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Exchange (J - visa)
The "J" exchange visitor program is designed to promote the interchange of persons, knowledge, and skills in the fields of education, arts, and sciences. Participants include students at all academic levels; trainees obtaining on-the-job training with firms, institutions, and agencies; teachers of primary, secondary, and specialized schools; professors coming to teach or do research at institutions of higher learning; research scholars; professional trainees in the medical and allied fields; and international visitors coming for the purpose of travel, observation, consultation, research, training, sharing, or demonstrating specialized knowledge or skills, or participating in organized people-to-people programs. This program is initiated with the motive of establishing educational and cultural exchanges at the international arena.
J-1 Exchange visitor visa is given to foreign nationals who come to US as part of Exchange Visitor program under the Mutual and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961. There are following J-1 visa categories:
- Au pair
- Camp Counselor
- Student, college/university; secondary school
- Government Visitor
- International Visitor
- Alien physician
- Professor and Research Scholar
- Short-term Scholar
- Summer Work and Travel
- Training / Internship
J-1 exchange visitor may not enter the United States earlier than thirty days before their program start and they are granted an extra thirty (30) days following completion of the exchange visitor's program. This 30-day period is known as a grace period. During these thirty days J visa holders are allowed to travel within the US and/or to prepare for departure from the US, and for no other purpose.
J-2 visa is issued to dependents (spouse and minor children) of J-1 visa holder. J-2 children are allowed to attend public or private schools. J-2 holders may apply for work authorization in the United States.
The Summer Work and Travel category of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program provides working holiday opportunities for successful applicants to work during their summer vacation and also to travel and experience life in the US thereby contributing to personal and professional growth. Applicants to the Summer Work/Travel category of the J-1 Visa program must be post-secondary school full-time students proficient in English language at an appropriate level.
J-1 Visas issued in the Summer Work/ Travel category are valid for a stay of four months. Extensions are not permitted. Participants may not be employed as domestic employees or in positions that require them to invest their own money for door-to-door sales.