Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. Exchange visitor (J) visas are nonimmigrant visas for individuals approved to participate in exchange visitor programs in the United States.
Exchange visitor categories include:
- Au pair and EduCare: A young adult lives with a host family for 12 months and experiences U.S. culture while providing child care and taking courses at an accredited U.S. post-secondary institution.
- Short-term Scholar: Professors, scholars, and other accomplished individuals travel on a short-term visit to lecture, observe, consult, train, or demonstrate special skills at U.S. research and academic institutions, museums, and libraries.
- Camp Counselor Specialist:
- Government Visitor:
- Student, college/university: Students study at a U.S. degreegranting post-secondary accredited academic institution, participating in a degree, non-degree, or student internship program.
- Intern: College and university students or recent graduates gain exposure to U.S. culture as they experience U.S. business practices in their chosen occupational field.
- Student, secondary:
- International Visitor (Dept. of State use):
- Summer Work Travel: College and university students at foreign universities gain first-hand experience as they work in seasonal or temporary jobs and travel in the United States during their summer.
- Professor and Research Scholar: These two categories promote the exchange of ideas, research, and linkages between research and academic institutions in the United States and foreign countries.
- Trainee: Professionals with a degree, professional certificate, or relevant work experience gain exposure to U.S. culture and receive training in U.S. business practices through a structured and guided work-based program.
Employer Opportunities for J-1 Program:
Employers interested in transforming your business with international talent or training individuals to start overseas branches of your company will find an invaluable solution with the J-1 Visa.
How to Apply:
- The first step in the process is to decide what type of participant you would like to hire out the list of programs. Each program has an information page specifically targeted to hosts and employers.
- The second step is contacting one of the Designated Sponsors for the chosen program. The Designated Sponsors are the organizations that administer the exchange program and connect hosts and employers with participants.
Find out how other employers are seeing the benefits of participating in the J-1 Visa Program.