Overview of Student Visas

Which Visa do I Apply For?

A majority of international students attend USC on an F-1 visa, while a smaller number of students study on a J-1 visa. Please review the table below to determine which visa would be more appropriate for you.

Document (provided by USC) for visa application I-20 DS-2019
Funding Private (personal or family) or organization/government. Must be majority-sponsored by an organization/government.
On-Campus Employment Part-time for 20 hours or less during the academic year; full-time during holiday breaks. Part-time for 20 hours or less during the academic year.
Off-Campus Employment May be eligible for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) pending approval from academic advisor.

Eligible for 12-month post-graduation Occupational Training (OPT).

18-36 months of academic training post-graduation.
Dependents Cannot seek employment; eligible to pursue part-time study. Can apply for employment authorization; eligible to pursue full- or part-time study.
Medical Insurance Not applicable Required as per Department of State regulation. Visit OIS for more information.
Home Residency Not applicable Two-year home residency may be required, depending on funding source and skill. Visit J-1 Bars for more information.