Information for International Scholars and Students

This section provides information for TTIC international scholars and students.

The U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security provides information for F-1 international students on how to maintain visa status at Study in the States. The U.S. Department of State provides information for scholars and students on J visas on the BridgeUSA website.

You may direct any questions to TTIC’s International Office.

Information on CPT & OPT for F-1 Students

Insurance FAQ for TTIC International Students

International Student Check-in

TTIC requires all incoming new F-1 and J-1 students to electronically “check in” within two weeks of their arrival to Chicago.

If you are an incoming new F-1 or J-1 student, you must check in to avoid a registration hold on your student account and/or student privileges, which will remain in effect until you check in. This hold will prevent you from enrolling in courses. This check-in is separate from the new student orientation check-in.

Check-in Form (must login with login and password to access)

International Scholar Check-in

TTIC requires all scholars and visitors in J-1 status to check in with Amy Minick in the International Office within 7 days of the start date on their Form DS-2019. Without this check-in, your program cannot be validated and you may jeopardize your visa status. Make an appointment with Amy Minick to check in.

Visa vs. Status: What’s the Difference?


The visa is the stamp in your passport issued by the consulate allowing the international student or scholar permission for entry/re-entry to the United States. The visa does not determine how long you can stay. You can stay in the United States with an expired visa, but you must renew it if you leave the U.S. and want to return.


Status is the legal category under which the visitor was admitted to the U.S. The program dates on the I-20 or DS-2019 govern how long a foreign national can stay in the U.S. If your status is expired, you must leave the U.S.

University of Chicago has a great explanation of the difference here.

Basics of Maintaining Status

Information for those in J-1 visa status

Foreign nationals on J-1 visa status (and their dependents) must have health insurance for the entirety of their program. That conforms to the following standards:

Scholars in J-1 status may be subject to two year home residency requirement, often called a 212(e), as it is referenced in immigration regulations. Sometimes this requirement can be waived. If you would like to apply for a waiver, contact IO.

Those in J-1 visa status with a subcategory of “Research Scholar” or “Professor” are subject to a two year repeat participation bar. This requirement cannot be waived.

University of Chicago has excellent explanations of these restrictions. Contact IO if you have further questions.