As an international student at IU, it is most likely that you will have one of two types of nonimmigrant status: F-1 or J-1.

As a nonimmigrant student, you will face certain restrictions:

  • You are limited in what you can do while in the United States.
  • You will have to follow certain regulations to maintain your legal status.
  • You will have a date by which you must leave the country or apply for further privileges.
  • You must have a home outside the United States to which you intend to return.

All full-time students qualify for an F-1 visa. However, depending on your situation, you may also qualify for a J-1 visa.

The Office of International Services is a resource for you throughout your stay. Ask us any questions you have, and we will do our best to help you.

What Is F-1 Status?

The majority of full-time international students at Indiana University have F-1 status. You can apply for F-1 status no matter how you are funding your education. Your dependents (your spouse or unmarried children under the age of 21) will not be eligible to study full time or work in the United States.

Learn more about F-1 status »

No matter which kind of status you have, it is very important to follow all the rules and regulations necessary to maintain your status. If you do not, you could be sent home before finishing your program.

What Is J-1 Status?

J-1 status is primarily for exchange students. If you are participating in an exchange program and will be attending IU for a set time period (typically a semester or an academic year), you are an exchange student. You may also be eligible for J-1 status if you get at least one-third of your funding from a scholarship, fellowship, or an assistantship from a non-family or personal source, such as Indiana University, the Fulbright Program, your home government, or a corporate sponsor.

If you attend IU in J-1 status, you may be subject to a two-year home residency requirement after you complete your program.  While you are here, your spouse and other dependents are free to study full or part time and to apply for work authorization.

Learn more about J-1 status »

No matter which kind of status you have, it is very important to follow all the rules and regulations necessary to maintain your status. If you do not, you could be sent home before finishing your program.

Can I Change My Status?

Maybe. If your circumstances change, you can sometimes switch to a different nonimmigrant status.

See if you are eligible to get into F-1 status »

See if you are eligible to get into J-1 status »