J1 Visa

Learn About J1 Visa Eligibility And Requirements


The J1 exchange visitor program is designed to promote the interchange of persons, knowledge, and skills in the fields of education, arts, and sciences. Participants include:

  • Students at all academic levels
  • Trainees obtaining on-the-job training with firms, institutions, and agencies
  • Teachers of primary, secondary, and specialized schools
  • Professors coming to teach or do research at institutions of higher learning
  • Research scholars
  • Professional trainees in the medical and allied fields
  • International visitors coming to U.S. to tour, observe, consult, conduct research, receive training, demonstrate specialized knowledge or skills, or participate in an organized people-to-people program

VisaPro’s experienced immigration attorneys will prepare and file all the required documents for exchange visitors with an approved DS-2019 applying for the J1 visa.

Check My Eligibility

J1 Visa Eligibility – It Is Suitable For:

  • Foreign medical graduates or physicians to pursue graduate medical education or training at accredited schools of medicine or scientific institutions
  • Foreign students participating in exchange programs to promote the sharing of knowledge and skills in education, arts and sciences
  • Research scholars to teach, conduct research, observe, or consult on research projects
  • Au Pairs to live with an American host family
  • Foreign nationals to pursue business and industrial training programs in the U.S.
  • Professors to teach, lecture, conduct research, or consult at educational institutions, museums, libraries, or similar institutions in the U.S.
  • Employees of International Communication agencies
  • Research assistants sponsored by the national institute of health
  • Foreign nationals to serve as counselors in U.S. summer camps
  • Foreign nationals to obtain further academic qualifications or gain practical experience/training in a specific area of knowledge or expertise
  • Foreign nationals who are recognized as potential leaders or experts to engage in observation tours, discussions, consultation, professional meetings, and training
  • U.S. organizations authorized by the Department of State (DOS) to sponsor foreign nationals for training

Working on J1 Visa

Employment while on “J” exchange visitor status depends upon the terms of the program. Participants in programs which provide for on-the-job training, teaching, research, or other activities which involve paid employment may accept such employment. Participants in programs which do not involve work may not accept outside employment.

J1 Visa Benefits

  1. You can enter the U.S. as an exchange visitor
  2. Your dependents can stay with you as long as you maintain your J1 status. They can also attend school while on the J2 dependent visa
  3. You are exempt from Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax withholdings
  4. Your dependents are eligible to apply for employment authorization, and may work in the U.S. However, they cannot get work authorization if the money earned is needed to support you

J1 Visa Requirements

To qualify for a J1 exchange visitor visa, you must prove that:

  1. You are sponsored by an organization approved by the Department of State (DOS), and granted authority to issue a Form DS-2019 to prospective J1 applicants
  2. You have sufficient funds to cover all expenses, or funds must be provided by the sponsoring organization in the form of a scholarship or other stipend
  3. You have sufficient scholastic preparation to participate in the designated program
  4. You are sufficiently proficient in English to participate in the designated program, or the sponsoring organization has made special arrangements to teach you the English language or conduct the course in your native language. You may be exempt from this requirement if you intend to come to the U.S. to participate exclusively in an English language training program
  5. You have a permanent residence in your home country, which you do not intend to abandon
  6. You intend to depart the U.S. upon completion of the course of study. You may establish this by presenting evidence of economic, social and/or family ties in your homeland sufficient to induce you to leave the U.S. upon completion of studies
  7. Your proposed education in the U.S. would be useful in your homeland, and therefore induce you to leave the U.S. upon completion of studies
    If you are coming to the U.S. to receive graduate medical education or training:
  8. You have passed the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination in Medical Sciences
  9. The program does not include patient care

Home Residence Requirement

You may be required to return to your home country and be physically present there for at least two years after the conclusion of your exchange visit before you become eligible to apply for an immigrant or nonimmigrant (H or L) visa if:

  1. Your J1 program has been financed in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, by an agency of the U.S. Government or by your government
  2. You are a national or resident of a country, which has been designated by the Exchange Visitor Program and Designation Staff as requiring the skills of the exchange visitor

Learn More About Applying for a Waiver of the Two-Year Foreign Residence Requirement

J1 Visa Notes

  • You may extend J1 visa to complete your exchange visitor program.
  • To change the purpose of your visit while you are in the U.S. on a J1 visa, you must change your visa status.
  • Important: J1 visa holders may be subject to the two-year home residency requirement. J1 visa holders may avoid the two-year home residency requirement and apply for Green Card by Obtaining J1 Waiver. Consult with a VisaPro attorney to determine if you qualify for a J1 Waiver.
  • Dependents of J1 visa holders may accept employment in the U.S. by obtaining an Employment Authorization Document.
  • U.S. companies may establish their own J1 exchange program. Consult with a VisaPro attorney to determine if your company meets the criteria for a J1 exchange program.

J1 Visa Fees

Filing Fee – RegularFee Varies
VisaPro Processing Time Varies

What VisaPro Customers Are Saying

Our applicant did indeed pass her [J-1] visa interview. She will be arriving in America later this month. DisplayCraft appreciates everything that Visa Pro have done for us. We are extremely satisfied will your efforts and I am confident that DisplayCraft will come back to Visa Pro in the future should we need to obtain a visa for another foreign employee."

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