J-1 Visa – Exchange Visitor Program

The J-1 classification allows foreign nationals to participate in an approved program for the purpose of teaching, instructing or lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, demonstrating special skills, receiving training, or to receive graduate medical education or training.

J-1 visa applicants are sponsored by an exchange program designated by the U.S. Department of State to promote the interchange of persons, knowledge, and skills, in the fields of education, arts, and science.

 Exchange visitors programs include, but are not limited to:

  • Camp counselors
  • Nannies/Au pairs
  • Professors or scholars
  • Research assistants
  • Specialists
  • Students
  • Trainees
  • Teachers

To qualify for the J-1 visa:

  • The visa applicant must be sponsored by an organization approved by the Department of State;
  • The visa applicant must be sufficiently proficient in English to participate in the program;
  • The visa applicant must have a permanent residence in his/her home country, which he/she does not intend to abandon;
  • The visa applicant must demonstrate that the U.S. program would be useful in his/her home.

The requirements vary depending on the program selected.

For the trainee program: The trainee must have:

  • A degree or professional certificate from a foreign post-secondary academic institution outside the U.S. and at least one year of prior related work experience in his/her occupational field outside the United States, OR
  • Five years of work experience in his/her occupational field outside the United States.

Duration of Stay:
The J-1 classification is granted for the duration of the program. However, the maximum period of stay varies depending on the program selected. For the trainee program the J-1 classification can be granted for up to 18 months.

Family of J-1 Visa Holders:
The spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 of a J-1 visa holder can obtain J-2 status. J-2 visa holders are eligible to engage in employment as long as the money they earn is not used to support the principal J-1 visa holder. J-2 visa holders can attend school.

For more information about this visa category contact us today to schedule a professional consultation with an Immigration Attorney. Call (305) 515-VISA (8472) or click here.

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