J-1 Student

The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program enables foreign nationals to come to the U.S. to study, research, train, and more. The purpose of the program is to enhance skills, expand knowledge, and promote international exchange. Program length varies from a few weeks to several years.

J-1 Student Visa Options at UB

The purpose of the J-1 Degree-Seeking Category is to complete a full-time academic degree-seeking program at the University at Buffalo.

The purpose of the J-1 Exchange Student Category is to complete a full-time course of study at the University at Buffalo as a part of a formal reciprocal agreement between the student's home university and the University at Buffalo.

The purpose of the J-1 Student Intern category is to participate in a U.S. internship that will fulfill the educational objectives for their current degree program at an academic institution outside the U.S. The internship must consist of a minimum of 32 hours of work per week.

The purpose of the J-1 Student Non-Degree category is to participate in prescribed course of study at the University at Buffalo. The prescribed course of study should be equivalent to a full-time workload.

*Program pre-approval by ISS is required before students can be invited to participate in this category.

Information for all J-1 Student Categories

  • SEVIS I-901 Fee
    Learn what J-1 students need to know about paying the SEVIS fee.
  • Health Insurance Requirement
    All J-1 Exchange Visitors and their J-2 dependents are required by the U.S. Department of State to have health insurance for the entire period of their stay in the U.S. 
  • Two-Year Home Residency Requirement
    The intent of the Exchange Visitor Program is for the home country to benefit from the J-1 Exchange Visitor’s experiences in the U.S. Accordingly, J-1 Exchange Visitors and their accompanying J-2 dependents may be subject to a two-year home residency requirement.
  • J-2 Employment Authorization
    J-2 dependents are eligible to work in the U.S. as long as they meet certain conditions first.
  • Resources for Exchange Visitors
    As a J-1 exchange visitor, you are in the United States as part of the BridgeUSA program.
Important Reminder

If you apply for a waiver of the Two-Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement (INA 212e), and your waiver is recommended in writing by the U.S. Department of State (“No Objection Statement”) or you receive Form I-612 from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, you are no longer eligible for any J-1 benefits (DS-2019 Extension, Academic Training, SEVIS Transfer, etc.). Therefore, please consult with ISS before applying for the waiver.  


The information contained in this web site is provided as a service to the international students, faculty, staff, employees and administrators of the University at Buffalo, and does not constitute legal advice on any immigration, tax or other matter. We try to provide useful information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this web site or any associated site. As legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and laws are constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel. Neither the University at Buffalo nor the Office of International Student Services is responsible for any errors or omissions contained in this website, or for the results obtained from the use of this information.