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1214 E. 7th St., Austin, TX 78702

F-1: Student Visa & J-1 Exchange Student Visas in Texas

If you're a foreign or exchange student looking to study in U.S. with a student visa, then contact Peek & Toland Law Firm. Our attorneys, paralegals and support staff offer knowledgeable and experienced visa assistance. Contact our office today to set up a consultation with one of our attorneys.

F-1 & J-1 Student and Exchange Student Visas

F-1 Academic/Language Student

F-1 visas are temporary visas provided to foreign students to study in the U.S. as full time students at an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school or other academic institution or in a language training program. Before a foreign student enrolls in a school in the U.S., he or she should confirm the school is a USCIS approved school and the school is approved by the U.S. to accept international students. To apply for an F-1 visa, a foreign student must show:

  • He or she is enrolled in an “academic” educational program, a language-training program, or a vocational program,
  • He or she is enrolled as a full-time student at the institution,
  • He or she is proficient in English or is enrolled in courses leading to English proficiency,
  • He or she will earn a degree, diploma or certificate upon completion of his or her coursework,
  • He or she must have sufficient funds available for self-support during the entire proposed course of study, and
  • He or she maintains a residence abroad which he or she has no intention of giving up.

Family of F-1 Academic Student Visa Holders

A F-1 visa holder's spouse and dependents may be eligible for an F-2 visa if they meet certain eligibility requirements.

Applicants with dependents must also provide:

  • Proof of the student’s relationship to his/her spouse and/or children (e.g., marriage and birth certificates.);
  • It is preferred that families apply for F-1 and F-2 visas at the same time, but if the spouse and children must apply separately at a later time, they should bring a copy of the student visa holder’s passport and visa, along with all other required documents.

J-1: Exchange student

J-1 visas are temporary visas provided to exchange visitors who intend to take part in a State Department approved teaching, instructional, or research program requiring special skills, receiving training, or receiving gradual medical education or training. To carry out the duties of the Exchange Visitor Program, public and private entities are selected to act as exchange sponsors by the Department of State. The program must provide sponsorship to the exchange student and the program’s purpose must be to promote the interchange of persons, knowledge and skills in the fields of education, arts and science.

Below is a list of examples of exchange visitors:

  • Professors or scholars
  • Research assistants
  • Students
  • Trainees
  • Teachers
  • Specialists
  • Nannies/Au pairs
  • Camp counselors


Some J-1 non-immigrants enter the United States specifically to work (as a researcher, nanny, etc.) while others do not. Employment is authorized for J-1 non-immigrants only under the terms of the exchange program.

Family of J-1 Visa Holders

A J-1 visa holder's spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age, regardless of nationality, are entitled to J-2 classification. A J-1 visa holder's spouse and children are entitled to work authorization; however, their income may not be used to support the J-1 visa holder.

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Peek & Toland, L.L.P.
1214 E 7th Street
Austin, TX, 78702
Phone: (512) 474-4445

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