The Exchange Visitor (J) non-immigrant visa category is for individuals approved to participate in work-and study-based exchange visitor programs. The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program provides opportunities for approximately 300,000 foreign visitors from 200 countries and territories per year to experience U.S. society and culture and engage with Americans.
J-1 visas are non-immigrant visas issued by the United States to research scholars, professors and exchange visitors. The J-1 visa is designed to promote cultural exchange, including obtaining medical and/or business training within the United States.
Applicants must be sponsored by a university, private sector company or a government program.
There is a 30 day grace period for individuals to stay in the united States after their exchange program ends.
Pursuant to Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, some J-1 persons have a requirement that he or she go back to their home country for 2 years ( known as the 2-year home country physical presence requirement). Therefore, for J-1’s with the two-year home presence requirement, a change of status or applying for a green card is not possible until this residency requirement is fulfilled or a waiver is granted.
Yes, the two-year home-country stay can be waived if 1) A No Objection Statement (NOS) is issued by the J-visa’s home country; 2) the J visa holder can demonstrate that their departure would cause an exceptional hardship to their U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident dependents; 3) they would suffer persecution in their home country; 4) an interested government agency has determined that the J-1 person is working for the agency’s interest and their departure would be detrimental to its interest; or 5) the Conrad Program, in which a foreign medical graduate has an offer a full-time employment in a healthcare facility designated in a healthcare professional shortage area.
Please feel free to contact us for a free initial consultation. We would be happy to answer any questions regarding J-1 that you may have.