Coming to the US as Part of an Exchange Program With the J1 Visa

Exchange programs are exciting opportunities. These programs, sponsored by private enterprises or by the government, allow a visitor from another country to live and study or work in the US while a US resident travels to the visitor’s country to live and study there. Exchange programs build relationships and allow for cultural and academic learning across borders. They are a great way to learn from other cultures and are a good way to promote respect of different cultures as well.

The J1 Visa (Temporary exchange Visitor Visa) is the visa that exchange visitors coming to the US must secure to enter the country. To qualify for this non-immigrant visa, applicants must be sponsored by an exchange program. To do this, you must find and apply for an exchange program that you qualify for. There are many ways to find such programs Ú libraries usually contain directories of such programs and information about government and private exchange programs is often available online. There are different categories of exchange programs, including programs for physicians, au pairs, summer camp counselors, interns, students, teachers, trainees, government visitors, international visitors, professors, research scholars, specialists, and others. Generally, once you are accepted into an exchange program, you will get additional information about applying for your J1 visa.

To qualify for a J1 visa, you must meet certain requirements. First, you must meet the requirements of an exchange program so that you are accepted. However, US immigration authorities also want to see that exchange visitors will return home after the term of their visa and generally want to see evidence of family ties, work ties, a permanent residence, and other compelling reasons to return home after a stay in the US. As well, the J1 visa applicant must also show that they have enough money to stay in the US for the entire time allotted by the J1 visa. In situations where you will be paid for your exchange program, this can help show your financial fitness.

Like most US visas, the J1 visa comes with restrictions. For example, holders of this visa must take part in the SEVIS program with their sponsor, which means they must information US immigration authorities of any changes to their address or name within ten days of these changes. As well, once a J1 visa holder leaves the US, he or she generally cannot reenter the US for two years Ú during which they need to establish a residence in their home country. In some cases, this requirement can be waived.