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DIS Title Divider Visiting Scientists Title Divider F-1 Overview
Visiting Scientists
F-1 Overview

F-1 Sponsorship & Purpose

F-1 status allows an individual to pursue a "full course of study" to achieve specific educational or professional objectives at an approved U.S. academic institution. All F-1 students coming to NIH are sponsored by their academic institution and are required to have work authorization.

NIH Designations

F-1 students can be eligible for all Non-FTE (Full-Time Equivalent) and FTE positions.


Typically, F-1 students are eligible to extend their F-1 status for the timeframe necessary to complete their degree requirements. Eligible F-1 students can extend their F-1 stay by applying for additional practical training.

Work Authorization

Students must consult with their academic institution’s Designated School Official (DSO) to determine F-1 work authorization eligibility. Common types of F-1 work authorization are:

  • On-Campus Employment at an Off-Campus Location (OCE): Allows for eligible F-1 students to work in their field of study as an integral part of their educational program. The affiliation between the academic institution and the off-campus location must be associated with the academic institution’s established curriculum or related to contractually funded research projects at the post-graduate level. DIS requires a letter from the DSO confirming that the student qualifies for OCE, including the permitted duration and hours per week. An Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is not required. This type of work permission is limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session, but can be full-time during official school breaks.

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