Powell Immigration Law PC | Business, Employment and Family Immigration Law | California

J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa

A basic overview of the visa is provided here. If you have further inquiries as to the application process or whether or not this is the correct route for your needs, please don't hesitate to contact us.


The J-1 exchange visitor visa program is intended to promote the interchange of persons, knowledge and skills in the fields of education, arts, and sciences.

Participants may include:

  • Students.
  • Trainees undergoing on-the-job training with firms, institutions and agencies.
  • Teachers of primary, secondary and specialized schools.
  • Professors coming to teach or engage in research at institutions of higher learning.
  • Research scholars.
  • Professional trainees in the medical and similar fields.
  • International visitors visiting the United States to tour, observe, consult, conduct research, receive training, demonstrate specialized knowledge or skills, or participate in an organized people-to-people program.


In order to be eligible for a J-1 exchange visitor visa, the following must be demonstrated:

  • The applicant is sponsored by an organization approved by the Department of State (DOS) and which has been granted authority to issue a Form DS-2019 to prospective J-1 applicants.
  • Sufficient funds to cover all expenses or such funds are being provided by the sponsoring organization.
  • Sufficient scholastic preparation to participate in the designated program.
  • Sufficient proficiency in English for participation in the designated program or the sponsoring organization has made special arrangements to for teaching the applicant the English language or the course will be conducted in the native language. Applicants intending to travel to the U.S. soley to participate in an English-language training program may be exempt from this requirement.
  • Permanent residence in the applicant's home country that he or she does not intend to abandon.
  • The intention to depart the U.S. upon the course of study's completion, which may be demonstrated through the presentation of evidence such as economic, social and/or family ties in the home country sufficient to persuade the applicant to depart the U.S. upon the completion of studies.
  • The desired education in the U.S. would be useful in the applicant's home country and would therefore induce him or her to depart the U.S. upon studies' completion.

And, if the applicant intends to travel to the U.S. to receive graduate medical education or training:

  • Passage of the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination in Medical Sciences.
  • The program does not include patient care.


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