J-1 visas are for for individuals who will participate in work-and study-based exchange visitor programs, specifically designated by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs. The J-1 visa category is extremely versatile and includes programs ranging from AuPair and to foreign medical doctors.

A. AuPair

Foreign nationals, ages 18 to 26, may come to the United State to live with host families and provide them with childcare services. This is a mutually rewarding experience for both parties since since the foreign national gets to experience the American way of life while host families receive reliable and responsible childcare services from individuals who become a part of the family.

B. Camp Counselor

Post-secondary students, youth workers, and teachers may apply for J-1 visa to work as camp counselors and share their cultural perspective with our youth.

C. Interns and Trainees

Internship and trainee programs are for foreign students or recent graduates to come to the United States to gain exposure to U.S. culture and receive hands-on experience in U.S. business practices in their particular field.

D. Summer work and travel

College students travel to the United States during their summer break periods to share their culture through temporary work and travel opportunities.

E. Teachers

Foreign teachers may apply for J-1 visas to teach at accredited primary and secondary schools in the United States.

F. Professors and Research Scholars

Professors and research scholars come to the United States to lecture, consult, and perform research at various research institution, post-secondary accredited academic institutions or similar types of institutions.

G. College and University Students

Foreign students may also apply for J-1 visas to study at U.S. colleges and universities, or participate in internship programs that provide them with training needed to complete the educational requirements at their home countries.

H. Foreign Medical Graduates

Foreign medical graduates and physicians may participate in U.S. graduate medical education and training programs at accredited U.S. medical schools. // Some J-1 applicants may become subject to a mandatory two year home residence requirement. This requirement applies to all foreign medical graduates, as well as to applicants whose programs were funded either completely or partially with U.S. or home country government funding, or are nationals or permanent residents of a country which has determined the field of specialized knowledge or skill to be necessary to the development of the country. The specific fields, as applicable to different nationalities, are displayed in the U.S. Department of State’s Exchange Visitor Skills List. J-1 visa holders who are subject to the two year home residence requirement are not allowed to change their status to H-1B or L-1 visa categories, obtain U.S. permanent residence or apply for fiancee visa until they have either fulfilled the required or have obtained a waiver. // The U.S. government may waive the J-1 two year home residence requirement in certain situations:

    A. No Objection Statement
    J-1 visa holders may obtain an official statement from their home countries, in essence saying that the home country does not object if the foreign national does not return home for two years to share the training he or she has received in the U.S.

    B. Persecution
    Individuals who fear persecution upon returning to their home countries based on their race, religion, or political opinion may apply for a persecution waiver. It is worth noting, however, that the burden of proof in such cases is higher than even with asylum applications, where applicants need only prove a “reasonable fear” of persecution whereas J-1 waiver applicants must document they would persecuted upon return with near certainty.

    C.Exceptional Hardship to Qualifying Relatives
    J-1 visa holders who have U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouses or children may apply for a waiver of the two year home residence requirement if returning to their home countries would impose exceptional hardship on the relatives.

    D.Interested Government Agency or State Public Health Department
    J-1 foreign medical graduate who have committed to work for full three years at a health care facility in an area that has been designated as having a shortage of doctors or at an interested federal government agency such as the Department of Veterans affairs may also be granted a waiver of the two year home residence requirement.