Do you want to know What Is J1 Visa? A J1 visa makes it possible for individuals to participate in one of the many work-study exchange visitor programs. Once approved, these exchange visitors can enter the US and take part in pre-defined activities. Those include teaching, lecturing, studying, research, consulting, training, and completing graduate medical education.

They may choose a sponsor from amongst both the public and private entities. The Department of State is in charge of these programs that are designed for the promotion of the fields of science, art, and education. They focus on exchange of the knowledge, skills, and people.

Popular J-1 Visa Programs

As a J1 candidate, you may choose one of the programs that suits your needs. Most of them have J1 Visa Requirements for a proficiency in English – verified by a language test – and the participant to be 18 years old.

We discuss some of them below:


An intern in a J1 Visa Program may stay in the country for twelve months. These foreign professionals come to the US for training in their occupational field. The candidates must have recently completed post-secondary education or are enrolled in it outside the US to be eligible.

Camp Counselor

Youth workers and post-secondary students can work at American summer camps. They must be good with children and enrolled in a post-secondary educational institution. The term allowed is four months long sans any extensions.

Highs School/Middle School

J1 Student Visa allows you to choose which public or private high/middle school to attend. Their host family or a boarding school provides a home for them since they won’t be permitted to live with any relatives in the US. They remain for the school year and can only participate in this program if they haven’t done so before.

Au Pair Program

The candidate cannot be older than 26 and must be in good health. They will take care of a US family in exchange for board, academic coursework fee, and food. The program lasts for 12 months and can be only be participated in once. Childcare training, background checks, and non-smoking habit are other requirements unique to this category.

College and University Student Program

Similar to the middle school program but for college and university students. Full-time attendance and maintaining a good grade are mandatory. Usually, the government – US or that of their home country – funds their education in such a program. They may stay until they complete their education.

Trainee Program

Exposure to and training from US business practices in a specific occupational field are the reasons behind the creation of the trainee program. Trainees must have educational background and experience in the relevant field. The age limit is 20 years old. They can apply to stay between 3-18 months.

J1 Application Process

The J 1 Visa Eligibility process hinges on one main thing: finding a sponsor. While trainees and students may find they have various options, a candidate for an au pair program may find that isn’t so. Either way, the application process works like this:

Find a Sponsor

After choosing a program, the candidate will contact a designated sponsor approved by the state department. The sponsor will then supervise them throughout the application process. Candidates can choose a sponsor based on which state they intend to travel to.

Complete a DS-2019 Form

After reviewing their application, the sponsor issues Form DS-2019 to a prospective applicant. The form will require details of identification from both, description of the program, exchange category, duration, and estimated cost.

Pay the Fees

Except for federally funded initiatives, all sponsors may charge a fee. The amount will depend on the sponsor, and the applicant must pay it. Aside from that, they will also need to the SEVIS fee once the sponsor issues them Form DS-2019. Some programs waive those charges, and the sponsor will duly inform the candidate if that is the case. Finally, since the J1 is a nonimmigrant visa, the applicant will pay its fee, which is part of the J1 Visa Cost, at the US Embassy or Consulate.

Attend the Interview

The candidate must attend the interview to move on to the next stage, i.e., issuance of the visa.

Can You Work on a J1 Visa?

Whether you can work or not will depend on the kind of exchange program you are a part of. For instance, an au pair must do their au pair duties for at least 6 hours a day to retain their status. Similarly, camp counselor program candidates cannot serve as staff. That includes working as janitors, office workers, dishwashers, and cooks. Students must attend classes full-time, so they cannot get most kinds of employments. However, earning via occasional jobs, such as babysitting or yard work, is mostly okay.

Can Dependents Work?

As J1 visa holders can take a spouse or unmarried children younger than 21 with them, the dependents must apply for J-2 visas. They can obtain work authorization by filing Form 1-765. But they may not use their income to support their J1 visa holding parent/partner.

Contact Attorney Eric Price Today!

Navigating the intricacies of each J1-approved program and even J1 Visa Application can be tricky. If you have any doubts about, don’t wait for it to become an issue and contact Eric Price at the earliest.

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