J-1 Visa Frequently Asked Questions

Stratford University is now a sponsor for J-1 visas!

A student holding a J-1 visa may qualify for Academic Training (AT), only after completing an academic year of study. Students who qualify for Academic Training may work for 18 months in a job directly related to their degree field, either during their study (20 hrs. per week max) or after completion of their degree program (may be full time, must begin within 30 days of finishing program), or both during and after study. Only students in degree programs may qualify for Academic Training. AT is cumulative; so, if a student works for 6 months on AT during the degree program will only have 12 months remaining after the end of the program. Students must have a job offer to qualify for AT, and AT must be approved by the International Student Office before the student may begin work.

Students who do not qualify for AT, or do not wish to participate in AT, may work up to 20 hours per week on-campus, and only with prior approval from the International Student Office.

Yes, a spouse on a J-2 dependent visa may work up to full-time for any employer. However, the spouse must first apply for work authorization through USCIS. Stratford University’s international office can provide more information and guidance on this topic.

Maybe. Many J-1 visa holders are subject to the Two Year Home Residency Requirement. If the J-1 student is subject to this requirement, he or she may not change visa status while in the United States. If the J-1 visa holder is not subject to the two-year home residency requirement, then that student may change status to an F-1 visa while in the country.

The Two Year Home Residency Requirement applies to all students who are funded by their home government or the United States government, as well as students who are studying in a field that is greatly needed in their home country. If subject to this requirement, the student may not change visa status while in the United States. Also, after leaving the United States, the student may not return to the U.S. on an immigrant visa (H, L, green card). The student may return on another J-1 or F-1, B-1 or any other non-immigrant visa, but only after leaving the United States and receiving the new visa from their home country.

Yes. J-1 students must take a full-time on-campus course load (9 credits for graduate students, 13.5 credits for undergraduate students).

We are focusing on real-life experiences in the classroom. Professors share how they experience particular situations in their profession and what decisions they've had to make. This makes me more confident and prepares me for the real-world.

Natalia Bogdanova , Bulgaria

I'm taking fundamentals of baking, taught by Chef Brett, who is a great teacher and knows what he is doing! We have been baking cakes, cupcakes, muffins, and many types of bread. I have learned so much in just 5 weeks!

Maria Paula Quintana , Colombia

I chose the MS in Information Systems program because in my old school we didn't have many online resources, most things were done offline. Kazakhstan is behind in information technology, so once I get my Master's degree I want to go back and contribute to the IT aspect of my Country's development.

Kamilya Nurgaliyeba , Kazakhstan

Before I came to the United States, I was working at a mining company and a travel company... but I decided I want to have my own business. I enrolled in the MBA program to develop my skills and capabilities. That's why I came to Stratford!

Enerel Chuluunbat , Mongolia

The United States is an organized country, most things are easy to understand, easy to follow. Teaching methods at Stratford make classes very interesting. I want to be a university professor and spread this education concept in my home country too.


Abdulrahman Aljefri , Saudi Arabia