Overview of the J-1 Visa
The J-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa for an exchange visitor wishing to stay temporarily in the U.S. There are a number of different programs within the J-1 category. These include interns, trainees, professors or scholars, research assistants, students, teachers, specialists, nannies/au pairs, and camp counselors. At Vrazalic Law Firm, we assist individuals with two of these categories: J-1 Intern visas and J-1 trainees visas. We also assist our clients with J-1 waivers.
Qualifying for the J-1 Visa
The purpose of the J-1 intern visa is to reinforce a student’s academic study, recognize the need for work-based experience, provide on-the-job exposure to U.S. techniques, methodologies and expertise, and enhance the intern’s knowledge of U.S. culture and society. The maximum duration for a J-1 intern visa is 12 months.
To qualify for the J-1 intern visa, the applicant must be:
The purpose of the J-1 trainee visa is to enhance a trainee’s understanding of U.S. culture and society and his/her occupational field through exposure to U.S. techniques, methodologies and expertise. The maximum duration for a J-1 trainee visa is 18 months.
To qualify for the J-1 trainee visa, the applicant must:
Some foreign nationals who enter the U.S. in J-1 visa status are subject to a two-year home residency requirement. The requirement must either be satisfied or waived by USCIS before the foreign national can change status to H, L, or K or seek permanent residency (apply for green card status).
If the foreign national is unable to comply, the individual may petition the government to waive the requirement. There are four ways to obtain a waiver of the two-year home residency requirement:
To learn more about your options contact our San Francisco law firm to speak with one of our immigration attorneys.