Who Is Eligible For A J1 Visa Visitor Exchange Program
Each exchange program category has its own eligibility criteria. One basic requirement which applies to all categories is that the exchange visitor must be proficient in the English language. There are also some benchmark insurance requirements, such as program participants having medical insurance which provides for the minimum benefit levelsas required by the program regulations.
Full details on each category and its eligibility requirements can be found here.
Additional J1 Visa Extensions
Once you have been granted a J1 visa extension, it is very difficult to be granted any additional extensions. Those are typically only granted in exceptional circumstances. In order for any additional extensions to be authorized, your program sponsor will have to send a request directly to the Department of State.
This request will have to contain an in-depth explanation of the petition and will also have to provide supplementary documentation. If this petition is submitted, you will have to pay an additional fee of $246, which is nonrefundable.
Locate A Designated Sponsoring Organization
A J-1 program organization is any private or public entity approved by the DOS to act as an exchange program sponsor. There are many of them offering different categories of programs, so you will need to choose the one that relates to your intended program. The addresses and official locations of all the approved J-1 program sponsor organizations are listed here.
Every J-1 applicant must find an organization to accept them into their program. The sponsors usually screen their applicants before admitting them. You can send an application to the organization requesting for a chance to participate.
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J1 Visa Extension Required Documents
You will need to submit the following documents with your DS-2019 in order to apply for a J1 visa extension:
- Your Form DS-2019 and IAP-66
- Your passport
- Proof of your J1 Visa health insurance
- Evidence of financial capabilities
- A valid explanation for the extension with supplementary documentation
Fortunately, you will not have to pay a SEVIS fee again when you apply for your J1 visa extension.
Waivers Of Foreign Residency For J
A waiver of the physical presence requirement may be granted in any one of the following situations:
- “No Objection” Statement from the visitor’s home government is obtained
- The visitor claims that she or he will be persecuted if returned home
- A U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse or child claims that exceptional hardship will result if the visitor returns home
- A request is made on behalf of the visitor by an interested U.S. government agency
- A request is made on behalf of the visitor by a designated health agency or its equivalent.
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All About J1 Exchange Visitor Visa
The J1 visa is designed for students who are coming to the USA on an exchange program for a specific period. In addition, students can receive practical training through their programs to enhance their knowledge and skills that will help them find better jobs when they return home. Participants of J1 visas are allowed to stay in the USA maximum of 18 months while they attend academic courses or complete training. To be eligible for a J1 visa, a student should meet the following criteria:
To Pay The Sevis Fee Online
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What Is The Application Process For The J1 Visa
The first thing to do is to get a program sponsor. You can check the list of designated sponsors on the official J1 visa website. From the list, you can sort the sponsors according to your visa category. Each of the sponsors has different screening methods.
If a sponsor approves your application, you can then apply for the Visa. Youll be enrolled in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System . Your sponsor can help you with the visa application as well. You mainly have to fill and submit Form DS-160 the U.S. online nonimmigrant visa application form for your application.
Simply provide all necessary details and upload your passport photograph to complete the form. The form will provide all the details about your sponsor and program that you should know. Notably, itll include the programs start & end date and how much youll pay for it.
Trainee program applicants have to submit Form DS-7002. The form describes all you have to do in your training or internship. Form DS-7002 is also an online form. Print the confirmation page after submitting your forms. Next, you have to pay your fees.
Before You Apply For A J
Once you have found a J-1 program sponsor and you have enrolled in an exchange visitor program, you must pay two fees before beginning the J-1 visa application process.
- Program Fees These fees depend on your program details. You should ask your sponsor for a breakdown of these costs. Only individuals in a federally funded exchange program are exempt from program fees.
- SEVIS FeeThe SEVIS fee funds the Student and Exchange Visitor Program and the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System . Your sponsor may pay this fee on your behalf. If they do, they must provide a receipt confirming payment. You will need this receipt during the J-1 visa application process. If your sponsor does not pay the SEVIS fee, you must do so at www.fmjfee.com. The fee can range anywhere from $35 – $350 depending on a number of factors.
