The J-1 Exchange Visitor visa falls under the nonimmigrant visa category and is, therefore, a temporary permit. It is required for anyone who is looking to visit (i.e enter) the country for the purpose of employment, receiving training, or taking part in a research program, under the banner of an approved exchange program sponsored by either the educational or non-profit organization.
Note: it is specifically for visitors who are taking part in the visitor exchange program and is therefore not a suitable visa for general employment, training, and research.
Who can apply for a J-1 Exchange Visa
Students, foreign post-graduate professionals looking to enhance their cultural experience, foreign scholars, foreign business trainees, provided they fall under the banner of the exchange program, and are sponsored by an associated organization.
The J-1 Exchange visa categories include the following
There is a variety of official exchange programs that have been set up and enough information to take you comfortably through the process.
It’s important to note that these visas are limited to the particular use of the exchange program only, and exchange visitors can not travel under the B-1 or B-2 visa.
Working in the U.S with a J-1 Exchange Visa
In general, the J-1 visa holder is only allowed to work for their sponsor. There are a few exceptions though, but these are still related to the program. Work outside of the exchange program that is not related to the program is not permitted.
The duration of the J-1 Exchange Visa A first-time J-1 exchange visa holder is allowed to enter the U.S a full month (30 days) before the registration date of the DS-2019 form. It also allows for a further 30 days stay after the program has ended.
J-1 Visa Basics