Many of your comments have proven to be very useful for other international students. This time I would like your opinion on my case.
I'm starting my PhD studies in economics at a top 5 USA university next fall. This university has given me full tuition scholarship.
The estimated budget for me and my wife is near $25000. I got a loan from a bank for that amount and have $3000 in excess. However, I do not have similar funds for the following years.
In this Univ is possible for second year students to work as a TA or RA. Yet I dont have an offer.
For the rest, I believe I can make a solid case for my visa. I have a letter from my employer saying I can come back to work once my studies finish; I own a house; and had a tourist visa for the US 14 years ago (never had a rejection).
Could the lack of funds for the following years adversely affect my chances of getting a J1 visa? What would be your advice?
personal statement: In case this is an relevant info, I am from Argentina.
Seriously: You have $28,000 cash in the bank, right? All tuition, fees are paid by the Uni, right? The Uni estimates you need $25,000 of your own money for living expenses, right? If that is yes, yes, yes, then you look good.
The job offer in your country and property in your country are great.
Is the school you are applying to authorized to accept J-1 visas? I guess they must be, but did you ask? Not all schools can accept a J visa, which means you cannot apply for a J with that school's I-20.
Actually is not an I20 what I received, it is a DS2019, which is the I20 equivalent for a J1 visa. As I understand, in order to qualify for a J1 visa an institution has to sponsor you (give you some sort of money). In my case the sponsor is the university, which gives me the full tuition (but you can ask for a J1 if you get over half the tuition).
If you qualify for a J1 visa, you have to communicate the university your decision to apply for that visa and they will give you the corresponding form. Of course if you prefer an F1, you tell them and they will send you an I20.
I don't know if all univ can issue a DS2019 for the students to apply for a J1 visa. But the ones I was interested in mentioned the two possibilities.
Obviously you know what you are doing. I just wanted to make sure you were not going to the embassy with an I-20 to ask for a J visa!
My general experience is that J visas have a better approval rate than F's and I asked some friends at schools, and they feel the same. I am assuming that your full-tuition is not a scholarship, but rather compensation for work you will do (teaching, research, something...)? I guess that is why J's are approved, because they inlcude work, then some of the financial pressure from F's is taken away.
Anyway, thanks for the info.... I did not know that J-2's could work.
Tino: Thanks for your comments. Wiht regard to F1 or J1 visas I found very useful info at the international affairs offices of Princeton and Chicago (and many others I can't remember now). Basically lists advantages and disadvantages of each option and other things. Here is a link http://internationalaffairs.uchicago...Ss/f1vsj1.html
I am assuming the info published there is accurate (in many other places I found basically the same, so I guess it must be).
The full tuition offer I have is an scholarship. I'm counting on the "teaching, research, something..." for my second year onwards. Keep my fingers crossed!
I'll let you know how everything goes after my interview (which will be in two months more or less).