J Visas

J-1 Exchange Visitor Visas

 The United States government issues J-1 Visas to individuals who take part in a wide range of exchange visitor programs sponsored by schools, businesses, and a variety of organizations and institutions. These programs are envisioned for business and industrial trainees, scholars, students, international visitors, teachers, research assistants, and those on cultural missions. In addition, there are several exchange visitor programs for young people, including summer employment programs, internship programs for university students and au-pair programs.

Each category of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program has sponsoring organizations designated by the US Department of State. It is their role to authorize the entry of a foreign national for the purpose of completing the objectives of a specific program which they approve on behalf of the Department of State. They then issue forms DS-2109 and DS-7002 which, along with other necessary documents must be presented at the appropriate US Embassy in order to obtain the J-1 Visa.

Individuals meet the criteria for a J1 Exchange Visitor Visa if they are coming to the United States as a student, scholar, trainee, teacher, professor, research assistant, medical graduate, or international visitor who are participating in a program of studies, training, research, or a cultural enrichment program that is specifically designed for such individuals by the United States Department of State, through its Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

An applicant’s spouse and children should be able to obtain a J-2 Visa to accompany the applicant to the U.S. or to join him or her at a later date. A J-2 visa application should be submitted for each dependent either at the same time as the J-1 visa application or at a subsequent date.

Among other requirements, an applicant and his or her dependents must:

Pay for round-trip air travel;

Bring sufficient funds to cover all living expenses to be incurred in the U.S.

Purchase adequate health insurance (mandatory for this visa).

At the conclusion of their program, participants are expected to return to their home countries.

The J1 Exchange Visitor Program categories:

The various J1 Visa categories cover the Private, Academic and Government Sectors

The Private Sector:

Alien Physician

Au Pair

Camp Counselor

Student, Secondary School

Summer Work/ Travel


Trainee and Intern and Flight Trainee

The Academic and Government Sectors:

Government Visitor

International Visitor

Short term scholar

Professor and research scholar


Student College/University