Important Travel Document Information – Please Read
The J1 visa is a non-immigrant visa for foreign nationals participating in work-and-study exchange visitor programs in the United States.
Foreign nationals must apply for and be allowed to participate in a J1 visa USA exchange visitor programme in order to get a J1 visa.
Within the J1 Exchange Visitor Visa category, there are 14 distinct J1 programmes for a variety of occupations and functions.
Summary of the J1 Programs
There are several chances for foreign exchange travellers to visit the United States. Find a J1 exchange visitor visa programme that meets your needs by searching the State Department’s database of sponsors. Each of the fourteen programmes is described in detail below:-
18 to 26 years old; fluency in spoken English; a high school diploma (or it is equivalent); a background check;
A minimum 12-month stay with an option for an extra 12-month extension. professional training and experience in child care; academic degree
Minimum age of 18; proficiency in spoken English (sufficient for communicating with American kids); background check
Possibility of sharing one’s culture with others; remuneration and perks, including food and lodging
Collegiate & Academic University Student
For non-degree programmes, the student must be enrolled full-time and receive substantial funding from a source other than personal funds, family, or friends (such as a government or non-governmental organization) (for a duration of up to 24 months)
School Credit hours; part-time work (under certain conditions)
Participants must be selected by a federal, state, or local government agency in the United States; they must be prominent or notable individuals and be involved in official government operations.
Consulting and training services; increased participation with public officials.
Must be enrolled (or shortly to be enrolled) in a foreign post-secondary institution that offers degrees or has graduated within the past year.
Practical experience in the career of one’s choice; academic credit
Chosen by the U.S. Department of State; leading in a specific field; conducting study, observation, training, etc.
Better cross-cultural understanding; knowledge exchange; discipline-specific beneficial information
Adequate background education; suitable preparation for the cultural and educational experience; English language proficiency; statement of necessity (for medical competence) from home country official; agreement from U.S. medical school; numerous exam requirements.
Professor and Scholar of Research
Must not be a candidate for tenure; must not have participated in this programme during the past two years, and must not have participated in a J1 programme within the past year (with some exceptions)
Secondary Education Student
Must be 15 or older but under 1812 at the start of the programme; have not previously participated in a U.S. exchange student programme, and have completed no more than 11 years of elementary and secondary education.
Participation in school groups, sports, and other activities; boarding school or host family accommodations.
Short Term Scholar.
Available to research scientists, professors, and professionals in related fields.
A chance to share knowledge and collaborate with academics and professionals.
Be an expert in a given subject; wish to go to the United States to exchange information and skills in a certain field; must not seek long-term employment in the United States while traveling on the J1 visa.
Enrichment of education and the interchange of ideas
Summer Work Travel
Possession of adequate spoken English language abilities; enrolment in a college or institution outside the United States (with at least one semester completed) at full-time status; Employment in a seasonal position.
The opportunity of residing and working in the United States
Possess at least three (3) years of teaching experience; meet the teaching standards of the host state; be of good character, and have English language proficiency.
Learn about the U.S. educational system while exchanging opinions from outside the U.S.
Degree or professional certification from a foreign college or university and at least one year of work experience (outside the United States); or five years of job experience in that sector.
J1 Visa Eligibility
J1 visa eligibility and requirements vary based on the exchange visitor program, but some standard J1 visa requirements include:
- English language expertise
- Medical insurance
J1 Program Sponsor Requirements
J1 visa candidates must have a program sponsor to apply for a J1 visa.
The U.S. Department of State maintains a list of J1 exchange visitor program sponsors by the program. To become a sponsor, an entity must demonstrate its ability to sponsor its J1 exchange visitor programme successfully.
Among the possible sponsor requirements are:
Arrival preparations (details about the programme to be provided to participants before departure from home country)
Orientation (information to help participants get acclimated to the United States)
Monitoring (sponsor must keep track of participant's welfare and progress, making sure they have 24-hour emergency support)
Home Residency Requirement (HRR)
Some J1 visa USA programmes demand two years of physical presence in the applicant’s home country. Under the home residency requirement, participants in the following J1 exchange visitor programmes must return to their home country after their exchange visitor programme.
- Government-funded international exchange programmes
- Graduate medical training or education
- Expertise or specialized knowledge
HRR is also plainly mentioned on page 2 of Form DS-2019, which all J1 visa applicants must read and sign. Applicants may apply for an HRR Waiver by submitting Form DS-3035 and a filing fee of $120.