After you have paid the required fees, your sponsor will register you for SEVIS and will issue you a Form DS-2019.
The Form DS-2019, also called the Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status, is the primary document used in the administration of the exchange visitor program. It identifies the exchange visitor, their sponsor, a program description including start and end date, program category, and an estimated cost of the exchange program.
Keep this form safe, as it is necessary during the J-1 visa application process and for all administrative procedures that take place during your program.
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J1 Visa Processing Time
The processing period for your J-1 visa application using Form DS-2019 might take up to four weeks. The organisation requires that amount of time to evaluate your application, complete the processing of your documents, and send the DS-2019 to your home address directly. This indicates that the initial stage in the process of applying for a J-1 visa might take around one month to complete.
Complete The Online Visa Application
- Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 Learn more about completing the DS-160. You must: 1) complete the online visa application and 2) print the application form confirmation page to bring to your interview.
- You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. Your photo must be in the format explained in the .
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Documents Required When Applying For A J Visa
When applying for a J-1 visa, the following documents must be submitted to the embassy or consulate. English translations must be attached to all documents prepared, since they will be screened in the United States. Submittal of documents other than the following may be demanded depending on the status of screening and the applicant.
Basic documents required when applying for a J visa
- Online application form
- Documentation of interview appointment with embassy or consulate
- Passport valid for at least six months beyond the planned period of stay in the U.S.
- Expired passports issued within the past 10 years
- Identification photo taken within the past six months Note: This must be a color photo taken against a white backdrop, with no eyeglasses worn
- DS-2019 Note: You may be interviewed without the DS-2019 if it is not received at least one month prior to the start of the program.In such a case, mail the DS-2019 to the U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as it arrives.
- Certification of enough savings to cover costs of stay in the U.S.Note: Prepare an original bank balance certificate or passbook, and prepare documents certifying the relationship to the applicant and the supporters funds if supported by a parent or guardian or another supporter.
- For interns and trainees, copy of form DS-7002
- For applicants other than those participating in exchange programs supported by the U.S. federal government, certification of payment of SEVIS costs
Entering The United States
A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. A visa only allows a foreign citizen to travel to a U.S. port-of-entry and request permission to enter the United States. The Department of Homeland Security , U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials at the port of entry have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States.
After you present your passport, visa, and DS-2019 at the port-of-entry, a CBP official will make this decision. Once you are allowed to enter the United States, the CBP official will provide an admission stamp or paper Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record.
Learn about procedures for students entering the United States on the CBP website under Arrival Procedures for Students or Exchange Visitors. Learn more about admissions and entry requirements, restrictions about bringing food, agricultural products, and other restricted/prohibited goods, and more by reviewing the CBP website.
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Applying For A No Objection Statement
The Embassy will provide you with a statement that the Australian Government has no objection to you not returning to Australia and no objection to the possibility of you becoming a lawful permanent resident of the United States. This statement must be submitted directly to the Department of State Waiver Review Division by the Embassy.
To apply for a “No Objection” Statement you are required to submit the following documents by mail:
- a copy of your completed data sheet, including the “Third Party Barcode Page”
- your waiver case file number
- a cover letter with your contact details
- the number, place of issue and expiration date of your Australian passport
- USD$177, payable by Visa or Mastercard only ). No cash/cheques are accepted and
- a signed declaration made before and signed by a Notary Public in the following form:
- I do solemnly and sincerely declare that I am under no obligation, financial or otherwise, to return to Australia at the completion of my exchange in the United States of America under the J Visa program.
Applications should be addressed to:
Consular Affairs – J Visa WaiverEmbassy of Australia
What Is The Difference Between A J
While J-1 student visas and F-1 student visas seem similar, there are distinct differences you should be aware of when choosing the visa you want to apply for:
Refer to the Exchange Visitor Program to learn more about the differences between F-1 vs J-1 visas and Shorelightâs F-1 visa guide for more information.
