamp in the passport is waived for citizens of certain countries.
Terms and Documents
DS-2019: Certificate of Eligibility for the Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status. This document is required for obtaining a J-1 visa and obtaining and maintaining the J-1/J-2 non-immigrant status. The DS-2019 has two pages. Page 1 contains program and biographical information. Page 2 consists of pre-printed instructions. Dependents (J-2) accompanying the J-1 Exchange Visitor must each have their own SEVIS DS-2019, which identifies them as the dependent.
DS-7002: Training/Internship Placement Plan. This document is required in order to issue the DS-2019 for a J-1 Student-Intern. The DS-7002 has four pages. Page 1 contains biographical and University information and a signature by the Student-Intern. Page 2 contains a signature by ISSS (Program Sponsor). Pages 3 and 4 contain detailed information regarding the internship plan. Page 4 contains a signature by the UMN faculty member supervising the Student-Intern.
I-20: Certificate of Eligibility for the F-1 Student Status. This document is required for obtaining an F-1 visa and obtaining and maintaining the F-1/F-2 non-immigrant status. The I-20 has three pages. Page 1 contains program information, and biographical information. Page 2 consists of pre-printed instructions. Page 3 contains space for employment authorization data and travel authorizations. Dependents (F-2) accompanying the F-1 student must each have their own SEVIS I-20, which identifies them as the dependent.
I-94: This record is created upon arrival in the U.S. and provides evidence of an individual’s current immigration status.
Immigration Status: May also be referred to as “visa status” but is separate and distinct from the actual visa. Status refers to the legal eligibility to be in the country. An individual who is “maintaining status” is legally in the United States and is eligible for benefits of whichever status they maintain. An individual who fails to meet the terms and conditions of their status is considered “out of status” and may be at risk for removal from the United States.
SEVIS (Student & Exchange Visitor Information System): An electronic reporting system that provides the Department of Homeland Security with information on international students and scholars in the United States who hold F, J, and M visas. All individuals applying for these visas are required to pay the SEVIS fee (also referred to as the I-901 fee).
Visa: A document placed in the passport that allows a foreign national to request permission to enter the country. Visas may only be issued at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad and may therefore not be renewed or replaced within the U.S.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP): Oversees ports of entry to the United States.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS): Formerly known as Immigration & Naturalization Service. DHS writes regulations pertaining to non-immigrant visas. Three bureaus exist within DHS and all share responsibility for immigration functions. They are: CBP, ICE, and USCIS.
Department of State (DOS): DOS carries out U.S. foreign policy and issues all immigrant and nonimmigrant visas to the U.S. DOS designates exchange visitor program sponsors, and creates and administers federal regulations and policies governing the Exchange Visitor Program (J-1 Visa).
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): Responsible for investigation and enforcement of laws relating to border control, customs, trade, and immigration. ICE administers the SEVIS database.
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS): Oversees lawful immigration to the U.S. Determines eligibility and handles adjudication for most applications for immigration benefits.