The J-1 Visa or Exchange Visitor Program was first implemented in 1961 as part of the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961.   The purpose of this act was to promote cultural exchange between the United States and other nations.  The J-Visa focuses on all individuals who are approved through a Department of State sponsor program to teach, study, receive training or demonstrate special skill.

Some who qualify for J-1 status if sponsored through an accredited Exchange Visitor Program include:

  • Au Pair
  • Camp Counselor
  • College or University Student
  • Government Visitor
  • Intern
  • International Visitor
  • Physician
  • Professor and Research Scholar
  • Secondary School Student
  • Short-Term Scholar
  • Specialist
  • Summer Work Travel
  • Teacher
  • Trainee


In order for J-1 status to be awarded, individuals must show they meet certain criteria.  These criteria are:

  1. Demonstrating that he/se has residence in a country with no intention of abandoning that country
  2. A Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (Form DS-2019) obtained from the program sponsor

Things to Consider

Some J-1 programs require that the alien return to his/her home country for a period of 2 years, after completion of J-1 status.  However, there are some instances where this requirement can be waived.

How We Can Help You

Fairfax J-1 Visa lawyer, Beeraj Patel understands the nuances of having a J-1 Visa and the many steps needed to manage a J-1 Visa.  KPPB Law can help you with all the possibilities and requirements that come with a J-1 Visa including:

  • Provide advice for the two-year home residency requirement (HRR) and waiver.
  • Managing change of status from a J-1 Visa
  • Handling J-1 Visa Maintenance
  • Assistance with obtaining a Visa at a consular post abroad.

For further reading on J-1 student visas please visit our blog section.

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