Immigration Overview

Student Classifications

Students must be enrolled part-time or full-time in a degree or non-degree program, and the primary activity at BU is to study.

F-1 Student Classification

Most international students at BU are here in this classification, as it is designed to facilitate study toward a specific educational objective. Read on for more information.

J-1 Student Classification

The J-1 student category is an alternate immigration option for students who receive qualifying financial sponsorship or who are participating in a formal university exchange program. Read on for more information.

Other Student Classifications

If you are currently in the US in another immigration classification, you may be eligible to enroll in either full-time or part-time coursework at BU. Read on for more information.

Scholar Classifications

Scholars’ primary activities at BU are conducting research, teaching, or working.

J-1 Exchange Visitor

Most “scholars” at BU are sponsored in a J-1 category, as it allows for a variety of academic and research arrangements ranging from short-term unpaid visiting appointments to full-time paid appointments. Read on for more information.

H-1B Temporary Workers

This is an employment-based, temporary status designated for individuals who have specialized training. Read on for more information.


There are four immigration classifications that allow entry to the US as a visitor. Read on for more information.

Employee with Independent Authorization

There are many US immigration categories that allow a person to apply for work permission. Read on for more information.

Alternate BU Sponsorship Options

While the majority of BU scholars are sponsored in J-1 or H-1B categories, occasionally an alternative sponsorship category, such as Trade NAFTA or O-1, may be most appropriate to facilitate your BU activity. Read on for more information.

Dependent Classifications

Each dependent classification has related benefits and restrictions. Read on for more information.