J-1 Visa - Exchange Visitor

Expert United States Visa and Immigration Advice Service J-1 VISA - EXCHANGE VISITOR PROGRAM

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J-1 Visa Advice

VisaConnect's Consultants can assist and advise with the J-1 Visa Program application for the US. Our US Immigration Attorneys are experienced, ethical, and registered with AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association), and they can assist clients in our offices in Brisbane, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, London, UK and Lisbon, Portugal! Our US Attorney's can advise clients worldwide, with a fast and efficient Consultation by telephone or skype where they advise you about:

  • J-1 Visa eligibility
  • Information about the Internship or Training visa process
  • Assistance with a re-application after a US Visa Denial
  • Assistance in applying to a Designated Sponsor for the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program
  • Assistance in applying for a English language test and Health Insurance
  • Supporting documents showing evidence of Work experience and Qualifications certificates
  • Checklist of documents required and format
  • Assistance in completion of USCIS Application forms or petitions
  • US Consulate Interview preparation covering common questions and answers
  • Visa Processing time guidance
  • Exchange Visitor Program fees, USCIS fees and Attorney fees for complete visa application assistance

Contact VisaConnect's US Immigration Attorney's, in 2024 for advice and assistance with your J-1 Exchange Visitor Program Visa application!

J-1 Visa - Overview

The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is intended for participants to visit America and connect broadly with Americans, share their culture, improve their English language abilities, and learn new skills or develop skills that will help them in their future careers. The US State Department has designated more than 1,500 for profit, non-profit, or federal, state and local government entities to conduct private exchange programs. Participants on private sector programs may teach, study, do research, share their specialized skills or receive on-the-job training.

More than 300,000 participants from 200 countries and territories travel to the United States on J-1 visas, each year. In terms of Age and Gender, 86% of participants are 30 years of age or younger, and 55% are women or girls.

Program Categories - J-1 Visa

There are 15 different categories of participants under the J-1 visa Program:

1. Professors - Promote the exchange of ideas, research and links between research and academic institutions in the US and foreign countries.

2. Research Scholars - Promote the exchange of research and links between research and academic institutions in the US and foreign countries.

3. Short-term Scholars - Professors, scholars, and other accomplished individuals travel on a short-term visit to lecture, observe, consult, train, or demonstrate special skills at U.S. research and academic institutions, museums, and libraries.

4. Trainees - Professionals with a degree, professional certificate, or relevant work experience gain exposure to U.S. culture and receive training in U.S. business practices through a structured and guided work-based program.

5. Interns - College and university students or recent graduates gain exposure to U.S. culture as they experience U.S. business practices in their chosen occupational field.

6. College and University Students - Students study at a U.S. degree granting post-secondary accredited academic institution, participating in a degree, non-degree, or student internship program.

7. Teachers - Educators teach full-time at a U.S. accredited primary or secondary school or in an accredited pre-kindergarten program.

8. Secondary School Students - Secondary school students' study at an accredited public or private high school and live with an American host family or at an accredited boarding school.

9. Specialists - Experts in a field of specialized knowledge observe U.S. institutions and methods of practice and share their knowledge with their U.S. colleagues.

10. Alien Physicians - Foreign medical graduates pursue graduate medical education or training at a U.S. accredited school of medicine or scientific institution, or pursue programs involving observation, consultation, teaching, or research.

11. Camp Counselors - Post-secondary students, youth workers, teachers or others with specialized skills interact with and supervise American youth at U.S. camps.

12. Au Pairs - A young adult lives with a host family for 12 months and experiences U.S. culture while providing child-care and taking courses at an accredited U.S. post-secondary institution.

13. Summer Work Travel Program - College and university students at foreign universities gain first-hand experience as they work in seasonal or temporary jobs and travel in the United States during their summer.

14. Government Visitors - Distinguished international visitors develop and strengthen professional and personal relationships with their American counterparts in U.S. federal, state, or local government agencies.

15. International Visitors - Reserved for State Department-sponsored and funded exchange participants.

Eligibility Criteria - J-1 Visa

J-1 Program Sponsors screen and select their participants according to the eligibility criteria for each program category. Standard eligibility criteria for the Sponsor and the Participant are:

  • English Language Proficiency - Participants must have sufficient English language ability to participate in the Program.
  • Insurance - Participants and dependents are required to carry medical insurance at the minimum benefit levels.
  • Pre-Arrival Information - Sponsors are required to provide their participants with information about the program and related matters before they leave their home countries for the United States.
  • Orientation - Sponsors must offer appropriate orientation for all participants and are encouraged to offer orientation to the participant's family.
  • Monitoring - Sponsors are required to monitor the progress and welfare of their participants.
  • Fees - Participants must pay Program fees, pay a SEVIS I-901 fee to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and pay Nonimmigrant visa application processing fee.

Application Process - J-1 Visa

The following steps are required to apply for a J-1 exchange Visitor Program visa:

1. Select one of the 15 Programs

2. Contact a Designated Sponsor - The sponsor will provide the applicant with specific Program and application requirements.

3. Sponsor selects Participants - Sponsors are responsible for selecting participants, as well as supporting and monitoring them during their entire program.

4. Program Fees - Sponsors charge participants program fees. Fees vary from sponsor to sponsor.

5. Sponsor issues Form DS-2019 - If you are selected into an Exchange Visitor Program, the Program Sponsor will issue you a Form DS-2019.

6. SEVIS Fee - Pay the SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) fee.

7. Visa Application Form DS-160 - Go to the U.S. Department of State website to fill out an Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form DS- 160 and to pay the visa application fee. Check the website of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply for instructions on how to pay.

8. Interview - After you pay the visa application fee, schedule your interview online, Check the website of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply for instructions on how to schedule the Interview. At the Interview, you must bring the original Form DS-2019; Form DS-160 confirmation page; passport; photo; and visa application fee receipt.

9. Visa Decision - The interviewing officer at the US Consulate will inform you at the end of your interview whether your visa is approved or denied. If approved, the interviewing officer will tell you when you should expect to receive your visa.

J-2 Dependent Visa

The J-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa granted to the J-1 applicant's spouse and dependent children. The J-2 conditions are as follows:

  • Program Sponsor Approval - The Program Sponsor must approve the spouse and dependent children accompanying the J-1 Exchange Visitor, and then issue each accompanying applicant with their own Form DS-2019.
  • Employment Authorization - If the J-2 Visa Holder seeks to work, they must obtain an Employment Authorization document from the Department of Homeland Security.
  • J-2 Limitations - The J-2 Visa Holder is dependent upon the status of the principal J-1 holder and they are only able to apply for a work permit after arriving in the United States.