Find the right lawyer now

J-1 Visa

Find a Local Immigration Lawyer near You

What Is a J-1 Visa?

The J-1 visa allows foreign nationals to visit the United States in cultural exchange programs and is known as one of the exchange visitor visas. They are available for participants in programs sponsored by schools, businesses, and other U.S. State Department authorized institutions.

How Do I Qualify for a J-1 Visa?

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 in order to participate in their designated exchange program, including the ability to speak English proficiently. Applicants must also carry medical insurance that meet the program minimum requirements.

Anyone applying for a J-1 visa must show that they have no intention to immigrate. 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.

What Can I Do on a J-1?

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, the applicant will be permitted to work for pay. However, participants are generally not allowed to seek outside employment.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Apply for a J-1 Visa?

Only U.S. State Department designated sponsors are authorized to issue the Certificate of Eligibility you need to obtain a J-1 visa. If you or a loved one needs help with a visa application, you should contact an attorney. An experienced immigration lawyer can tell you the requirements of aJ-1 visa and explain the process of obtaining one or any of the other visas that might be applicable to your situation.

A lawyer can also help you with obtaining a J-2 visa if you are entering the country on a J-1 visa and wish to bring along your spouse and dependent children.

Photo of page author Jessica Tam

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 11-07-2013 02:42 PM PST

Law Library Disclaimer
  • No fee to present your case
  • Choose from lawyers in your area
  • A 100% confidential service
What is LegalMatch?

We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.