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Immigration Law


PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this webpage has been prepared for educational purposes only. Communication of information through this webpage does not create or constitute an attorney-client relationship, is not intended to solicit clients or to provide legal services as to any particular matter, and is not intended to convey or constitute legal advice or provide a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney. It is important for you to consult with an attorney regarding your rights and responsibilities in a particular situation.



General Information
International students attending the University of Minnesota have either a J or F visa as a basis to enter and remain in the United States. The two are outlined below. You must follow all of the requirements of this visa to legally stay in the country.


The International Student and Scholar Services office (ISSS) will be your best resource if you have questions or need help with your immigration status or visa. We can also help if you have questions about:
  • Alternatives to a student visa
  • Employment
  • Family or marriage adjustments
  • Changing your residency
  • Getting representation for INS problems


Contact us to schedule an appointment or referral. Be aware that you must be a fee paying student in order to be eligible for our services.




F Visas
Your F visa will affect your employment opportunities and how long you can stay in the US.


On-campus Work: F-1 visa students who are maintaining a full time course of study can work on campus part time (20 hours per week maximum) during the academic year and full time during the summer months and any periods when school is not in session. No special permission or document is needed to give you permission to work on campus.


Off-campus Work: F-1 visa students must obtain prior authorization from the INS before working off campus. It generally takes the INS about three months to reply to any application for off campus work.


Duration of Status: An F-1 student’s permission to stay is called a "Duration of Status." It appears on the I-94 (your permit to stay in the U.S.) as D/S and relates to the expected date of program completion. Students must file for an extension of program at least one month before this date expires.




J Visas
"J" exchange students can participate in programs which provide for on-the job training, teaching, research, or other activities which involve paid employment.


Certain "J" exchange visitors must return to their country of nationality or last residence after completing their program in the United States, and reside there physically for two years before they may become eligible to apply for an immigrant or temporary worker visa.


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