The J-1 visa allows foreign nationals to visit the United States in cultural exchange programs. They are available for participants in programs sponsored by schools, businesses, and other institutions.
An applicant for a J-1 visa must be able to come up with all the funds needed to support themselves in the United States. They must also have sufficient scholastic preparation to participate in their designated exchange program, including the ability to speak English proficiently.
Anyone applying for a J-1 visa must show that they have non-immigrant intent. That is, they must not intend to stay in the U.S. indefinitely. They must have binding ties to some domicile in their home country, to which they will be able to return.
Eligibility for employment under a J-1 visa depends on the terms of the program in which the applicant is participating. If the program, by its nature, involves paid work, it will be permitted. However, participants are generally not allowed to seek outside employment.
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Last Modified: 12-21-2011 12:00 PM PST