J-1 Visas

J-1 Visas

BACKGROUND

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.


COMMON QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Who is eligible to apply for a J-1 visa?

What are the criteria for a J-1 visa?

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

What if I want to change my status after having been on a J-1 visa? Do I need to leave the United States?

Are there any instances where the two-year mandatory home-country physical presence requirement can be waived?

What if I have more questions regarding J-1 Visas?

 

Who is eligible to apply for a J-1 visa?

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.

What are the criteria for a J-1 visa?  

Applicants must be sponsored by a university, private sector company or a government program.

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

There is a 30 day grace period for individuals to stay in the united States after their exchange program ends.

What if I want to change my status after having been on a J-1 visa? Do I need to leave the United States?

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.

Are there any instances where the two-year mandatory home-country physical presence requirement can be waived?  

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.

What if I have more questions regarding J-1 Visas?

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.


The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal in vice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.