J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa
The J-1 non-immigrant visa category allows individuals to enter the U.S. to participate in work and study based exchange visitor programs. The purpose of the J-1 visa is to promote cultural awareness between the U.S. and other countries. The U.S. Department of State is responsible for designating organizations to act as exchange sponsors. The J-1 visa is useful for individuals who wish to enter the U.S. for purposes of research, training, teaching, or graduate training. Common exchange visitor categories include:
- Professors and scholars
A J-1 applicant must meet the following requirements:
Acceptance to an approved exchange visitor program.
Financial ability to pay expenses while in the U.S.
Demonstration of English Proficiency
Intention to leave the U.S upon completion of the exchange visitor program.
The duration of stay depends on the J-1 visa holder’s program category.
Extensions of stay beyond a program’s maximum duration period are permitted for certain categories.
Spouses and children under 21 years of age of the primary J-1 applicant are eligible to apply for J-2 visas.
Certain exchange visitor programs have a two year home residency requirement, which means the applicant must return to his or her home country prior to seeking a green card or acquiring certain non-immigrant visas.
The two-year home residency requirement may be waived in certain situations.