Hablamos En Español
Toll-Free: (949) 540-6704 Phone: (800) 242-2151
Phone: (949) 540-6704 Toll-Free: (800) 242-2151

Legal Representation That You Can Trust

J Visa Cultural and Exchange Visas

Visa Application

The following is Basic Information regarding the J-1/J-2 visa category. For specific details, please contact your Immigration Attorney. The Exchange Visitor (J) non-immigrant visa category is for individuals approved to participate in work-and study-based exchange visitor programs.

Programs

  • Au Pair
  • Camp Counselor
  • College and University Student
  • Government Visitor
  • Intern
  • International Visitor
  • Physician
  • Professor and Research Scholar
  • Secondary School Student
  • Short-Term Scholar
  • Specialist
  • Summer Work Travel
  • Teacher

J-1 Eligibility and Fees

Sponsors screen and select their program participants according to the eligibility criteria for each program category. Some categories require that a personal interview be part of the screening and selection process. In addition to program-specific criteria, all participants must satisfy English language proficiency and insurance requirements. Sponsors provide participants with pre-arrival information prior to their departure from their home countries and an orientation upon their arrival in the United States. Sponsors also monitor the progress and welfare of the participants for the duration of their programs. For details, contact your sponsor or immigration attorney.

Language Proficiency

Participants must possess sufficient proficiency in the English language to participate in their programs.

Insurance

Participants and any J-2 dependents (spouses and minor unmarried children under the age 21) accompanying them must carry medical insurance as stated in the program regulations. Sponsors will verify that the participant's medical insurance meets the regulatory requirements. Willful failure on the part of the participant and/or any J-2 dependents to maintain active insurance coverage is grounds for termination from the program.

Pre-Arrival Information

Sponsors provide their participants prior to them leaving their home countries for the United States the specific program information and any contractual obligations relevant to their program category.

Orientation

Sponsors offer orientation for all participants, and are encouraged to offer orientation to the participant's family (J-2 spouses and dependents), especially those expected to remain in the United States.

Monitoring

Sponsors monitor the progress and welfare of their participants and that the activities are consistent with the program category identified and properly represented to the USCIS. Participants must provide their current and emergency contact (address and telephone number) information to their sponsors for record. All program categories require that sponsors provide emergency, 24-hour contact information to their participants. Participants should not hesitate to contact the responsible officer if they need assistance. For additional information, please refer to the regulations.

Program Fees

Unless it is a federally funded exchange program, sponsor organizations charge participants program fees. Fees vary from sponsor to sponsor based on the exchange category, the sponsor’s program, program duration, etc. Be sure to check with your sponsor or your attorney to get a breakdown of all costs and fees.

SEVIS Fee

When you are accepted into an exchange visitor program, the program sponsor will tell you if you must pay a SEVIS I-901 fee to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or if this fee is already part of your program fees.

Visa Fees

Nonimmigrant visa application processing fee - Each exchange visitor who applies for a visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate must pay the nonimmigrant visa application processing fee.

Contact your attorney for the latest fee schedule. Visa applicants need to demonstrate their eligibility for a visa during an interview by a consular officer at the U.S. embassy or consulate, generally in their country of residence.

The visa applicant will need to provide a receipt showing the visa application processing fee has been paid when they come for their visa interview. NOTE: U.S. Government sponsored exchange visitor J visa applicants and their dependents are not required to pay visa application processing fees if participating in a Department of State, a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), or a U.S. Government funded educational and cultural exchange program.

Visa issuance fee – Please review the visa reciprocity requirements with your attorney to determine if an additional visa reciprocity fee must be paid upon visa issuance and the amount of the fee. U.S. Government sponsored exchange visitor (J visa) applicants and their dependents are not subject to visa application or issuance fees.

J-1 Visa Program Sponsors

Only State Department-designated sponsors are authorized to issue the Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status required for an applicant to petition for an exchange visitor visa (J-1 Visa). Sponsors screen and select prospective exchange visitors based on the preset criteria.

Host Families / Employers

Each year, thousands of families, schools and communities across the United States welcome international students and visitors into their homes, schools and businesses. That person-to-person interaction, exemplifying citizen diplomacy, ensures that Americans and international visitors learn about each other’s culture and way of life.

About J-2 Visa

The J-2 Visa is a non-immigrant visa issued by a consular official at a U.S. embassy or consulate for spouses and dependents (unmarried children under the age of 21) of J-1 exchange visitors who accompany or later join the J-1 holder in the United States.

Eligibility and Fees

Eligibility for a J-2 Visa depends on the specific exchange program being offered to the J-1 non-immigrant by a sponsor organization. The exchange categories of au pair, camp counselor, secondary school student and summer work travel do not permit J-2 Visas. In addition, although some categories allow for spouses and/or dependents to accompany a J-1 Visa holder, there are specific programs that do not. Please contact your California Immigration Attorney for specific information.

Sponsors screen and select their program participants according to the eligibility criteria for each program category. Some categories require that a personal interview be part of the screening and selection process. In addition to program-specific criteria, all participants must satisfy English language proficiency and insurance requirements. Sponsors are to provide participants with pre-arrival information prior to their departure from their home countries and an orientation upon their arrival in the United States. Sponsors are also required to monitor the progress and welfare of the participants for the duration of their programs.

Language Proficiency

Participants must possess sufficient proficiency in the English language to participate in such programs.

Insurance

Participants and any J-2 dependents (spouses and minor unmarried children under the age 21) accompanying them must carry medical insurance per the stated requirements in the program regulations. Program sponsors are required to ensure that all participants have the appropriate medical insurance. Sponsors will verify that the participant's medical insurance meets the regulatory requirements, and will facilitate the purchase of coverage for participants who do not have their own insurance, or whose coverage does not meet the requirements. Participants interested in obtaining appropriate medical insurance should contact the responsible officer of their sponsor organization sponsoring their program. Willful failure on the part of the participant and/or any J-2 dependents to maintain active insurance coverage is grounds for termination from the program.

Pre-Arrival Information

Sponsors provide information about the program and related matters prior to leaving their home countries for the United States. Sponsors must also provide their participants with specific program information and any contractual obligations relevant to their program category.

Orientation

Sponsors provide orientation for all participants, and are encouraged to offer orientation to the participant's family (J-2 spouses and dependents), especially those expected to remain in the United States for at least one year.

Monitoring

Sponsors monitor the progress and welfare of their participants, to ensure that the participants' activities are consistent with the program category requirements. Sponsors require their participants to provide current and emergency contact (address and telephone number) information and to maintain this information in their files.

Program Fees

Unless you are in a federally funded exchange program, sponsor organizations charge participants program fees. Fees vary from sponsor to sponsor based on the exchange category, the sponsor’s program, program duration, etc.

SEVIS Fee

When accepted into an exchange visitor program, the program sponsor will advise if you must pay a SEVIS I-901 fee to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or if this fee is already part of your program fees.

J-2 Visa Fees

Each exchange visitor who applies for a visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate must pay the nonimmigrant visa application processing fee.

If you or someone you know is need of immigration law services, please do not hesitate to call Garg & Associates at 281-362-2865 for a consultation today or use our Contact Form.