J-1 Visas: Exchange Visitors
What is a J-1 Visa?
A J-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa for foreign nationals coming to the United States to participate in approved work-and-study programs for the purpose of teaching, instructing or lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, demonstrating special skills, receiving training, or to receive graduate medical education or training.
J-1 nonimmigrants are sponsored by an external exchange program that is designated as such by the U.S. Department of State. These programs are designed to promote the interchange of persons, knowledge, and skills, in the fields of education, arts, and science and include, but are not limited to the following:
- Professors or scholars
- Research assistants
- Au Pairs
- Camp counselors
J-1 Visa Application Process
The U.S. Department of State primarily administers the J-1 exchange visitor program. Applicants must submit a Form DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status, provided by the applicant’s sponsoring agency.
After having obtained a Form DS-2019, the applicant may then apply for a J-1 visa through the U.S. Department of State at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Waiting times for an interview appointment for applicants vary, so submitting the visa application as early as possible is strongly encouraged. J01 visa holders may not enter the United States more than 30 days before their program begins.
Employment with J-1 Visa
Some J-1 nonimmigrants enter the United States specifically to work. J-1 nonimmigrants are only permitted to work under the terms of their exchange program.
Family of J-1 Visa Holders
Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age are entitled to J-2 classification, as well as employment authorization. Income of J-1 spouses and children may not be used to support the J-1 nonimmigrant. Spouses and children may apply for J-2 employment authorization by filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
Why Peek & Toland?
Our experience and expertise in the J-1 visa program can help you navigate the various sponsor programs and application compliance. Don’t risk denials or delays to work within the United States.
The legal team at Peek & Toland consists of hard-working, dedicated professionals who have been practicing for many years in immigration law. We have experienced attorneys who are well-versed in the specific procedures in multiple embassies and consulates around the globe, and can assist you in starting your trade relations with the U.S. right away.
Call us today so you can get started on your trade enterprise at (512) 399-2311.