J- Visa & Status

The J-visa/status is for exchange visitors.

J-1 Visa & Status

The J-1 visa is for exchange visitors.


  1. Is a professor or research scholar, short-term scholar, bona fide trainee, college or university student, teacher, secondary school student, nonacademic specialist, foreign physician, international visitor, government visitor, camp counselor, au pair, or summer student in a travel/work program.
  2. Has sufficient funds and fluency in English.
  3. Maintains sufficient medical insurance for accident and illness for participant and J family members in a minimum amount of $50,000 per accident or illness.

J-2 Visa & Status

Spouses and Children

Things to know:

  1. Even the spouses and children are subject to foreign residence requirement. They even may be subject to requirement even if they enter U.S. after spouse completes program with 2-year foreign residence requirement if they obtained visa as spouse and children of applicant. However, if J-1 spouse has fulfilled the 2-year foreign residence requirement the J-2 spouse and children may not be subject to it.
  2. DOS itself will act as an IGA to recommend a waiver for a J-2 in certain circumstances.
  3. In cases of death or divorce from the J-1, or when a J-2 child reaches the age of 21, the Waiver Review Division may entertain requests for waivers on behalf of the J-2. The Division will need a completed data sheet, DS-2019/IAP-66 forms of the J-1, divorce decree or death certificate, whichever is applicable, and for a dependent son or daughter turning 21, a copy of his or her birth certificate.

B-1 in Lieu of J-1 Visa & Status

Certain visitors to the U.S. may have their travel funded by the U.S. government but do not fall within the J-1 category. For example, an employee of an Embassy or Consulate (Foreign Service National Employee) may travel to the U.S. at U.S. government expense to participate in a wide variety of programs (e.g., CIA/ DIA training) that are not authorized exchange visitor programs.

Two-Year Foreign Residence

1.Certain J visa holders are subject to a requirement that they must return to their home country or country of last residence upon completion of their training in the U.S. before they are eligible to adjust status, apply for an immigrant visa, or apply for an H or L visa, or change status inside the U.S. This does not apply to change to A or G, or from change to H-1B for physicians receiving waivers on the basis of a three-year waiver job. INA §§212(e), 214(l), and 248, 8 U.S.C. §§1182(e), 1184(l), and 1258; 22 C.F.R. §41.63

Those J visa holders subject to this 2-year foreign residence requirement are persons:

(a) Whose participation “was financed in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, by an agency of the government of the U.S. or by the government of his nationality or last residence”;

(b) Who at the time of admission or acquisition of status was engaged in a field which was on the DOS skills list. The most recent “skills list” governing programs beginning on or after Mar. 17, 1997 is found at 62 Fed. Reg. 2447-2516 (Jan. 16, 1997).

(c) Who came to the U.S. or acquired J status after Jan. 10, 1977 to receive graduate medical education or training. INA §212(e), 8 U.S.C. §1182(e).