Although most international students at Princeton are eligible for the F-1 student visa, some students may also be eligible for the J-1 visa, an exchange visitor option.
Eligibility Criteria for the J-1 Visa
How Selecting a J-1 Visa May Impact Your Long-Term Plans
ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR THE J-1 VISA
You are eligible for the J-1 visa if at least 51% of your total financial funding is from a source other than personal, family, or friends. Funds other than personal funds may include a single source or any combination of the following:
- Fellowship from an external funding source
- Fellowship, Assistantship in Instruction (AI) or Assistantship in Research (AR) from Princeton
- Home country government
- International Organization
- Corporate Sponsor
NEWLY ADMITTED STUDENTS: If you meet the above funding criteria for the J-1 visa and you wish to pursue that option, then you MUST e-mail the completed DS-2019 Student Request Form to the Davis IC at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a DS-2019 form (for the J-1 visa) instead of the I-20 form (for the F-1 visa). Students who do not submit the DS-2019 Student Request Form will automatically receive the I-20 form for the F-1 visa.
CURRENT STUDENTS: Please request an appointment with Mladenka Tomasevic, Associate Director for International Students, to discuss your eligibility.
IMPORTANT: Before requesting a DS-2019 form for the J-1 visa, please read carefully about differences between F-1 and J-1 visa, such as the 2-year residency requirement, and mandatory health insurance and employment permission for J-2 dependents.
REQUIRED HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE
U.S. Federal law requires both J-1 students and their dependents to carry health insurance throughout the period of their stay, including the time on Academic Training. Insurance MUST meet the minimum defined by U.S. federal law.
J-1 Two Year Home Country Residency Requirement 212(e)
Some J-1 visa holders are subject to the two-year home country residency requirement. This requirement will apply to you if:
1. You receive any funding from the U.S. Government or your home country government. If this is the case, you will be automatically subjected to the two year home country residency requirement, regardless of whether your government requires that you obtain a J-1 or not. F-1 students with home country government funding are not subjected to such requirement.
2. Your field of study has been included in the U.S. Government’s Exchange Visitor’s Skills List If you field of study is in the EV Skills list, you will be automatically subject to this rule.
If you are subject to this requirement, you must reside for an aggregate of two (2) years in your country of citizenship or last country of legal permanent residence, or have the requirement waived before being eligible for other U.S. immigration status, including H, L or permanent residency. J-2 spouses are also subject to the requirement. Note: Obtaining a waiver can be difficult and expensive. You would likely need to hire an immigration attorney to help you in the process.
If you have been in the U.S. on a J student visa for more than six months, you will not qualify for a J-1 Research Scholar visa category until 12 months after the student visa ends. J-2 spouses are also subject the 12 month bar. The 12 month bar is not the same as the Two Year Home Residency Requirement.