J-1 Visa For Exchange Students - Qualification and Application Procedures
Employers may employ foreign professionals as J-1 trainees to participate in cross-cultural exchange programs. The U.S. employer benefits by obtaining expansion into the international marketplace through interactions with professionals from foreign countries to whom they offer training. The J-1 visa permits foreign professionals to enter into the U.S. on a temporary basis for training with a qualifying U.S. company.
J-1 visas are available to aliens who wish to participate in on the job training programs in the United States. J-1 visas are also used by foreign medical graduates who enter the U.S. to complete their residency and/or fellowship programs. J-1 Visa holders are issued an IAP-66 that reflects each program and duration of such. Those J-1 visa holders that are granted “Duration of Status” or “D/S” on their visas or I-94s lose their visa status upon the expiration of their most current IAP-66. Aliens who obtain a J-1 visa may bring their spouses and dependents. Dependents are issued the J-2 visa status for the duration of the principal’s J-1 status. Interested U.S. companies may obtain sponsorship through the AILF Exchange Visitor Program.
Certain J-1 visa holders are subject to the 2-year foreign residency requirement along with their dependents. Non-physicians may apply for a waiver of this 2-year foreign residency requirement. Foreign medical graduates (FMGs) may also seek a waiver of such through various interested governmental agencies.
J-2 Dependent Visa
The J-2 is a non-immigrant classification for dependents of J-1 visa holders. Spouses and minor children of J-1 visa holders qualify for this classification for the length of time that the principal is approved for. Dependents who are in the U.S. in a different classification may apply for a change of status while they remain in the U.S. Those outside the U.S. may apply at the appropriate consulate and present proof of the principal’s status. J-2 dependents whose principals are subject to the two-year foreign residence requirement are also subject to the requirement. Where the principal obtains a waiver of that condition, the J-2 dependents are also afforded a waiver so long as they are not independently subject to the requirement through another J-1 visa status.
J-2 visa holders, unlike some other dependent visa holders, may apply for work authorization EAD while in the U.S.