What You Should Know About a J-1 Visa

Having the opportunity to study abroad can be exciting. The United States’ Exchange Visitor Program, allows individuals to temporarily reside in the US under a J-1 Visa for educational or cultural exchange purposes.  Ideally, participants would acquire skills in the US that they’d be able to utilize upon return to their home countries.

Taking advantage of this program requires applicants to fulfill numerous criteria.  Any discrepancies in their application or documentation, may result ultimately in denial. Niren & Associates has experience in preparing and submitting US occupational applications and may be able to assist you.

Those Who May Benefit From the Exchange Visitor Program

  1. Trainees and interns in medicine, business, and other fields
  2. Secondary, college, and university students.
  3. Teachers at all academic levels
  4. Professors employed to teach and/or perform research at post-secondary institutions
  5. Au pairs
  6. Government Visitors
  7. Research Scholars.

J-1 Visa Requirements

While each category listed above has its own set of specific requirements, all applicants of the Exchange Visitor Program must fulfill certain criteria. To be eligible for a J-1 visa:

  • be sponsored by an American organization to come to the U.S. as a visitor in a recognized exchange category.
  • obtain a Form DS-2019 from their sponsor before applying for a J-1 visa.
  • have the requisite academic background to participate in the Exchange Visitor Program, including knowledge of the English language (unless the program does not require such knowledge).
  • demonstrate that they plan to depart the U.S. at the conclusion of their exchange program.

If you feel that you may meet the requirement of any of the above mentioned criteria. A good measure for securing your eligibility would be to contact a skilled immigration attorney fro assistance.

Contact our Vancouver immigration attorneys to learn how to qualify for the J-1 Visa

J-1 Visa Employment Authorization

J-1 visa holders may be authorized to work in the U.S. as part of their exchange program. Participants in programs which do not involve work may not engage in outside employment.

J-1 Visa Foreign Residency Requirements

An exchange visitor is subject to the two-year home country physical presence requirement if the following conditions exist:

  • The program in which the exchange visitor is participating is directly or indirectly financed in whole or in part by the U.S. government or the government of the exchange visitor
  • The exchange visitor entered the United States to receive graduate medical education or training
  • The exchange visitor is a national or permanent resident of a country which has deemed the field of specialized knowledge or skill necessary to the development of the country

Spouses and Children that Accompany J-1 Visa Holders

Spouses and/or children (under the age of 21) who wish to accompany the principal J-1 visa applicant to the U.S. require derivative J visas.

The application procedure is the same as that for a primary visa applicant. The sponsor must approve the accompaniment of the spouse and/or children and issue each approved family member a Form DS-2019 as well.

Accompanying spouses and children of the J-1 Visa holder may study in the U.S. during the principal applicant’s exchange, but they are not authorized to work. J-2 visa holders may, however, apply to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for employment authorization.

Getting the Assistance You Need

For those who think they may qualify for this program, you may benefit by enlisting the services of an experienced immigration attorney to review your application.  Niren and Associates may be able to alleviate the stresses of the process to increase your chances of enjoying its rewards.

Contact our Vancouver immigration attorneys to learn how to qualify for the J-1 Visa

I would like to thank you for your efforts in filing my application and giving me good advice. It shows that you care for the client. I also felt your services were worth every penny.  – Samantha C.