Visa Types

Note: Students accepted to The University of Utah are issued the I-20 Certificate of Eligibility so they may obtain F-1 Student Visa Status. Only students who fall into one of the following categories are eligible for J-1 Exchange Visitor Status.

Visa Type Description Study Restrictions Employment Restrictions


Visitor for Tourism

Individuals in the U.S. engaging in travel, tourism, or recreation. Employment in the U.S. is not allowed with this type of visa.

Cannot start any “course of study” (not full time or part time) except U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) allows a visa status change to F, M or J status. Informal short-term classes that are not the main purpose of the alien’s visit are allowed. An example would be a single English or crafts class.

B-2 visitors for tourism are not allowed to be employed in the U.S., and usually cannot receive even reimbursement for expenses.



Individuals engaging in a full course of academic study at an accredited educational program in the U.S., which has been designated by the Department of Homeland Security.

Must retain full-time enrollment at academic institution. Part-time study is only allowed with the approval of Designated School Official (DSO) as regulations demand.

While retaining F-1 status, may be employed on the school campus for a maximum of 20 hours per week when classes are in session. During official school breaks, students may work on campus full time if eligible and planning on enrolling for the next term.

For off campus employment, see the International Center for details.


Dependent of F-1 Student

Individuals in the U.S. who are dependents of an F-1 student.

F-2 spouses cannot engage in full-time study. F-2 children may only engage in full-time study for k-12 grade. Part time study that is not work related or is recreational is allowed. F-2 cannot begin a course of study until a change of status to F-1, M-1 or J-1 is approved.

Not allowed to work in the U.S.


Temporary Worker in a specialty Occupation

Individuals in the U.S. who perform professional services for a supporting employer in a particular position for a set amount of time. H-1B status can be granted for an installment of up to three years. Extensions for an additional three years are possible, resulting in a maximum stay of six years.

May engage in incidental study while upholding H-1B status.

Employment permitted only for an employer that has filed an H-1B petition. The individual may work for more than one H-1B employer simultaneously.   If the person is already working for an H-1 employer and another employer files an H-1B petition for that person, he/she can start working for the new employer before the H-1B is approved.


Dependent of H Non-immigrant

Individuals in the U.S. as a dependent of an H visa holder.

May engage in part-time or full-time study.

Not allowed to work in the U.S.


Exchange Visitor: Student

Individuals in the U.S. for the main reason of studying at an academic institution under the auspices of the U.S. Information Agency and a designated program sponsor.

Must maintain full-time enrollment. May decrease course load below full-time only if authorized in advance and in writing by Responsible Officer (RO) or Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO) of designated program sponsor, in accordance with Department of State regulations.

May be employed on the campus of the school in which they are enrolled for a maximum of 20 hours per week while school is in session (full-time is allowed during school breaks), only with prior written permission from the RO or the ARO of their designated program. Off campus work is allowed under certain circumstances, if they have written permission from the RO or ARO. Employment does not require additional permission from USCIS or an employment authorization document (EAD). Eligible for no more than 18 months of academic training (no more than 36 months for postdoctoral training)


Dependent of J-1 Exchange Visitor

Individuals in the U.S. as dependents (defined as a spouse or unmarried child below the age of 21) of a J-1 exchange visitor.

May engage in full-time or part-time study.

Eligible to apply to USCIS for work authorization. May work for any employer if the dependent has an EAD issued from USCIS.