College/University Students must:

  • Be financed directly or indirectly by the U.S. government, the government of their home country, an international organization of which the United States is a member by treaty or statute, or supported substantially by funding from any source other than personal or family funds;
  • Be carried out according to an agreement between the U.S. government and a foreign government, or according to a written agreement between American and foreign educational institutions, an American educational institution and a foreign government or a state or local government in the United States and a foreign government; or Student is participating in a student internship program that will fulfill the educational objectives for the student’s degree program in his or her home country; or
  • Pursue a non-degree program must be enrolled full-time in a prescribed course of study. The maximum duration of a non-degree program is 24 months inclusive of academic training.


School Credit: University/college students may engage in degree-granting programs until completion or non-degree granting programs for no more than 24 months.

Employment: Students may engage in part-time employment under certain conditions, including good academic standing at their host institution.

Academic training: Students may participate in academic training with or without wages or other remuneration during their studies with the approval of the academic dean or adviser and the responsible officer at their sponsor organization.

Opportunity for Academic Training Extensions in STEM Fields

The Directorate of Private Sector Exchange (Private Sector) is pleased to announce an initiative for College and University Student-category exchange visitors participating in academic training in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). We introduce this opportunity in response to the recent Joint Statement of Principles in Support of International Education.

Early Career STEM Research Initiative

This research initiative seeks to support an increase in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) students, professionals, and exchange visitors on educational and cultural exchange programs in the United States.

Program Sponsors

Sponsors are required to:

  • Secure sufficient background information on the students to ensure that they have the academic credentials required for enrollment; or
  • Ensure that the foreign national has been admitted to, or accepted for a student internship program offered by, the post-secondary accredited academic institution.

Sponsors must ensure the following for participants:

  • Ensure that they pursue a full course of study at a post-secondary accredited academic institution in the United States.


Host institutions in the case of college/university students are typically the academic institution where they applied for enrollment, or the academic institution providing the student internship program.

Program Resources Find a Program Sponsor Common Questions