The J-1 visa is designated for educational and cultural exchange programs designated by the US Department of State and the Exchange Visitor Program and Designation Staff. The J-1 exchange visitor program is designed to promote the interchange of persons, knowledge, and skills in the fields of education, arts, and sciences.
Some J-1 visa holders are subject to INA §212(E) and will need to obtain a J1 Waiver before they can change their status to H1B, L1 or to adjust their status to permanent resident.
Spouses and children of J1 visa holders may enter and remain in the US in J2 status. J2 spouses may apply for a work permit. J2 spouses and children may attend school in the US.
Individuals coming to the US for training from programs approved by the DOS in the following areas:
- Au Pairs;
- Camp Counselors;
- College and University Students;
- Government Visitors;
- International Visitors;
- Professors and Research Scholars;
- Secondary School Students;
- Short-term Scholars;
- Summer Work Travel;
- Teachers; and
- Trainees and Flight Training.
A nonimmigrant exchange visitor and his or her accompanying spouse and minor children may be admitted into the United States in J-1 and J-2 classifications, if the exchange visitor and his or her accompanying spouse and children each presents a SEVIS Form DS-2019 issued in his or her own name by a program approved by the Department of State for participation by J-1 exchange visitors. Prior to August 1, 2003, if exigent circumstances are demonstrated, the Service will allow the dependent of an exchange visitor possessing a SEVIS Form DS-2019 to enter the United States using a copy of the exchange visitor’s SEVIS Form DS-2019. However, where the exchange visitor presents a properly completed Form DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status, which was issued to the J-1 exchange visitor by a program approved by the Department of State for participation by exchange visitors and which remains valid for the admission of the exchange visitor, the accompanying spouse and children may be admitted on the basis of the J-1′s non-SEVIS Form DS-2019.