The J-1 visa for Exchange Visitors is 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. These J-1 Exchange Visitor program is designed to promote the interchange or persons, knowledge, and skills, in the fields of education, arts, and science.
The US Department of State designates public and private entities to act as exchange sponsors.
There are currently 12 categories of J-1 Exchange Visitors:
- Research scholars
- Short Term Scholars
- Trainees & Interns
- College / University Students
- Secondary School Students
- Foreign Medical Graduates
- International & Government Visitors
- Camp Counselors
- Summer Work/Travel Students
- Nannies/Au pairs
Because the U.S. Department of State plays the primary role in administering the J-1 exchange visitor program, you will need to work closely with your sponsoring agency to assemble all the required documentation.
Whether or not employment is authorized for J-1 nonimmigrants depends on 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.
Spouses and dependent unmarried children under 21 years of age are eligible for J-2 classification. J-2 spouses and dependents are entitled to apply for employment authorization.