Exchange Visitor Program/J-1 Visa

The J-1 (Exchange Visitor Program) is a non-immigrant visa category for individuals that are approved to participate in work or study-based exchange programs designated by the U.S. Department of State. Generally programs fall in the categories of teaching, instructing or lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, demonstrating specific skills, receiving training, graduate medical education/training. Exchange visitors may include, but are not limited to professors, research assistants, students, trainees, teachers, specialists, nannies/au pairs and camp counselors.

Spouses and unmarried children (under age 21) of J-1 holders may receive a J-2 visa. A J-2 visitor’s immigration status ends at the same time as the associated J-1 visitor’s status.

The application process for a J-1 visa requires first obtaining a Form DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status) from a sponsor. Once this has been obtained, an individual may complete the J-1 application process through the U.S. Department of State at a U.S. embassy or consulate.

Certain exchange visitors are subject to a two-year home-country physical presence requirement that requires the individual to return to their home country for at least two years at the end of their exchange program. Some individuals that fall in this category may be eligible for a waiver of this requirement.

Please contact us to learn more about J-1 visas and to schedule a personalized consultation.