J-1 Visa for the US » Exchange Visitor Program » Answering Your Questions

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The J-1 Visa for the United States is an Exchange Visitor Program for scholars, professors, and exchange visitors who will participate in programs that promote cultural change. It is a non-immigrant visa for individuals or family members wishing to enter the United States on a temporary basis.

Who Qualifies or is Eligible for the J-1 Visa to get in the United States? 

This exchange program is for individuals to study, work, conduct research or teach.

All applicants must meet eligibility criteria, English language requirements, and be sponsored either by a university, private sector or government program.

To be eligible for the J-1 visa, applicants must be one of the following:

  • Trainees and interns in medicine, business, and other fields
  • Secondary, college, and university students
  • Teachers at all academic levels
  • Professors employed to teach and/or perform research at post-secondary institutions
  • Au pairs (foreign persons who live with a family in the US in order to learn English and to look after the family’s children and do housework in exchange for room and board)
  • Government visitors
  • Research scholars

What is the J-1 Visa? 

The J-1 visa is typically issued to visitors who will participate in programs that promote cultural exchange, especially to obtain medical or business training within the US.

The J-1 visa is for international visitors who wish to enter the United States temporarily for educational or cultural exchange purposes.

The intent is for these participants of the Exchange Visitor Program to learn skills while in the US and when they return to their home country they will utilize those skills.

What is the Process to Obtain a J-1 Visa? 

Before applying for the J-1 visa, you must ensure you have the required academic background. You must also ensure that an American organization will act as your sponsor and that you meet eligibility criteria.

You will be required to show that you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay and you will also need to demonstrate that you have strong ties to your home country. You must also be prepared to leave the US when your exchange program has concluded.

What is the Processing Time for the J-1 Visa? 

Processing times for US visas vary depending on several factors:

  • The office or service center responsible for processing the file
  • The type of non-immigrant visa
  • J-1 visa interview wait times (if applicable)
  • Whether the applicant can qualify for an expedited interview appointment
  • Whether Expedited processing is available
  • Whether Premium Processing is available
  • Providing insufficient or incomplete documents can lead to delays in processing and even denials

Top 10 Reasons for Refusal of the J-1 Application 

While there are many reasons why your exchange visitor visa application could be refused, we have listed the top ten most common ones here:

  1. Current and or past immigration status and history for the US or abroad, including overstaying and unauthorized employment
  2. Insufficient funds to support themselves during their stay
  3. Incorrect or incomplete petition
  4. Insufficient supporting evidence
  5. Conflicts with travel documentation
  6. Health concerns
  7. Suspicious of malicious intent
  8. Problems with background check
  9. Criminal history/Being convicted of a crime/Suspected or known ties to terrorism
  10. Material Misrepresentation

The J-1 Visa » Other FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Can a J-1 visa holder seek employment? 

A J-1 visa holder  must work only for their program sponsor, but this can vary.

How long can you stay on a J-1 visa?  

The length of time you can remain in the US on a J-1 visa depends on your specific educational exchange program.

Can a J-1 visa holder study in US? 

Yes, a J-1 visa holder is for students who visit the United States in order to teach, study, receive training, or demonstrate special skills.

The J-1 is usually given to students who are enrolled in specific educational exchange programs and they must receive the majority of their financial support from the institution where they will attend and not from personal funds.

In contrast the F-1 student visa permits the student to receive funds from any source.

Can a J-1 visa holder apply for a green card? 

Yes, please consult an immigration professional at My Visa Source.

Can you get married on a J-1 visa? 

Yes, but this does not automatically qualify you for a green card.

Can I stay in the US after my J-1 visa expires? 

You must leave the US by the date indicated on your I-94 form. When your visa expires doesn’t matter. A US visa is solely for entry into the United States.

The visa expiration date is the last day you are legally permitted to use your visa to enter the US and has nothing to do with how long you can stay in the US.

Why Contact My Visa Source for an Assessment? 

Congratulations on taking your first step toward studying in the United States in order to participate in a program that promotes cultural exchange, especially to obtain medical or business training within the US.

The more research you do on the immigration process, the more you will learn about your specific situation and how we can help you navigate through the J-1 visa process.

Immigration lawyers at My Visa Source dedicate themselves to your immigration case, providing legal representation tailored to your personal situation.

Our expertise focuses on immigration and visa programs for the United States and Canada, including global immigration.

Partnering with an award-winning immigration team greatly increases the likelihood of achieving your specific immigration or visa goals.

Begin Your Application for the J-1 Visa Today! 

Securing personalized legal help is quick and simple. Begin with our one-minute online immigration assessment form or call us toll-free at 1-888-509-1987.

We have a dedicated team of licensed professionals standing by, ready to answer your immigration and visa questions.

Immigration is a complex process that requires strong legal strategy, precise paperwork and perfect attention to detail, reducing the risk of wasted time, money or permanent rejection.

Book a personal consultation to speak with an award-winning immigration lawyer over the phone or on Skype.