J-1 - Training and Exchange Visa
Frequently Asked Questions about J-1 Visas
What are the Activities Covered by the J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa program?
- Anyone who takes part in a exchange program approved by the U.S. Department of State
- Au-pairs and nannys
- Business and Industrial trainees
- Foreign scholars sponsored by universities as temporary faculty
- Government visitors
- Medical students coming to the United States as residents or interns
- Post-graduate students
- Research scholars
- Summer camp counselors and staff
Each category has specific requirements for obtaining a J-1 visa.
What are the Requirements for a J-1 Visa?
Applicants must work with a designated sponsoring organization and must show:
- A plan to remain in the U.S. for a temporary and specific period.
- Evidence of funds to cover their expenses in the U.S.
- Evidence of compelling social, economic or other binding ties in their home country that will insure their return at the end of their U.S. visit.
What are the Privileges of a J-1 Visa?
Visas holders can:
- Enter the U.S. and participate in exchange visitor program approved by the U.S. Department of State.
- Travel in and out of the U.S. or remain in the U.S. continuously till the completion of the exchange visitor program.
- Apply for dependent visas for a spouse as well as unmarried dependent children under 21
- Work legally in the U.S. if work is part of an approved program or if they receive permission to work from the official program sponsor
- Apply for and receive work permits for accompanying relatives
What are the Limitations of a J-1 Visa?
Visas holders must restrict themselves to studying, working or otherwise participating in the special exchange program for which the visa has been approved.
- Someone must first be accepted as a participant in the program approved by the DOS before they apply for J-1 visa.
- The visa holder must return to their home country for at least two years before they are permitted to get a Green Card or change to another non-immigrant visa status.