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Students and Exchange Visitors

Students and Exchange Visitors

If you wish to pursue full-time academic or vocational studies in the United States, you may be eligible for one of two nonimmigrant student categories. The “F” category is for academic students and the “M” is for vocational students. To learn more, please see the Students and Exchange Visitors page on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement website.

If you wish to participate in an exchange program you may be eligible for the “J” category for exchange visitors. The J visa program is for educational and cultural exchange programs. For more information, please see the Exchange Visitor Visa page on the Department of State website.

Exchange Visitors (J Visas)

Exchange Visitors (J Visas)


J-2 (Spouses and children of J-1)

Canadian Citizens: Canadian citizens do not currently require an entry visa to enter the U.S. but DO require a DS-2019, a valid passport and proof of payment of the SEVIS fee to enter the U.S. in J-1 student status.

At the port of entry, Canadian students must present the Form DS-2019 and supporting financial documentation to the immigration inspector to be admitted into the U.S. in J-1 status. You will be given an I-94 Admission/Departure card to complete. Be sure to look at your I-94 card before you leave the inspection area to ensure that it has the notation “J-1, D/S” written on it. Canadian students must have an I-94 card to confirm current J-1 status. If not, you are considered to be in Visitor (B-2) status, a status which does not permit study in the U.S.

Some Canadians have mistakenly assumed that regulations that apply to international students do not apply to them. Students from Canada are subject to the same regulations regarding employment in the United States, requirement for full-time study and all other provisions for maintaining status. It is especially important for Canadian students to be vigilant about entering the United States in proper student status, as immigration inspectors are accustomed to admitting Canadian citizens as visitors.

U.S. Federal Tax Information
Aliens temporarily present in the United States as students, trainees, scholars, teachers, researchers, exchange visitors and cultural exchange visitors are subject to special rules with respect to the taxation of their income.

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