By acquiring a J-2 visa, eligible immediate family members may accompany J1 exchange visitors during their stay in the United States.
J1 Visa Application Process
Schedule Your Interview for a J1 Visa
Scheduling your J1 visa interview with the U.S. embassy or consulate is the initial step in preparing for it. It is significantly simpler to make an appointment at your permanent residence.
Pay Your Application Fee Ahead Of Time
You must pay your non-refundable visa application fee to the Department of State prior to your interview.
Collect & Prepare Your Documents
There is nothing worse than preparing for an interview, showing up, and being denied because you forgot to bring the proper documentation. We will advise you on the specific requirements during processing.
What is a J1 Visa?
A J-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa that is provided by the United States to research scientists, teachers, and exchange tourists who are engaged in programmes that encourage cultural interchange, in particular to gain training in the fields of medicine or business inside the United States.
J1 Visa Validity
The term of a J1 visa varies on the type of J1 visa programme chosen by the participant. Some examples of the J1 visa categories validity periods can be found below:
- Programs for au pairs, interns, international visitors, secondary school students, and specialists are valid for one year. (The Au pair programme may be extended by a further six, nine, or twelve months.)
- The duration of the camp counsellor and summer work travel programmes is four months.
- Programs for short-term scholars are valid for six months, whereas programmes for teachers are good for three years.
Other USA Visa Types
A J1 Visa is required for any foreign national wishing to enter the United States for a student exchange program. If you are travelling for another reason a different visa type may be more suitable for you.
J1 Visa Interview
Interviews are necessary for visa applicants in most cases, with a few exceptions listed below. Any visa application may be interviewed by consular personnel.
- 13 years old and under – Generally, interview is not required.
- Ages 14-79 – obligatory interview (some exceptions for renewals)
- Over the age of 80 – Generally, interview is not required.
You should make an appointment with the US Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live for your visa interview. You may schedule your interview at another U.S. Embassy or Consulate, but be advised that obtaining a visa outside of your home country may be more challenging.
On the day of your J1 visa interview, be sure to appear prepared with your paperwork in hand. A consular officer will be discussing with you and evaluating your papers to decide whether you qualify for the J1 visa. It’s crucial that during your interview, you are honest and underline that you aim to return to your native country after completing the programme.
Here are some common J1 visa interview questions:
- Why do you want to go to the U.S.?
- What are your qualifications?
- What are you now doing?
- Which university are you enrolled at (or have you graduated from?)?
- What programme are you applying to?
- When did you apply for your programme?
- How much was your placement fee?
- Who is going to pay for your expenses? How much do you/they make?
- Tell me about your housing.
- What will you be doing in the U.S.?
Typically done during your interview, you can also expect to have a digital fingerprint scan as part of your application. If your visa is approved, you may also need to pay an extra visa issuance cost depending on your nationality.
They will process your passport at that time, which will either be returned by picking it up at the consular/embassy or delivered by a courier.
People Also Asked...
Exchange guests are not allowed to enter the United States more than 30 days prior to the commencement of their programme. If you want to arrive sooner than 30 days, you must apply for and be granted a tourist (B) visa separately.
You must separately apply to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for a change of status to exchange visitor (J) status status prior to the start of your exchange programme after being admitted to the United States by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials in visitor (B) visa status. You wont be able to start your exchange programme until your change of status has been granted. On your exchange visitor (J) visa, you may also leave the United States and return.
Persons participating in exchange visitor programmes in the United States can apply for one of two nonimmigrant visa categories. The J-1 exchange visitor visa is for educational and cultural exchange programmes approved by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State.
The Q-1 visa is intended for people who want to participate in international cultural exchange programmes. These programmes are aimed to provide practical training and employment while also allowing participants to share their home nations history, culture, and traditions with Americans. A person who wishes to participate in an international cultural exchange programme must have their application authorised by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in advance, based on a petition filed by the US sponsor.
If you believe you have more evidence of your credentials for an exchange visitor (J) visa, or if your circumstances have changed, you may reapply.
Throughout the school year, a J1 student is not allowed to work more than 20 hours a week, whether on or off campus. But, during the summer and University-sanctioned breaks, you may work full-time (more than 20 hours a week).