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Exchange Program Students (J1 Visa)

A J-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa issued by the United States to research scholars, professors and exchange visitors participating in programs that promote cultural exchange, especially to obtain medical or business training within the U.S. All applicants must meet eligibility criteria, English language requirements, and be sponsored either by a university, private sector or government program.

Different categories exist within the J-1 program, each defining the purpose or type of exchange. While most J-1 categories are explicitly named in the federal regulations governing the J-1 program, others have been inferred from the regulatory language.

Private sector programs:

  • Alien Physician
  • Au pair and EduCare
  • Camp Counselor (summer camp)
  • Intern
  • Student, Secondary School
  • Work/Travel
  • Teacher
  • Trainee

Government and academic programs:

  • Government Visitor
  • International Visitor
  • Professor and Research Scholar
  • Short-Term Scholar
  • Specialist
  • Student, College/University

A J-1 visa may be your best option to enter the United States to study. J-1 vis holders may remain in the United States until the end of their exchange program. Many persons in the United States on J-1 visa are subject to the two-year home residency requirement. The home residency requirement mandates that before a person on a J-1visa can change to nonimmigrant status (H-1B or L1, for example), or adjust to U.S. permanent resident status, the J-1 person must either return to the country of last residence for two years or obtain a waiver of the two-year home residency requirement. If you are interested in applying for a J-1 visa, it is highly recommended you seek the advise of a experienced immigration attorney to determine if the J-1 visa is the best option. Contact Dorsett Immigration Law now for your free consultation.