J-1 Visa Lawyer: The Various Programs They Can Guide You Through & Requirements to Apply

If you wish to study, teach, or do research in the U.S., you may be interested in a J-1 visa. Learn more here from a trusted visa lawyer.

Are You Aware of the J-1 Visa? Here’s What a J-1 Visa Lawyer Will Tell You About It


The J-1 visa is a non-immigrant U.S. visa that typically permits foreign nationals to visit the United States for educational and cultural exchange programs. It is also known as the Exchange Visitor Visa. J-1 visa holders come to the United States to study, teach, demonstrate their special skills, or receive training.

The program was brought about by the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 and was meant to develop ideas between the citizens of the U.S. and other foreigners. So, if the United States is not your home country and you wish to participate in teaching, studying, receiving training, or conducting research, the U.S. Department of State may grant you entry with this visa.

A J-1 Visa Attorney Will Help You Understand the Time Limits for the Different J-1 Visa Programs


The J-1 Exchange visa covers a variety of programs. The duration allowed for the visa holder to remain in the U.S. will depend on the type of exchange visitor program granted. Once the exchange program is complete, you will be required to return to your home country for about two years.

These exchange programs and the duration granted are outlined below.


Full-Time Students

Students who pursue this program may typically stay for one year.


Short-Term Scholars

Short-term scholars are admitted into the United States for six months.


Trainees and Interns

Persons who will be serving as trainees in the U.S. are admitted for not more than 18 months. However, trainees in the hospitality sector are only admitted for a training period of 12 months.

For the interns, individuals in this program are to remain in the U.S. as long as they maintain their student status.


International and Government Visitors

Persons who visit the United States under a government visitor visa are admitted for 18 months only.


Camp Counselors

Camp counselors and individuals of summer employment are admitted for four months.


Foreign Medical Graduates

Doctors who participate in internships are admitted based on the period of their program, which usually does not exceed seven years.


College or University Students

Students interested in college or university programs are typically admitted for a time that is sufficient for them to complete their studies.


Au Pairs and Specialists

Persons serving as au pairs and specialists are admitted to the U.S. for one year.

Other not mentioned programs for exchange visitors include research scholars, secondary school students, family members, and other professionals. A law firm with experience assisting J visa holders can help you determine whether you qualify for one of these programs and how long you may stay in the U.S. under them.

What a J1 Visa Immigration Attorney Should Tell A-1 Sponsors


The J-1 visa has several differences from green cards or other types of visas. Why so? The J-1 exchange visitors must be sponsored by either a government entity or a private organization. The U.S. State Department must accredit the program sponsor before the foreigner can be recommended for the exchange visa.

Once the designated sponsor has approved the sponsorship, the visa holder can start the J-1 visa application process.


What Are Some of the Requirements Needed for a J-1 Visa Application?


Bear in mind that the application for each exchange program differs, but there are a few common requirements that every foreign national should have to obtain a J-1 visa.

You must have a certificate of eligibility for Exchange Visitor, which is mainly received from the program sponsors.

Another requirement is that a candidate speaks, writes, and reads English well enough to participate effectively in their exchange visitor program. In addition, applicants may need to prove they intend to return to their home country after completing the exchange program.


Foreign Residency Requirement

According to the Immigration and Nationality Act, for a J1 visa holder to obtain a permanent residency visa, they will be required to satisfy a two-year foreign residency requirement following the completion of their visit.

In agreement with this requirement, some visa holders may be required to live in their native countries or the country they resided in before for two years.


Foreign Residency Requirement Waivers

However, applicants may be able to acquire a waiver for this requirement and obtain an immigrant visa. For example, an individual can seek a No Objection Statement from their home country’s government. That means the government won’t object to their staying in the United States.

The J-1 visa holder can also get the waiver of this requirement if the Interested Government Agency shows interest in their stay and requests a waiver on their behalf.

Other waivers are also available to individuals subject to the two-year foreign residency requirement. Individuals can request an exceptional hardship waiver if a United States citizen, lawful permanent resident spouse, or child can prove that this two-year absence can cause exceptional hardship. But, hardships can be hard to prove, which makes these waivers not so easy to get.

Simple separation can’t be considered a valid reason for this waiver. Factors that might be considered include medical reasons, economic hardship, as well as safety conditions in the home country of the waiver applicant. Bear in mind that, whatever the reasons are, having strong evidence is the most important thing.

How Hard Is It to Get a J-1 Visa?


As with all immigration matters, getting a J-1 visa can be complicated if you attempt to do it independently. Thankfully, with the right lawyer on your side, getting a J-1 visa can be a breeze. When you work with trusted immigration attorney Michael G. Murray, you will have a dedicated legal advisor working on your case while you get ready to begin your venture in the United States.

To top it up, a J-1 visa allows you to change your visa status. This means that you can freely change to a different visa type from within the U.S. without even having to return to your home country.


How Much Do I Need to Hire a Visa Lawyer?

The amount of money you will need to hire a J-1 visa lawyer will depend on the law firm you choose to represent you and the complexity of your case. In most cases, the amount to be paid includes the following:

  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) fees
  • Attorney fees
  • Application fee
  • Biometrics fee for each family member, if necessary
  • A fee for the Exchange Visitor Information System

Is a J-1 Visa Holder Permitted to Work for Another Company While on J-1 Visa Status?


According to J-1 visa regulations, a J-1 visa holder can only work for a J-1 sponsor and not for any other company or employer whatsoever.

You can only work for a company or employer after you have received employment authorization. Your J-1 visa attorney will help you understand everything about it and how to obtain employment authorization.


Best J-1 Visa Attorney: Reach Out to the Top Lawyers for J-1 Visa Matters


If you have been thinking of applying for a J-1 visa or you happen to know someone interested, then be sure to speak to a J-1 visa attorney for legal advice. Whatever the reason behind taking your pursuits to a foreign country such as the United States, a naturalization & citizenship lawyer from the Law Office of Michael G. Murray, P.A., will work tirelessly on your behalf to help you achieve your goals.

We focus on establishing a remarkable attorney-client relationship with everyone who chooses us as their trusted exchange visitors attorney. With 15 years of experience in immigration law, Michael G. Murray, P.A., is committed to offering skilled representation and legal assistance to obtain the positive results that you seek.

We value you, so let us be your guide through the whole process by contacting us today!