Home Travel J1 visa requirements and application

J1 visa requirements and application


A J1 visa is a United States type of temporary nonimmigrant visa. It is issued to exchange program visitors, such as professors and research scholars coming to the US to study, lecture, demonstrate special skills, teach, conduct medical education, train, and observe.

The purpose of issuing a J1 visa for these programs is to promote cultural exchange among nations with the United States. However, before you are granted this visa, you must meet the eligibility requirements and possess all the documents listed by the immigration authorities. 

You must also abide by the agreement to exit the US and return to your country of residence for two years immediately after your program expires. The reason for the mandatory return is for you to transfer your knowledge from your stay in the US to your community and nation.

Also Read:  H1b visa requirements and application

What qualifies you for a United States J1 visa?

To qualify for the J1 exchange visitor program visa, you must have an exchange sponsor assigned by the US Department of State, whether they are from the public or private sector. Then, you must ensure that you will abide by the visa agreement, have the right requirements and documents, and follow the due application process.

How long does it take to obtain an exchange visitor visa (J1)?

The waiting period for your J1 visa is not general. It depends on your location, country, and the circumstances surrounding your application process. However, you need to enter the US 30 days before your program commences, so you must begin your application as early as possible.

Requirements to apply for a J1 exchange visitor visa

As you are getting prepared to apply for this visa, you must gather the following documents

  • Passport-sized photographs that were taken in line with the US immigration photo requirements
  • Your international passport is still valid
  • Complete, download, and print the online Form DS-160, non-immigration visa application.
  • Visa application fee of $140 receipt 
  • Form DS-2019, which is the certificate of eligibility. Your sponsor will send it to you and show that you have been accepted into an exchange program in the US.

Can I extend my J1 visa?

It is possible to extend your visa by extending your program. You must speak to your sponsor about the need to extend your program. If your wish is granted, you will receive a new Form DS-2019 that shows the new changes to your program. Moreover, you can apply for a waiver if you can not return for the mandatory two-year home country physical appearance requirement. Your reason must be substantial and convincing enough and must pass through the right channel.

How to apply for the J1 exchange visitor visa

Your application process starts by locating the US embassy or consulate in your country of residence.

  • Visit the embassy with your documents
  • Schedule an interview
  • Attend your interview and correctly answer the questions
  • Submit your documents
  • Wait for the embassy to give you your visa verdict. If it is successful, you will receive a mail.

Can I participate in another program after finishing my program?

Each exchange visitor visa is for one exchange program and one sponsor per time. Your visa expires after your current program, and you must exit the US afterward.

Meanwhile, if you wish to attend a different exchange program with a different sponsor, you must reapply for a J1 visa and be accepted once again.

What do I do if my visa expires during my program?

If your visa expires while your program is still running, you do not need to apply for a visa renewal. You must not travel out of the US at this point. If you travel outside the US, you must apply for a new visa from your country of residence before you can return and continue with your program.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here