J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa


Exchange Visitor Visas (J-1) are non-immigrant visas for people approved to participate in exchange visitor programs in the United States. Exchange Visitors can’t travel on the Visa Waiver Program or With Visitor Visas. Exchange visitors are also not permitted to travel on business or tourist visas if their point is to participate in an exchange visitor program. Every exchange visitor must travel to the United States with J-1 visa.

Foreign citizens are often welcomed in to the United States under one of the exchange visitor programs. Before the individual can receive a visa however, all applicants have to be accepted and approved by an authorized program sponsor. Once they’re excepted, the applicant will get the necessary approval documentation from program sponsors or an educational institution.

The J visa is designed specifically to promote the sharing of persons, knowledge, and skills in the fields of education, arts, and sciences. Participants in the exchange visitor programs include students at all academic levels. The participants also can be trainees obtaining on-the-job training from firms, institutions and agencies.

To apply for a visa the individual must first fill out the Non-immigrant Visa Application Form. They will also need a passport that’s valid for travel to the United States that’s valid beyond the six months you’re intended to stay in the states. Attached to the form needs to be one photo taken within the last six months. The only way you do not have to pay a non-refundable non-immigrant visa application processing fee is if your J program is sponsored by the United States Government itself. An approved DS-2019 must be submitted as well. To complete the application process, the individual applying must schedule and show up to an interview with the U.S. Embassy. An incomplete application will not be accepted and will result in not being accepted in to the program.

If you have spouses or unmarried children under the age of 21 who you would like to accompany you on your trip to the United States, it is important they get a J-2 Visa. The spouse and child may not work in the United States unless they file an Employment Authorization application.

This is a great visa for anyone who feels they can provide great education, arts and science knowledge to the United States.

Before applying at the US Embassy or Consulate for the J-1 visa, you must first apply for and be accepted into the exchange visitor program by designated sponsoring organization. The Exchange Visitor categories include:

  • Camp Counselor
  • Government visitor
  • Intern
  • International visitor
  • Physician
  • Professor and Research Scholar
  • Short-term scholar
  • Specialist
  • Student
  • Summer
  • Teacher
  • Trainer
  • Trainee

If the individual of the exchange visitor visa is 13 years or younger their not required to do an interview. The same can be said about people 80 years-old and older. Ages 14-79 are required to go through the interview process to obtain a visa. Further documentation must be provided during the interview including a:

  • Passport
  • Certification of eligibility for exchange visitor status
  • Training/internship placement plan form

Most Exchange visitor visas come with the Two-year-home-country physical presence requirement. This means that the person will be required to return to their home country for two years at the end of the program. The individual has to follow this condition if their apart of the:

  • Government funded exchange program
  • Graduate medical education or training
  • Specialized knowledge or skill