J-1 Visas (Exchange Visitor Visas)

A J-1 Visa is known as an exchange visitor visa. These visas are for a specific category of traveler to the United States, one who is here for a short-term purpose and who does not plan to apply for permanent residency.

For example, the UMass Boston offers an Exchange Program for professors, research scholars, and short-term students. UMass hosts overseas students here while sending students to places like the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany, South Korea, Australia, and Brazil.

Types of J-visas include:

  • Au pair visas for young adults who will provide childcare and take courses while living with a host family.
  • Camp counselor visas for people who will be working at youth camps.
  • Government visitor visas for distinguished foreign nationals selected by government agencies at the state, federal, and local level.
  • Intern visas for those who will be pursuing an internship in their field.
  • International visitor visas for foreign leaders selected by the State to participate in cultural programs. 
  • Physician visas for doctors participating in graduate medical education programs or studying at US schools of medicine.
  • Professor and research scholar visas for academic professionals to exchange ideas and research.
  • Short-term scholar visas.
  • Specialist visas for field experts who wish to exchange ideas with American counterparts.
  • Student visas.
  • Teacher visas.
  • Trainee visas.
  • Family of J-1 Visa Holders.

You can contact me, Boston immigration attorney Giselle M. Rodriguez, to discuss your needs and your case, or read on to find out more about the J-1 visa.

Two quick notes:
1: We can meet in-person, on Zoom, or by phone.
2: My legal fees DO include the translations of relevant documents.

More info on J-visas

The difference between a “J” visa and a visa that might grant similar rights and privileges is that a J applicant comes through a specific, approved exchange program. Even as you come to the United States, a US citizen will be pursuing a similar opportunity in your home country. Bridge USA is an example of one such program, which provides opportunities to professors, scholars, trainees, interns, students, teachers, and more.

Another great example right here in Boston is the Mass Art International Exchange Program. This program takes art students from Australia, Ecuador, France, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, Scotland, and England. 

Because we have so many excellent universities in this area there are dozens more J-1 visa programs in Boston that you can tap into. The program was originally created as part of a diplomatic effort to help promote friendship and international cooperation between participating countries. For any of these programs, you will receive a J-1 visa. If you have a spouse or children under the age of 21, you can procure a J-2 visa, which will allow them to enter the United States and stay with you throughout the length of the program.

Your sponsoring agency will provide the appropriate form, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work closely with an immigration attorney throughout the process. Working with an attorney can prevent or minimize delays and mistakes. It can also help you spot potential issues so that you can address those issues during the application process.

You can contact my office to get help today. As with any visa program, entering the J-1 visa program is a legal process that can be difficult to navigate. There are many requirements to meet and many ways an application could go wrong. If you want to visit the US and focus on what you came here for, rather than get sidetracked with visa-related difficulties, I can help.