J-1 visa for participants of education, science and culture programs

A J-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa issued to participants of various programs for the exchange of knowledge and experience in the field of education, science, and culture. Students, university and school teachers, researchers and other citizens whose organizations work on J-1 exchange programs, “Work and Travel” for example, are eligible to receive a J-1 visa. More than 170,000 people participate in similar J-1 visa programs each month.

Main advantages and features of the J-1 visa:

The right to enter and stay in the USA until the end of the program.
You can also bring your spouse, as well as children under the age of 21.
It is an ability to legally work for you and your family members in the USA.
If you got a J-1 visa, you need to complete all the points of the program for which a J-1 visa was issued.
With a J-1 visa, you will be given the opportunity to freely move around the United States, as well as leave and enter the country during the validity period of the visa.

The US government provides agencies with the opportunity to sponsor foreign nationals and obtain a J-1 visa. There are specific requirements for J-1 program candidates. First of all, you must be fluent in English at the level of the required program. You need to have health insurance and pay all necessary fees; the amount varies depending on the program. There are certain criteria for programs that you must also meet. If you have a J-1 visa, your spouse and children under the age of 21 can also receive J-2 visa status.

To apply for a J-1 visa, you need to receive a DS-2019 form from the program sponsor. This is the primary document, thanks to which you can apply to the US embassy for a J-1 visa. The DS-2019 form determines the program participant, sponsor, the duration of the program, provides information on the participant’s activities and financial expenses. Once you receive the DS-2019 form, you should apply for a visa to enter the United States at an embassy or consulate in your country.

You need to provide the following documents specified in the general instructions for the DS-2019 form.

You also need to provide documents confirming your intentions and goals when entering the United States, as well as documents explaining the international exchange program. When you apply with family members, you must also provide documents of your family members to obtain a J-2 visa – a birth certificate, a marriage certificate, a spouse’s passport, and so on.

The duration of stay in the country is limited by the duration of the program and is indicated in the form of DS-2019. You also have the right to stay in the country for 30 days after the end of the program. Note that for some program participants, after completing the exchange program for a J-1 visa, they must return to their home country for permanent residence for 2 years. You will find more detailed information about these restrictions in our article on “How to get Waiver for a two-year commitment on a J-1 visa.”

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