Key Requirements For the U.S. Student Visa

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Knowing what to look out for in your  J-1 & F-1 student visa in the United States is very important.

As a student schooling in the United States of America, you need to know the requirements for J-1 and F-1 student visas.

What does an F-1 or J-1 insurance plan mean?

J-1 is when a non-immigrant visa is issued to scholars entering the United States for work/study. This is often known as an exchange program, as in many cases the organization that is responsible for their schooling in the State is equally taking upon themselves the cost of the health insurance policy.

So, one of the main requirements of a J-1 visa students arrangement is that the beneficiary of the program and anyone, whether this is their family, should have full health cover as mandatory by the Department of State throughout the period their trip will last.

The Department of State’s mandatory health cover for J-1 students is as follows.

  • Medical benefits to the tone of 100,000 dollars for anything like illness or accident that occurs.
  • Repatriation of remains to the tone of 25,000 or more.
  • Deductible amount capped around 500 dollars for any Illness or accidental case.
  • Lastly, any expenses relating to the medical evacuation of the J-1 student back to his or her country reach 50,000 dollars.

The students in the training trip’s sponsor(s) must ensure that they purchase a health insurance cover that meets the government’s requirements. Also, purchasing is one thing, maintaining it till the end of their stay period is essential.

This is either through enforcement of a group mandatory plan or allowing you to purchase it from the health insurance marketplace.


Although the F-1 visa program is relatively straightforward but very time-consuming. It is advised to apply very early to get it running. F-1 student visa plan is also for non-immigrant students coming to the United States for study (only), whether this is a university, college, high school or even elementary school, or any other institution – You must apply for the F-1 (or F-2 for those who are dependent) visa. Also known as temporary or immigrant student visas.

School Funded or Mandatory Insurance Policy

Regardless, whether it is a school-sponsored policy or mandated policy, you are required to adhere to the guidelines of the school’s policy. Some institutions do give the freedom of choosing either the policy made available by the school or to opt for self-choice.

Below is a list of the 3 major insurance options you are presented with.

1. School Sponsored Student Visa

As long as it meets the school’s standards, this option gives you the flexibility of choosing your plan from another source. But the school also makes it available from its system to make one available to you if you decide to run with theirs. 

2. Mandated Plan for Student Visa and Insurance

A mandatory plan requires that the student applies and pays for the school’s insurance plan except in a case where you can truly prove that you already have a cover from the government program, spouse, or employer. Otherwise, your only option would be to stick with the institute’s arrangement. 

3. No Set Option or Plan

Although not quite popular, some institutions or schools do not have mandatory or sponsored programs, if this is what you come across in the school you’re enrolling in, then you can choose your desired health insurance agency.

Key Requirements For the U.S. Student Visa for Pinterest

Things You Should Know Before Getting Student Insurance

Exemption List

No doubt, many health insurance policies do have an exemption or exclusion list(s). That’s why it is very important to carefully read the terms of the insurance to know what is not covered in your policy.

Already Existing Conditions

Also known as a pre-existing condition is when you already have any Illness, condition, or injury before you bought the plan, most insurance agencies tend to exclude those in the cover. While others may have a waiting period before they can include it in the plan. Others may just from the get-go include it in the plan.

Organized Sports Program

If you intend to be part of or join any sports program as an international student, do make sure that you include it in your health plan from the get-go, to cover any injury you may sustain along the line.

Mental Health

Not many think it’s important, but you never know what goes wrong while you’re away studying in the U.S, it wouldn’t be a bad idea if you confirm from your policy provider if mental health-related issues are included or can be included.


Capped Benefits

Without using complicated words, capped benefits limit how much is released for every health situation you have. It is advised that you read all terms carefully to see if this has been automatically added or if it’s something of personal choice. 

Also if there are areas you’re unsure about, contact your insurance company to clarify the possible questions you may need more clarity on. Insurance is a vast field, health insurance too, does not skip any information. 

Turner Andrew
Turner Andrew is a freelance writer, business coach, and the lead content manager of He supervises all insurance-related content targeting Europe and Asia.

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