The ‘J’ visa is a nonimmigrant visa granted to aliens who wish to come to the United States, for a temporary period of time, to participate in an exchange visitor program designated by the United States Information Agency (USIA).
J-1 : Exchange Visitor
Issued to visitor to allow him/her to participate in an exchange visitor program by the U.S. Information Agency.
J-2 : Family
Issued to the spouse and children (under 21 years) of the beneficiary of the L-1 visa.
allows individuals who are participating in an exchange visitor program designated by the U.S. government to come to the U.S. temporarily; there are several different categories of J visas.
(i) Have a foreign residence that he/she has no intention of abandoning.
(ii)Be a bona fide student, scholar, trainee, teacher, professor, research assistant, specialist or leader in a field of specialized knowledge or skill, or other person of similar description.
(iii)Be entering the U.S. to participate in an exchange visitor program designated by the USIA.
(iv)Be involved in purposes such as teaching, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, receiving training (e.g. post graduate students, research scholars, medical students, etc.)
(v) Be training in a field that can be utilized in a foreign country.
(vi)Have sufficient funds.
(vii)Be fluent in English.
Duration of visa:
variable (depending upon the category)
The J visa allows you to come to the U.S. temporarily if you are participating in a government-approved exchange program. There are several different categories of exchange visitors, among them (1) professors or research scholars coming to the U.S. to teach, lecture, research, observe, or consult; (2) foreign physicians coming to the U.S. to pursue graduate medical training or education; (3) individuals coming to the U.S. to work as a summer camp counselor; (4) university students coming to the U.S. to work during their summer holidays; and (5) individuals between the ages of 18 and 26 coming to the U.S. to work as an au pair. For all categories, you must be participating in an approved exchange program that sponsors your stay in the U.S. In some cases, such as for professors, scholars, or physicians, the sponsoring university or hospital already may have its own approved exchange program. For other cases, such as summer work for university students or au pair positions, there are private programs that have been approved by the U.S. government to sponsor individuals and may help you find a position in the U.S. The amount of time you are allowed to stay in the U.S. depends on the category you fall into. It is important to note, however, that if you spend time in the U.S. on a J visa, you may be required to return home for 2 years before being able to apply for a different type of visa or a green card. In some cases this 2-year home country physical presence requirement can be waived. Your eligibility for the waiver depends upon a variety of different factors, including your country of residence and the type of program you participate in.