Individuals may come to the United States to participate
in one of the many exchange visitor programs approved
by the United States Department of State (DOS)
(formerly the United States Information Agency
(USIA). These approved programs are operated by
a large variety of schools, businesses, organizations
and institutions, which have the purpose of promoting
international cooperation through the exchange
We assist exchange visitors and their dependent
family members in obtaining the J-1 visa. We prepare
the extensive paperwork, guide them through the
ever-changing rules, regulations and definitions,
coordinate matters with sponsors and the U.S.
government, and represent the parties before the
INS and U.S. Department of State in the U.S. as
well as the consulate of the employee’s
home country. We guide the parties through decisions
related to the exchange visitor program in accordance
with State Department regulations, financial requirements,
language requirements, travel issues, extensions
of stay, the two year foreign residency requirement,
and the eventual change from a J-1 visa to another
visa, as appropriate.
J-1 Visa is outlined below.
The J-1 Visa is available to bona fide students,
scholars, trainees, teachers, professors, research
assistants, specialists, or leaders in fields
of specialized knowledge or skill, or other persons
of similar description who come to the U.S. to
teach, instruct, lecture, study, observe, research,
or consult in their area of expertise, or receive
training. The J visa is used primarily by four
groups: 1) students coming to the U.S. to study
at a university; 2) scholars and other experts,
often university professors in other countries,
who come to U.S. universities or research organizations
to undertake research or train other people in
their skills; 3) foreign medical graduates coming
to U.S. medical schools to receive graduate medical
education, or to U.S. hospitals or medical institutions
to receive medical training in the form of internships
and residencies; and 4) individuals from business
or industrial organizations coming to the U.S.
to receive training in a particular area, in a
specific company’s methods and techniques,
or an introduction to U.S. business or industrial
J-1 Visa Privileges:
• You may come to the U.S to participate
in one of the many exchange visitor programs
approved by the U.S. Department of State.
• J-1 visas can be issued quickly.
• You may work legally in the U.S. if
work is part of your approved program, or if
you receive permission to work from the program
• You may travel freely in and out of
the U.S. for the term of the visa.
• Relatives may obtain visas to accompany
you, and they may work with special INS permission
if the money is not needed to support you.
J-1 Visa Prerequisites
• You must first be accepted in an approved
exchange program before you can apply for a
• Your activities are restricted to those
for which your visa has been approved.
• J-1 visas are issued for a maximum term
of 3 years. Students between of 15 and 18 who
participate in a high school exchange program
may be issued a J-1 visa for a maximum of one
• You may be required to return to your
home country for at least two years before you
are permitted to obtain a green card, or change
status to an “L” or “H”
visa, which would permit you to work in the
U.S. Waivers may be obtained from this restriction
under special circumstances.