J-1 Visa

Anyone visiting the US that is a foreign national must first obtain the relevant visa to allow them to enter the country. There is a wide range of different visa types that cover a variety of reasons for entering the US, including student visas F-1,M-1 and J-1. Before you apply for a US visa, make sure that you are applying for the visa that you are eligible for, or your application will be declined and you will need to go through the process of applying for the correct visa from the beginning.
A J-1 visa is for non-immigrants that are exchange visitors, research scholars and professors. The exchange program must promote cultural exchange and must be through a designated sponsor in the US. The screening for participants in the exchange program is conducted by the sponsors and may include an interview and the participant must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Any approved participant will be required to explain how you can cover your expenses through the exchange and also show that you have ties in your home country that will mean you are intending to return to your home country.

Applying for a J-1

The first step is to find a sponsor that will accept you onto their program. There is a list of designated sponsor organizations across the US that you can apply for, ranging from Au Pair companies and working on summer camps, to university exchange programs
If you are accepted by the sponsor onto their program then you will be provided with a DS-2019 form that is part of the application process for a J-1 visa. You also need to pay the SEVIS fee to the DHS if required to do so, as outlined by your sponsor. The sponsor will be able to provide support in your application process and answer questions if you are unsure about any aspect of the application process.
The applicant must apply at the US Embassy in their home country to attend an interview that will determine whether the visa is approved. Different countries require a different set of documentation for processing your J-1 visa application, so you should check with your US Embassy in terms of what they require for you to take to the interview.

Dependents of J-1 visa holders

Dependents of J-1 visa holders can apply for J-2 dependent status if they wish to join the visa holder for their time in the US. In this circumstance, a family DS-2019 can be completed. J-2 visa holders are able to apply for a work permit if they have an EAD approved to enable them to seek employment in the US.

Other Visas


H-1B Visa for Temporary Employment

The H-1B visa is to grant permission for foreign workers to obtain temporary employment in the US. Part of the Immigration and Nationality Act, it is applicable to workers that are deemed to have a specialty occupation, requiring specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree or work experience that is regarded to be the equivalent.

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M-1 Visa

Any foreign national that is looking to study in the US must obtain a student visa before entering the country. There are three different types of student visas, so it is vital that you check the criteria for each visa to ensure that you apply for the correct one, to avoid getting it declined and delaying the process.

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B-2 for pleasure or for medical treatment

The B-2 visa enables tourists to enter the US, where an ESTA is not applicable either because the applicant is not from one the Visa Waiver Program countries, or because their intended trip is for longer than the duration limit of the ESTA (90 days). The B2 visa is often referred to as the tourist visa USA and can also be used for travellers that are going to the US to receive medical treatment.

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