The J-1 visa is used by international visitors to enter the United States (U.S.) temporarily for educational or cultural exchange purposes as by the Exchange Visitor Program defined by the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act.
Exchange Visitor program participants are expected to return to their respective home countries to utilize the skills that they acquire while in the U.S.
The following is a list of the main Exchange Visitor Program categories:
In order to apply for a J-1 visa, applicants must be sponsored by an American organization to come to the U.S. as a visitor in a recognized exchange category. Also, applicants are required to obtain a Form DS- 2019 from their sponsor before applying for a J-1 visa.
J-1 visitors must have the requisite academic background to participate in the Exchange Visitor Program, including knowledge of the English language (unless the program does not require such knowledge). In addition, applicants must demonstrate that they plan to depart the U.S. at the conclusion of their exchange program, that they have compelling social and economic ties abroad which they have no intention of abandoning, and that they have sufficient funds to cover living expenses incurred while in the U.S.
Exchange visitors coming to the U.S. for medical education or training must have passed the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination.
J-1 visa holders may be authorized to work in the U.S. as part of their exchange program. Participants in programs which do not involve work may not engage in outside employment.
An exchange visitor is subject to the two-year home country physical presence requirement if the following conditions exist:
If the exchange visitor is subject to the two-year home country foreign residence requirement, he or she cannot change his/her status to that of H Visa, L Visa, K Visa, or lawful US permanent resident until he or she has returned to his/her home country for at least two years or received a waiver of that requirement.
A waiver of the physical presence requirement may be granted in any one of the following situations:
Spouses and/or children (under the age of 21) who wish to accompany the principal J-1 visa applicant to the U.S. require derivative J visas. The application procedure is the same as that for a primary visa applicant.
More info about the J1 Visa from our website.
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