US J-1 visa

US type J-1 is issued to professionals in the fields of education, science and culture, participants in Work and Travel, Au pair, and other programs. The main purpose of this visa is to promote cultural exchange between Americans and citizens of other countries.

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The main advantage of the J-1 visa is the opportunity to work legally in the United States (if the exchange program provides for it).

US J-1 visa requirements

The J-1 is a broad-based visa covering various groups of programs. You will need it if your trip falls into one of the following categories:

These visas are issued to schoolchildren, students, interns, professors and academics, and foreign visitors invited by the Department of State. The J-1 visa has different requirements depending on each of the above categories. For example, the au pair program in the United States is only open to persons 18 years of age or older and the Work and Travel program is only open to full-time university students.

The general requirements for J-1 visa applicants are as follows:

The spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may travel to the United States with the J1 visa holder. A J2 visa is available for them. It does not entitle you to work by itself, but you can fill out Form I-765 on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website and receive permission to do so.

J1 visa application process: step-by-step

Step 1: Enter the exchange program

Before you can initiate the visa process, you need to become a participant in the exchange program. The sponsoring organization will then give you the DS-2019 form, which you will need to apply for a J1 visa.

Step 2: Pay the fees and fill out the form

The cost of a J1 visa is $160. Exchange visitors must also pay a SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) fee of $180. You can do this at a bank that accepts such payments in your country.

Exchange visitors sponsored by the U.S. government (USG) are exempt from paying a J-1 visa fee.

After paying the fee, you must complete the DS-160 visa form on the U.S. Department of State website. Here you will find detailed instructions on how to complete the form.

The DS-160 form must be accompanied by a digital photograph that meets U.S. visa photo requirements. You can get a matching photo instantly at by simply uploading any portrait of yourself in full-face, even lighting.

Visafoto will edit the background of the photo, set the desired size and format. The resulting photo will be fully compliant with the specified rules.

Confirmation of the DS-160 must be printed out and taken with you to the interview at the embassy.

Step 3: Pass the interview at the U.S. Embassy

After completing the questionnaire, you need to make an appointment for an interview at the embassy in your country. You can do this here CGI federal . Print the confirmation of the appointment and bring it with you. Take all the required documentation (invitation letter, confirmation of application form DS-160, one photo taken within the last six months, valid passport, original copies of receipts for payment of fees, etc.).

Here you can find detailed guidelines for your U.S. visa interview.

J-1 visa: length of stay

J-1 visas vary greatly in duration, depending on the program, contract, and other details.

All J1 visa holders are allowed an additional thirty days in the United States after the exchange program ends. During the grace period, J visa holders are permitted to travel within the country and/or prepare to leave the United States.

J-1 visa extension

As a J-1 visa holder, you also have the right to request an extension of your stay in the United States. To do this, your sponsor must pay a fee of $367. If the extension request is approved, the applicant will receive a new DS-2019 form. If the extension is denied, the original visa expiration date will remain in effect.

After you return back home, you usually must reside in your country for at least two years before you can obtain another J-1 visa. If you want to travel to the United States for tourism purposes, a B1/B2 visa is appropriate.

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