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Visa and Greencards > Student and Trainee Visas > J-1 Student and Trainee

J-1 Student and Trainee

J-1 visas are designed for individuals who will be participating in work-and-study based exchange programs. The goal of the visa is to promote cultural exchange and to allow individuals to receive training in the United States.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the J-1 visa program?
The J-1 visa program was created for individuals to take part in work-and-study-based exchange and visitor programs in the United States. J-1 exchange visitors come to the United States for a variety of reasons, including to teach, study, complete internships or receive training. Specifically, J-1 visas are available for the following categories: au pair, camp counselors, physicians, professor and research scholars, short-term scholars, specialists, interns, trainees and teachers.


Who is eligible for a J-1 visa?
The requirements for the J-1 visa depend upon the specific J-1 program. For more information about the specific requirements for a particular J-1 category (such as trainee, intern, etc.), please contact our office for a consultation.


Are J-1 visas easy to get approved?
Yes. For the most part, J-1 visa applications are easy to process and get approved.


How long is a J-1 visa valid for?
This depends on the specific J-1 program. The maximum validity period for each J-1 visa is determined by the specific category (such as trainee, intern, teacher, etc.) of the visa.


Can J-1 visa holders work in the US?
Yes, J-1 visa holders may work in the US as part of a work-and-study program, where they receive US training and cultural education.


What is the J-1 two year home residency requirement?
Some J-1 visa holders are subject to a two-year home-country physical presence requirement, which requires you to return to your home country for at least two years after your exchange visitor program. 


How can I waive the J-1 two-year home residency requirement?
If you are subject to the two-year home residency requirement, but would like to have this waived, you may apply for a J-1 home residency waiver from the US Department of State. 
To qualify, your waiver request must fall under any one of the five applicable bases in U.S. immigration law. These are:
•    No Objection Statement
•    Request by an interested U.S. federal government agency
•    Fear of persecution in your home country
•    Exceptional hardship to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or child of an exchange visitor
•    Request by a designated State Public Health Department or its equivalent 

Visa and Greencards > Student and Trainee Visas > J-1 Student and Trainee
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