J-1 (Visa)

J-1 (Visa)
A J-1 visa is for temporary visitors participating in programs for the purpose of education, research, training or consulting.


• It is authorized for those who intend to participate in an approved program 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

• The applicant is sponsored by an exchange program that is designated as such by the US Department of State.

• Examples of exchange visitors include, but are not limited to: Professors or scholars, Research Assistants, Students, Trainees, Teachers, Specialists, Nannies/Au pairs, Camp Counselors


• DS 2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status. A SEVIS-generated Form, DS-2019, is provided to you by your program sponsor, after the sponsor enters your information in the SEVIS system. All exchange visitors, including their spouses and dependents must be registered in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).

• A Training/Internship Placement Plan, Form DS-7002. All exchange visitor (J visa) trainee or intern visa applicants (based on Box 7 on form) must also present Training/Internship Placement Plan, Form DS-7002 when applying for a visa. If your Form DS-2019 is issued prior to July 19, 2007 a Form DS-7002 is not required. For more information about the rules for trainee and intern programs, see the Exchange Visitor Program, Trainees on the ECA website.

• Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160. • A passport valid for travel to the U.S.

• One (1) 2x2 photograph.


Stage 1: Program Application Submitted to ISSS
Stage 2: ISSS approves
Stage 3: Apply J-1 Visa to Local US embassy
Stage 4: Approval/Return of Passport & Visa


Stage 1 to Stage 2: about 3 weeks - (it depends on the program’s processing system) 
Stage 2 to Stage 3: about 3 weeks - (it depends on the workload and processing time of the US Embassy you are applying to) 
Stage 3 to Stage 4: about 1 week - (it depends on the workload and processing time of the US Embassy you are applying to)


A. ISSS is an abbreviation of International Student & Scholar Services located at a college or university
B. Some J-1 visa holders enter the United States specifically to work (as a researcher, nanny, etc.) while others do not. Employment is authorized for J-1 visa holders only under the terms of the exchange program. Please check with your sponsoring agency for more information on any restrictions that may apply to you working in the United States.
C. J-1 Visa holders’ dependents (J-2 visa holders) are entitled to work authorizations; however, their income may not be used to support J-1 visa holders

J-1 visa’s ‘Two-year foreign residency requirement’ rule

The J-1 visa holders are subject to the rule which requires some of J-1 visa holders to return to their country of nationality or permanent residence for an aggregate of at least two years upon completion of their program by one or more of the following reasons
(1) The exchange visitor’s participation in an exchange program was funded by the United States Government, his/her own government, or an international organization
(2) The education, training, or skill the exchange visitor is pursuing in an exchange program appears on the exchange visitor skills list for his/her country
(3) The exchange visitor acquired J-1 status on or after January 10, 1977, for the purpose of receiving graduate medical education or training
You may be eligible to waive this ‘two year foreign residency requirement’ rule if one of following conditions is met:
(1) If the exchange visitor’s home country government issues a no objection statement
(2) If the exchange visitor is working on a project for or of interest to a US Federal Government agency, and that agency has determined that the visitor’s departure for two years to fulfill the requirement will be detrimental to its interest
(3) If the exchange visitor believes that he or she will be persecuted based on his/her race, religion, or political opinion if he/she were to return to his/her home country
(4) If the exchange visitor can demonstrate that his or her departure from the United States would cause exceptional hardship to his or her US citizen or legal permanent resident spouse or child
(5) If the exchange visitor is a foreign medical graduate who has an offer of full-time employment at a health care facility in a designated health care professional shortage area or at a health care facility which serves patients from such a designated area, and agrees to begin employment at that facility within 90 days of receiving such a waiver, and who signs a contract to continue to work at that health care facility for a total of 40 hours per week and for not less than three years


Siyuan Chang