j1 visa lawyer

J1 Visa Lawyer

Get the professional guidance you need for a successful J1 visa application.

Applicants can obtain a J-1 visa in order to seek admission to the United States for full-time studies. Citizens from Canada or Bermuda are not required a J-1 visa yet they must present the appropriate means of documentation in order to pursue full-time studies. At Gallardo Immigration Law  our J1 visa lawyers are particular trained in obtaining this category of visa for foreign teachers, scientists, students, etc.

Different categories of J1 Visa Program

The J-1 provides numerous opportunities for international candidates who wish to travel to the United States in order to gain experience. These multiple programs allow foreign nationals to come to the United States in order to either teach, conduct research or study. Applicants can also demonstrate special skills or learn these skills on the job training which can last from several weeks to a few years.

Among the programs commonly offered are:

  • Camp instructor
  • Intern
  • College or University student
  • Teacher
  • Physician
  • Research Scholar
  • Trainee
  • Professional
  • Government Visitor

J1 Visa Sponsors

Programs sponsors are responsible for all phases of the exchange program. They are the ones in charge of selecting who participates in the Exchange Visitor Program and also funding and checking on participants throughout the program and their stay in the U.S. Individuals who participate in an exchange program should contact their sponsors in order to learn more about how the program they choose works and what are the specific requirements for their application. They can explain in more details what’s expected from them and what they will be doing or learning. The sponsor must meet the financial requirements or obligations lawfully established in order to have a successful sponsorship and help the attendant have a great time during his or her stay in the United States. Contact a competent immigration attorney from our Firm to determine whether or not you qualify as a sponsor.

How does the exchange visitor visa application process work?

The exchange visitor (J1) visa opens doors for mutual understanding between U.S. residents and foreign individuals through cultural and educational exchanges. The J1 visa process is handled by the United States Department of State, together with other sponsors in each area. These cultural and educational exchanges contribute to the United States Department of State in advancing the foreign policy goals.

The process starts with selecting the type of visa you would like to enroll in. Then the applicant finds a designated sponsor and contacts them. The sponsor will oversee the application process and they are the main point of contact during this process. The applicant would have to get Form DS-2019 from the chosen sponsor. A SEVIS fee will be paid and the applicant will attend the visa interview. He or she will have to get the J1 visa health insurance that meets the requirements by the United States Department of State. The exchange visitor visa holder will then travels to the U.S. Program sponsors are responsible to make sure that the J1 visa holder keeps a legal status. To find more comprehensive information about how this process works, contact one of the J1 visa lawyers.

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J1 Visa Restrictions

When the exchange visitor is subject to the two years home country physical presence requirement, he or she must return to his or her home country for a total period of at least 2 years before doing any of the following:

  • Change of status while in the U.S. to the nonimmigrant categories of either intracompany transferee (L) or temporary worker (H).
  • Adjust status while in the U.S. to permanent residency.
  • Obtain an immigrant visa at a United States embassy or Consulate.
  • Have an intracompany transferee (L), temporary worker (H), or fiancé (K) visa at the United States Consulate or Embassy.

Who can apply for a J1 Visa?

When the exchange person is only subject to the two-year home-country residency requirement, yet he or she is unable to fulfill the requirement, a waiver can be requested to the United States Department of State. The USCIS can grant a waiver under any of the five statutory bases. The applicant should choose one basis that he or she qualifies for or applies to his or her specific situation. There is no certainty that the waiver application is going to be approved

About the J2 Visa

This is a non-immigrant visa granted by a U.S. embassy consular official or the consulate for the spouses or dependents which are any children unmarried and under the age of 21 of J-1 visa visitors who come with the J-1 holder in the U.S. or join them later on. Eligibility can vary depending on which program the applicant chooses. Some categories such as the “au pair”, secondary school student, camp counselor, and summer work travel don’t allow J-2 visas. Also, while the husband or wife of the dependent can accompany the J1 visa holder in most programs, some programs may not allow spouses to accompany J1 visa holders.

How can an immigration lawyer influence the J1 Visa Program?

An J1 visa lawyer can review your case, guide you through the whole process, and advise you of your rights. For applicants subject to Section 212 (e), a lawyer can help with the waiver process. Immigration lawyers can also help those who intend to stay in the United States after completing the program by applying for a green card based on each specific circumstance.

Frequently asked questions and answers about J1 Visa

What are the documents necessary to enter the United States?

The following documents must be in order before J-1 visa holders apply for admissions to the United States:

  • Form I-20 that hasn’t expired and it’s still valid
  • Unexpired and still valid F-1 Visa
  • Unexpired and valid passport

If you need assistance or advice with J-1 or J-2 visa applications, contact an immigration attorney.

Can someone work on a J-2 Visa?

Most J-2 visa holders can seek employment. In order for the holder to be able to work, he or she must obtain an Employment Authorization Document from the Department of Homeland Security. The money the J-2 earns cannot be used to financially support the J-1 Visa holder.

Can I travel to the United States on a B-1/B-2 visa instead of having to get a J1 visa?

It all depends on the purpose of traveling to the United States. Immigrants can travel to the U.S. on B1 or B2 visa for brief periods of studies that are recreational in nature and not vocational, such as a cooking class, surfing class or anything else for your enjoyment as long as no credit is required. Studies with credits or certifications are not acceptable on B1/B2 visas.

What happens if my sponsor terminates the program?

When the sponsor terminates the applicant’s participation in the exchange program for a reasonable cause, they will have to enter that information in the SEVIS. There is no grace period therefore that J-1 visa holder must depart immediately.

Are sponsors really needed?

Absolutely, individuals who would like to come to the United States on a J-1 visa are required to have a sponsor. Academic and private sector entities are allowed by the U.S. government to conduct educational and cultural exchange programs. The sponsors are responsible for screening applicants as well as supporting and supervising them.

Do sponsors have to work in one State only?

There is a list of designated sponsors by location provided by the U.S. Department of State. However, participants can be placed anywhere in the United States

What information do I need to gather before the visa interview?

You need to have the following documents before the interview: passport, nonimmigrant visa application, application fee payment receipt, photograph, Form DS-2019, and Form DS-7002 which is the training or internship placement program plan. Gallardo Immigration Law offers advice with regard to the J1 or J2 visa process.

What are the requirements the applicant must meet for the J1 visa?

Since this visa incorporates several categories of visitors, the requirements are quite different for each program. Some of the requirements common to most programs include:

  • Being able to demonstrate residency in a foreign country that the applicant intends to abandon.
  • A Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (Form DS-2019) which you can get from the program sponsor.

Don’t navigate the J1 visa process alone

Schedule a consultation today to discuss your options and ensure a smooth J1 visa application.


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