F-1 vs. J-1 Status

University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC)'s International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) can only advise students if they're attending in F-1 or J-1 status.

If you will attend UCSC in a visa status that is neither F-1 nor J-1, such as H-4, please make sure it is a status that will allow school attendance. For information on how other types of visa classifications (Non-F or J) affect California Residency for tuition purposes at UCSC, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

If you wish to change to F-1 or J-1 status to attend UCSC, please consult the Change Status page for information and instructions.

For more information on the differences between F-1 and J-1 status, read the following.


F-1 Status

F-1 is the most common status used by international students in the U.S. Most degree-seeking international students at UCSC have the F-1 status.


J-1 Status

J-1 is generally used for students in specific educational exchange programs such as the UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP), or Fulbright, however, it may also be used by degree-seeking students. 


F-1 vs. J-1: Benefits and Limitations Overview

F-1 J-1
Funding Requirement Must guarantee funds for the first academic year for the issuance of I-20 form Must guarantee funds for the entire duration of DS-2019. At least 51% of funds must come from a source other than personal funds.
On-campus Employment A work permit NOT required A work permit required
Off-campus Employment A work permit required A work permit required
Post-completion Training (Employment) Available for 12 months (an extension of 24 months is possible for certain STEM majors). A job offer is NOT required to apply. Available for up to 18 months (an extension of up to another 18 months is possible for post doctoral research). Off-campus employment during the degree program reduces the total training period after program completion. A job offer is required to apply.
Two-Year Home Foreign Residence Requirement NOT subject

May be subject. More information here.

Insurance Coverage must meet UCSC requirements Must be covered for entire program. Coverage must meet both UCSC requirements and Department of State requirements.
Dependents F-2 spouses and children are NOT eligible to work. Spouses may NOT study full-time in the U.S., but may engage in part-time study or study that’s vocational or recreational in nature. F-2 children in primary and secondary schools may be eligible to study part-time or full-time in the U.S. J-2 spouses and children are eligible to study or work in the U.S. A work permit is required for a J-2 dependent to work.