The UF International Center is open for normal business hours, excluding UF holidays

The University of Florida International Center (UFIC) is the official program sponsor designated by the U.S. Department of State to administer J-1 exchange programs at the University.

The primary purpose of J-1 exchange programs is to foster cultural and educational exchange between Americans and foreign nationals, and to foster international collaborative teaching and research efforts. The various J-1 visa categories allow for work- and study-based programs, although no category focuses exclusively on employment.

This information on our site is intended for current and potential international students and scholars, as well as the UF administrators and faculty who support them. Please review it for information on visa requirements, administrative and immigration processes, student and visitor resources, etc.

The University of Florida sponsors the following J-1 visa categories:

J-1 Categories


An individual primarily engaged in teaching, lecturing, observing, or consulting. A professor may also conduct research as long as research is not the primary objective of their program. The visitor cannot be a candidate for a tenure-accruing position.

Maximum duration: 5 years.

Research Scholar

An individual primarily engaged in conducting research, observing, or consulting in connection with a research program. A research scholar may also teach or lecture as long as teaching or lecturing is not the primary objective of their program.

Maximum duration: 5 years.

Short-Term Scholar

An individual engaged in conducting research, observing, consulting, teaching, training, or lecturing for a short-term program.

Maximum duration: 6 months.

Student Intern

An individual currently pursuing a degree at their home institution who is seeking to complete a required internship as part of the current degree requirements.

Maximum duration: 12 months.

Degree-Seeking Student

An admitted degree-seeking student whose funding source requires and/or qualifies them to utilize the J-1 student visa category.

Maximum duration: N/A – varies by degree.

Non-Degree Student

An approved general non-degree student, exchange student, or student under current UF cooperative agreements (MOUs). All UF Partner School Exchange Students are sponsored under this category unless they are degree-seeking students.

Maximum duration: 24 months.

NOTE: No J-1 exchange visitor may be employed in a tenure track position. There are strict limitations on patient care and contact.  Most J-1 visa categories require there be no patient care and only limited incidental contact; the J-1 student intern category requires there be no type of patient care or contact at all.

Other Visa Categories

Students who study at the University of Florida in another non-immigrant visa category may be required to change to an F-1/J-1 student visa category. This is especially true for any J-2 dependent children who will soon reach age 21. A change-of-status application for the dependent child must be filed prior to their 21st birthday. In some situations, J-2 spouses may need to change their visa category to pursue other activities. UFIC staff can advise on available options if an individual requires a change of status/visa category.

The following visa statuses are handled by UF Immigration Compliance Services (located in the main UF Human Resources building): Permanent Resident, H-1B, O-1, TN, E-3, EB-1, and EB-2.