F-1 & J-1 Regulations and Forms

Navigate the tabs below to learn more about the F-1 and J-1 process for students and faculty. Email Director of International Programs Dr. Mara Flamm at mflamm@uarts.edu for copies of F-1 and/or J-1 forms, or with any questions you have.

F-1 Regulations and Forms

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Types of Employment for F-1 Students

On-Campus Employment

  • Students can work on campus, in contractual services or in an educational affiliation.

  • Students must have a full-time student status.

  • Students may work up to 20 hours per week, or they can work full time during vacations and holidays.

  • Authorization is based on end date of form I-20 or transfer.

  • An EAD card is not required.


Off-Campus Employment: Severe Economic Hardship

  • A student can request off-campus employment as a result of severe economic hardship.

  • Students must have full-time student status, show present evidence of economic hardship, show that on-campus employment opportunities are not available or insufficient, and show that the off-campus employment will not interfere with their coursework.

  • Students are limited to 20 hours of work per week, or can work full time during holidays and vacations.

  • Students must apply to DSO and USCIS Service Center.

  • An EAD card is required before students are permitted to work.


Curricular Practical Training 

  • Students can apply for employment that is an integral part of the established curriculum (must be directly related to the student’s field of study and commensurate with the student’s educational level).

  • The training must be a requirement of the program of study and/or provide course credit. It can be full- or part-time. If the training is more than 20 hours per week, the hours are deducted from the eligible OPT hours.

  • Training can be no more than 12 months.

  • To be eligible, students must be full-time status students for one full academic year. Students must continue to maintain a full course of study in an F-1 status during the period of employment, but some exceptions may exist for some OPT.

  • A written job offer indicating the job title, dates of employment, number of hours and location of employment are required.

  • No EAD card is required.


Optional Practical Training

  • This employment opportunity is available to an F-1 student who has been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for one full academic year.

  • For post-completion OPT, it is recommended that a student submits the OPT application up to 90 days prior to the completion of study.

  • Employment and/or volunteer work (post-completion OPT) must be related to the course of study.

  • Training may be part time during the student’s studies or full time during vacations and holidays while in OPT. OPT after course completion must be full time.

  • No job offer is required.

  • The training can be no more than 12 months within a 14-month period following the completion of study after each level of education.

  • Students in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Math) major are allowed up to 17 months of training.

  • When a student authorized to engage in OPT after graduation enters another educational program, the OPT is terminated.

  • An EAD card is required. 


To apply for an EAD card and other required immigration forms, go to www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis.

F-1 Social Security Application

Email Director of International Programs Dr. Mara Flamm at mflamm@uarts.edu to receive a copy of the F-1 Social Security Application.

J-1 Regulations and Forms

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Instructions for Obtaining a J-1 Visa

The broad purpose of the Exchange Visitor (J-1) program is to promote international educational and cultural exchange in order to develop mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries. Exchange programs exist in a variety of formats and permit visitors to come to this country for a range of activities.

The DS-2019 form: Certificate of Eligibility for the Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status

The SEVIS DS-2019 form acknowledges that University of the Arts has invited you to visit the institution, has authorized your visit and supports your application for J-1 status. The DS-2019 is not a “visa,” and you cannot enter the U.S. with the DS-2019 alone (unless you are exempt from the visa requirement); to enter the U.S., the DS-2019 works in partnership with the J-1 visa stamp in your passport. Note: Canadian citizens are exempt from obtaining a visa. Certain citizens of Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos may also be exempt from obtaining a visa and should check the US State Department website for details (https://www.state.gov/).


Instructions for obtaining a J-1 visa if you are outside the U.S.

  1. Sign the document on the bottom of page 1 of your UArts DS-2019.

  2. Pay the SEVIS fee (see instructions at the end of this section).*

  3. Present the DS-2019 copies, your SEVIS fee receipt, and a copy of your evidence of financial support to a United States Embassy or Consulate to apply for the J-1 Exchange Visitor entry visa. For specific information on applying for the U.S. visa at the consulate nearest to you, visit the U.S. Department of State website at https://www.state.gov/. After receiving the J-1 visa, the U.S. consular officer will return the DS-2019 to you (often in a sealed envelope). Carry these documents on your person for travel to the U.S. Do not check these documents with your luggage.

  4. Only for J-1 with Dependents: If your dependents will accompany you to the U.S., they will need to apply for J-2 visas using the enclosed DS-2019 which states “J-2 Dependent” in the upper right-hand corner. Children who are dependents must be your legal dependents, under the age of 21, and unmarried. When applying for the J-2 visa(s), take your family’s passports with you to the Consulate and be prepared to show proof of marriage to your spouse and parenthood of each child.

  5. When you arrive in the United States, you will pass through U.S. immigration and inspection at your initial port of entry. Present your (1) passport with J-1 visa and (2) the DS-2019 form (perhaps in a sealed envelope) marked “to begin a new program” to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer. You will be asked for electronic fingerprints. The officer will then return the DS-2019 form, along with an I-94 Departure Record card to you. Keep the DS-2019 and the I-94 in your passport. They are your original proof of J-1 status, and you will need them for such purposes as extending your permission to stay in the United States (if applicable), work permission, and reentry to this country after temporary trips abroad during the period of validity of DS-2019. Keep copies of DS-2019s permanently.

Note: Be sure to enter the U.S. with the DS-2019 from the University of the Arts if you plan to work here. You must enter the US within 30 days before or after the start date on the DS-2019. Also, do not seek to enter the country on a B-2 tourist visa or under the Visa Waiver program. Entry by any means other than the UArts DS-2019 will result in your not being permitted to work and may also cause difficulty with immigration authorities. If there is any change in your plans between now and your arrival or if you will arrive later than the start date on your DS-2019, notify UArts immediately. Late arrival jeopardizes your legal immigration status. If you decide not to come to UArts, please immediately notify this office and return the DS-2019.

Health Insurance

As a J-1 Exchange Visitor you are required by U.S. law to have health insurance for yourself and any accompanying family members. J-1 Visitors who receive a salary from the University of the Arts may receive benefits, including health insurance, from the university. Students and Scholars supported  by University of the Arts and partaking in our health insurance and or benefits plan should purchase travel insurance for themselves and their family members to cover the first two months in the U.S., before their regular benefits begin.

By government regulation, minimum coverage must provide: up to $50,000 per accident or illness; up to $7,500 for repatriation of remains; up to $10,000 for medical evacuation to the home country; and a deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness. Coinsurance must not exceed 25% payable by the Exchange Visitor or sponsor. Acceptable coverage may not exclude risks inherent in the activities of your Exchange Visitor program. The company providing the insurance must have an A. M. Best rating of A- or above, an Insurance Solvency International, Ltd. (ISI) rating of A- or above, a Standard & Poor’s Claims-Paying Ability rating of A- or above, or a Weiss Research, Inc., rating of B+ or above. UArts’ student health insurance plans meet these requirements. Failure to purchase and maintain health insurance will result in termination of your J-1 program status.


Driving in Pennsylvania

Bring your home country driver’s license and an international driving permit with you if you plan to drive in the U.S. Short-term scholars cannot obtain Pennsylvania driver’s licenses. Researchers and Professors only can obtain driver's licenses if they will be at UArts for more than one year. More details will be provided at the scholar orientation.


Instructions on Paying the SEVIS Fee*

  1. Find Form I-901 at www.FMJfee.com.

  2. Complete the form online and supply the necessary Visa, MasterCard or American Express information. Write your name exactly as it appears on your I-20 or DS-2019 form.

  3. Print a copy of the online receipt.

  4. Make a copy of your receipt and keep it with your other important immigration documents. You will need to take the receipt with you to the consulate or embassy when you have your interview.

Note: Citizens of Canada or Bermuda should pay the SEVIS Fee at least three days prior to entering the U.S. Keep a copy of your receipt of payment with your immigration documents as you will be required to present it at the border upon entry to the U.S.

Checklist for J-1 Exchange Students
  • Receive approval from your home university to apply to University of the Arts as a J-1 exchange student.

  • Contact the Office of International Programs to receive all application materials.

  • Return your application materials along with the following documents to the Office of International Programs. Please submit your documents at least 60 days prior to your academic program start date in order to have enough time for visa processing. Please create and retain photocopies of all documents for your records.

    • Photocopies of identification papers from the student’s passport.

    • Proof of Insurance in the form of a letter from exchange student’s current health insurance carrier or alternate international health insurance company stating you will be covered while studying at UArts. If the J-1 student does not submit proof of insurance, the student, under regulations set forth by The US Department of State, is required to purchase University of the Arts’ insurance at $1,163 for the semester.

    • Original bank letter or current bank statement (within three months of applying) showing the student has the funds to support the costs of their semester/s at University of the Arts, as set forth on page two of the International Exchange Student Application.

  • If accepted, you'll receive the letter of acceptance, DS-2019, Obtaining a J-1 Visa Guidelines, and Residential Life application, including contact information and procedures for living on or off campus. Be sure to consult the US embassy in your country to confirm all necessary items needed for a J-1 visa interview.

  • Upon arrival at UArts, the international student will check in at the Office of International Programs for a formal document processing, check-in and welcome orientation. 


Email Director of International Programs Dr. Mara Flamm at mflamm@uarts.edu to obtain a copy of any J-1 forms and/or with any questions you have.

DS-2019 Request Checklist for Faculty and Visiting Artists

In order for the Office of International Programs to complete the DS-2019 (the form needed to obtain the J-1), the following forms must be provided.

  • J-1 Exchange Visitor/Professor DS-2019 Request Form (after both the UArts’ sponsoring department and visiting professor have completed the form)

  • UArts offer or invitation letter

  • proof of funding (if not funded by UArts)

  • a copy of your passport

  • a copy of your résumé/CV

  • copies of previous/current IAP-66s/DS-2019s (if any)

  • copy of I-94 card, front and back (if you're currently in the U.S.)

  • a copy of any dependent’s passport (if accompanying the J01 exchange visitor to the U.S.)

  • a letter of explanation if the J-1 exchange visitor will not be located at UArts (if applicable)

  • a letter of recommendation if the J-1 exchange visitor/professor does not have at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field (if applicable)


Email Director of International Programs Dr. Mara Flamm at mflamm@uarts.edu to obtain a copy of any J-1 forms and/or with any questions you have. 

J-1 Exchange Student Application

Email Director of International Programs Dr. Mara Flamm at mflamm@uarts.edu to obtain a copy of the J-1 Exchange Student Application.

Exchange Faculty and Visiting Artists Form: DS-2019 Request

Email Director of International Programs Dr. Mara Flamm at mflamm@uarts.edu to obtain a copy of the Exchange Faculty and Visiting Artists Form: DS-2019 Request.