Government/Visa Regulations

Visa Types and Immigration Status

There are key differences between a visa and an immigration status:

  • A U.S. visa is a consulate-issued stamp in a foreign national’s passport that allows the individual to travel to a U.S. port of entry and request permission to enter the United States. In many ways, a U.S. visa is like a “key” to get into the United States. 

  • An immigration status is a designation based on the purpose of a foreign national’s visit. For example, most international students are given F-1 status (full-time academic study), and most student interns/study abroad and exchange students/researchers/professors are given J-1 status (cultural exchange). Individuals who conduct activities or act outside the boundaries of these regulations are considered “out of status” and are ineligible for benefits of their status. One "out of status" example would be an F-1 undergraduate student, who is required to take 12 credits a semester to be considered full-time, only taking nine credits, without following proper procedures or submitting required paper. For more information, please contact us.

 

Additional Information

F-1 – International Students +

F-1: This visa is reserved for full-time academic and language students who expect to earn a degree from Rutgers. F-1 is the most common visa status used by students in the U.S. and best fits a student's situation. Most international students at Rutgers have an F-1 visa status. All full-time degree-seeking international students are eligible for the F-1 visa.

Maximum length of stay: Depends on the length of academic program. Those entering on this visa type will be entered into the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). 

Funding Requirements: To be eligible for an F-1 visa, newly admitted students must show Rutgers and the United States consulate proof of sufficient funding for his or her first year of study in the United States, which can include personal funds. Proof of funding documents can include bank statements or Rutgers assistantship or fellowship offer letters. For more guidelines, see our Certification of Funds document.

Status Document: I-20 Certificate of Eligibility

Families: Spouses and children who will accompany F-1 visa holders during their time in the United States must apply for an F-2 visa.

 

J-1 – International Students +

J-1: This visa is reserved for individuals considered a “cultural exchange,” including:

Students being cosponsored by an outside agency or specific educational exchange program such as the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP), Fulbright, LASPAU, DAAD, AmidEast, or others; study abroad/exchange students; and student interns or student researchers who are completing work in the United States to fulfill home university requirements are awarded a J-1 visa.

Those entering on this visa type will be entered into the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). 

Sponsorship: Fifty-one percent of financial support must come in the form of a scholarship, fellowship, assistantship, stipend, tuition waiver, or other direct support provided by Rutgers, your host university, government agencies, a corporate sponsor, or other legitimate agencies for the educational program. Personal or family funds and loans do not qualify. You must show proof of adequate financial support for tuition and living expenses for the entire length of your program. Student interns are exempt from these requirements and may be supported fully by personal funds.

Status Document: DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility

Families: Spouses and children who will accompany J-1 visa holders during their time in the United States must obtain a J-2 visa.



 

J-1 – International Short-term Researchers and Scholars +

J-1: This visa is reserved for individuals considered a “cultural exchange,” including scholars who may be defined as:

  • Research scholars/students

  • Postdoctoral associates

  • Fellows

  • Visiting lecturers/professors

Scholars/faculty being cosponsored by an outside agency, study abroad/exchange students, and student interns or student researchers who are completing work in the United States to fulfill home university requirements are awarded a J-1 visa.

Maximum length of stay: Varies depending on J-1 category below

  • Short-term scholars: six months

  • Student intern: one year

  • Visiting research student: two years

  • Professor/research scholar: five years (this includes postdoctoral associates and fellows)

Those entering on this visa type will be entered into the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). 

Sponsorship: J-1 visa holders must be primarily funded by Rutgers, their host university, government agencies, or other legitimate agencies for the duration of their stay.

Status Document: DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility

Families: Spouses and children who will accompany J-1 visa holders during their time in the United States must obtain a J-2 visa.

Special conditions: Research scholars, visiting researchers/professors, and postdoctoral associates may only be employed by their sponsoring department at Rutgers. Occasional lecturing and consultation outside of Rutgers is allowed only with vetting and permission by the Center for Global Services.

International student interns (paid or unpaid) may only work for their sponsoring department at Rutgers for up to 32 hours per week. 

International student researchers may only be employed by the sponsoring department at Rutgers and can only work on projects that will enhance their research.

 

H-1B – International Employee Appointments +

H-1B: This temporary work visa is reserved for individuals in a specialty occupation or possess specialized knowledge or skill sets that add value to a product, service, or resource; these must be certified as a specialty occupation by the Department of Labor. At Rutgers, employees who are issued an H-1B visa are:

  • Professors (including associate and assistant professors)
  • Research and postdoctoral associates (not including fellows)

Maximum length of stay: Six years. Rutgers must secure a PERM Labor Certification—and a green card—for faculty and tenure-track positions.   

Status Document: I-797 Approval Notice

Families: Spouses and children who will accompany H-1B visa holders during their time in the United States must obtain an H-4 visa.

 

B-1 and B-2 – Business and Tourism Visits +

B-1: These visas are reserved for individuals who are attending meetings, conferences, or giving a short lecture. These visa types are not for individuals who are coming to Rutgers for employment, paid performance, professional performance before a paying audience, working for foreign press or media, study, internships, or research.

B-2: These visas are reserved for individuals who are coming to Rutgers for a short period of time solely for the purpose of touring the campus. These visa types are not for individuals who are coming to Rutgers for employment, paid performance, professional performance before a paying audience, working for foreign press or media, study, internships, or research.

Rutgers does not sponsor these visa types, but we can give guidance on which visa type is most appropriate for your international visitors, so please contact us with questions.