Center for Global Services
Federal Regulations Affecting F-1 and J-1 Students

Immigration laws regulate many aspects of international students' lives, including entry to the United States, the conditions under which they may remain in this country and re-enter after traveling abroad, and eligibility for immigration benefits such as employment, extension of stay, etc. Students who fail to comply with the terms of their F-1 or J-1 status are subject to sanctions that may be as severe as deportation and a 10-year bar from eligibility to return to the U.S. in any nonimmigrant classification.

It is sometimes the case that F-1 and J-1 students are restricted in ways that their U.S. counterparts are not and/or that F-1 and J-1 students must take certain actions that their counterparts are not required to take. We ask all faculty and staff who advise international students to familiarize yourself with the rules referenced below in order to avoid unwittingly recommending an F-1 or J-1 student to take (or fail to take) an action that will jeopardize his or her legal status.

F-1 and J-1 students on Rutgers visa sponsorship are required to read "Notices to International Students" emails that are sent by the Center for Global Services via an automated listserve on an as-needed basis. Important regulatory updates, deadlines and reminders are relayed to students in this way. We strongly recommend that University faculty and staff working with international students check our website regularly for the latest copy of our "Notices to International Students."

F-1 and J-1 students are also expected to know and follow the rules for maintaining legal status in the U.S., including being enrolled in a full course of study at all times except during official school vacation periods.

As some of the documentation required by federal regulations is not otherwise available to the Center, we often must rely upon academic advisers and graduate program directors to verify that specific students are in compliance with certain regulations and/or are eligible for certain "benefits" of F-1 or J-1 status such as employment. For each type of verification needed, the Center provides specific forms requiring an academic official's certification.

Regulations regarding F-1 and J-1 employment options and restrictions are also important for academic officials to be aware of. We have had some unfortunate cases in the past in which F-1 students have lost their legal status in the U.S. because they followed the good-intentioned advice of a professor or advisor to seek work experience related to their programs of study. While employment is permitted in certain circumstances, all F-1 and J-1 employment--even employment on campus--is subject to certain regulatory restrictions.