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To Pay The Sevis Fee By Mail
The mailing addresses for paying by check or money order using the paper Form I-901 are:
P.O. Box address for regular mail service:I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing FeeP.O. Box 970020
Street address for courier/express delivery:I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee1005 Convention PlazaSt. Louis , MO 63101
Receive Your Sevis Id
SEVIS is the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, which manages data about international students and exchange visitors in the U.S. It tells the U.S. government where you live, where you intern or train, and your legal status on the Career Training USA program.
Before applying for the J-1 Visa, you will receive an email from InterExchange that includes your SEVIS ID number, as well as instructions on how to retrieve your SEVIS fee payment receipt. These items are necessary for completing the DS-160 Non-Immigrant Visa Application.
As an exchange visitor, your SEVIS fee payment is required. However, if you are bringing any dependents, they do not have to pay a separate SEVIS fee.
NOTE: All applicants must pay the SEVIS fee to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to cover the SEVIS administration costs. InterExchange will submit your payment on your behalf, and it is non-refundable once payment has been submitted. The fee is $220, and this is already included in your program fees.
Once youve reviewed your approval email, head to the Department of States Consular Electronic Application Center to fill-in and submit the DS-160 Non-immigrant visa application.
Watch our video belowfor tips on how to complete your DS-160 Application:
Remeber to bring with you the following documents to the U.S. Embassy/Consulate:
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Evidence Of Ties To Your Home Country
The J-1 visa is a temporary visa, which requires all participants to return to their home countries upon the completion of their programs. It does not have dual intent, a designation that allows the adjustment of status to permanent residence, as other visas may allow. You will need to provide evidence of ties to your home country to prove that you arent intending to abandon your country or overstay your visa after completing your program.
There is no general rule to this requirement as applicants have varied circumstances. Some of the acceptable ties include having your immediate family members, employment, business, or a large sum of money back home. The stronger the ties are, the more convincing they will appear to the immigration officers.
How To Apply For A Waiver Request Of The Two
You can apply for a waiver of the two-year residency requirement by sending a request to waive the condition to the Department of State, Waiver Review Division. You can apply for a waiver only if you have strong reasons why you cannot fulfill this requirement, which include the following:
- You have a no-objection statement from your country.
- You have a request for work by an interested US federal government agency.
- You may be persecuted if you go back to your country.
- Your US citizen spouse and children may suffer exceptional hardship if you go back.
- You have a request to stay from the Conrad State 30 Program.
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Requirements For Us Host Companies
- At least 3 permanent employees per J-1 applicant
- Preparation and compliance of a training plan for your internship
- Enter the companys tax number
- Submission of a copy of the Workers Compensation Policy . This must also cover trainees.
- Guest company can not be a home office.
- With less than 25 employees AND less than $ 3 million annual turnover, a company visit must be completed by us.
How To Request J
To request a J-1 visa waiver, you will need to file a DS-3035. The form must be completed with relevant information, which includes your SEVIS number, the date you entered the U.S. under J-1 status, and information about your J-2 dependents . You will also need every DS-2019/IAP-66 ever issued to you as well as supporting evidence to prove that you meet the requirements for the waiver. The J-1 visa waiver filing fee is $120.
After submitting the waiver application and fee, you will be able to track its processing status by visiting theJ-1 Visa Waiver Online Tracker. You will have access to your case by clicking Check the Status and then entering your case number. If the DOS needs more supporting documents from you, this will be stated on the website. The processing time for a properly filed J-1 visa request will depend on the type of waiver you are seeking:
- No Objection Statement: 12 to 16 weeks
- Persecution: 12 to 16 weeks
- Interested Federal Government Agency: 8 to 12 weeks
- Exceptional Hardship: 16 to 24 weeks
- State Public Health Department: 12 to 16 weeks
- Advisory Opinion: 4 to 8 weeks
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About The Us Exchange Visitor Program
The U.S. Exchange Visitor Program allows participants to share their own culture while learning about American culture. It also provides an opportunity for participants to sharpen language, professional, and interpersonal skills that will serve them in future careers.
The exchange visitor program consists of 15 categories. Each category has specific J-1 visa requirements and regulations for participation.
You may be eligible to participate in an exchange program if you fall under one of these categories: