Thomas Jefferson University

International Students


The Office of International Affairs works with F-1 or J-1 students who have already been admitted to a program. Permanent Residents in the U.S. are considered to be immigrants with employment authorization incidental to their immigration status and therefore, do not need any additional documents from our office to work or study at Jefferson.

Visit the Office of Admissions' website if you have not yet been admitted to a program and would like more information.  

Financial aid information for international students can be found here.


After Being Accepted to Jefferson

Please review the links relevant to the specific status in which you would like to obtain from Jefferson. Most full-time international students come to Jefferson on an F-1 Status.

F-1 Status to Studyhow to obtain an I-20

Pre-arrival Guide for F-1 Students- after you receive an I-20 from Jefferson, please review this guide to obtain information about applying for a visa, pre-arrival logistics and getting settled in Philadelphia

J-1 Status to Studyhow to obtain a DS-2019

Pre-arrival Guide for J-1 Students-  after you receive a DS-2019 from Jefferson, please review this guide to obtain information about applying for a visa, pre-arrival logistics and getting settled in Philadelphia.


Comparison Between F-1 & J-1 Status

F-1 J-1

Any source of financial support is acceptable.

Must show financial support for the first year of the program when requesting the initial document.

Must have substantial (51%) institutional financial support provided specifically for the educational program to obtain the initial document and to request any extensions of the DS-2019.

Must show financial support for the entire length of program when requesting the initial document.
On-campus employment does not require a work permit. 

Off-campus employment requires a work permit from the International Affairs Office and/or USCIS.
Any employment on- or off-campus requires a work permit from the program sponsor.

Post-degree Optional Practical Training employment permission is available for a 12-month period. A job offer is not required for 12-Month OPT.

An OPT extension for an additional 24 months is possible for certain STEM majors.

Academic Training is available for off campus jobs/internships related to your course of study. Maximum of 18 months of Academic Training may be used during and after your studies. An extension for up to 18 months is possible for post-doctoral research.  Off-campus work during the degree program reduces the total period of Academic Training available after program completion.
F-2 dependents (spouse, child) are not eligible for any work permit. J-2 dependent (spouse, child) work permission is available, but not guaranteed. Income from the dependent's employment may be used to support the family's customary recreational and cultural activities and related travel, among other things. Employment will not be authorized if this income is needed to support the J-1 primary status holder. 

No Two-Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement.

No 12-Month Bar.

J-1 and J-2 dependents may be subject to the Two-Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement

J-1 and J-2 dependents may also be subject to the 12-Month Bar depending on the length of the J program.

Note that the Two-Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement and 12-Month Bar are separate rules.

F-2 spouses and children may enroll in academic programs for less than a full course of study at an SEVP-approved school(link is external). (Check with the school and their international office to be sure enrollment is less than full-time.)

F-2 spouses and children may participate in studies that are "avocational or recreational in nature"  (i.e., non-academic hobbies and recreational studies) up to and including full-time. F-2 children may attend full-time elementary or secondary school (kindergarten-12th grade).                                                                                                                                                                     

J-2 dependents are eligible to study part-time or full-time in the U.S.