What is a J-1 Student Visa?

The J-1 Visa is a student permit that allows young foreigners to teach, study or receive training in the U.S.

It is an exchange and visitor program targeted at educational associations that have been accredited by the U.S. State Department.

There are several J1 Visa programs. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Au pair programs;
  • Camp Counsellors;
  • Student programs;
  • Exchange visitor programs;
  • Internships and trainee programs.

How IAS can help with your J1 Visa Program

At IAS, we understand the importance of pursuing your education abroad. For this reason, we are happy to help pupils and young workers to enter the U.S. under one of the J-1 Visa programs.

If you are looking for advice on your visa, you can count on us. We will follow your J-1 application process from start to end and offer our best guidance. Whether your chosen program is, we can guide you through the whole process and make sure the USCIS approves your petition.

You can discuss your case and work one-on-one with one of our advisors. Together, you can build the most suitable portfolio to support your case. We are also happy to liaise with your sponsor in the U.S. to make sure that your application will not be delayed nor denied.

Make an inquiry today to discuss your circumstances. You can call us on +1844 290 6312.


Who is suitable for a J1 Visa?

Foreign nationals can reside temporarily in the U.S. to teach, study, receive training or even provide childcare. The J1 visa is open to those who are enrolled in one of the several international educational institutions.

In particular, the J-1 Student Visa is designed for those who need to access to educational services that are not available in their home country.

If you wish to seek practical or medical training, applying for an H3 training Visa may be the most appropriate immigration path for you.

What are the J-1 Visa programs?

This program involves several educational plans. Thus, the J1 Visa requirements you need to meet depend on your chosen scheme. Several programs allow you to bring your family to the U.S. To this end, you need to apply for a J2 Dependent Visa.

Au Pair Visa

The Au Pair Visa allows foreigners between the ages of 18 and 26 to work as childcare providers in exchange for accommodation and food expenses.

As a J1 Au Pair Visa holder, you can work for no more than 10 hours a day, for a total of 45 hours per week. You must also be enrolled in any course at a U.S. post-secondary educational institution.

Your responsibilities include helping children with homework and cooking their meals. The host family is required to provide you a compensation of up to $500 for childcare work, a private room, and board.

To be eligible for a J1 visa au pair program, you must:

  • Have received a job offer from a host family;
  • Have previous childcare experience;
  • Have adequate spoken and written English proficiency;
  • Provide a police clearance report;
  • Have not previously lived in the U.S. as an au pair.

Your sponsor is expected to provide you at least 32 hours of childcare training. If your application is successful, you can stay in the U.S. for a period of up to 12 months.

Camp Counselor

The J1 Camp Counselor Visa allows foreign post-secondary students to work at summer camps in the U.S.

Participants are provided with housing and meals and receive fair pay. The permit can only last for up to four months, and no J1 Visa extension is allowed.

The J1 Camp Counselor Visa requirements are:

  • Have a good understanding of English;
  • Be experienced in dealing with children;
  • Be a post-secondary student, youth worker or teacher;
  • Have specialized skills.
Student Programs

Under a Secondary School Student Program, you can study at a public or private secondary school in the U.S.

You can stay either with a host family or at a boarding school, but you cannot live with your relatives. To be eligible, you must be between the ages of 15 and 18 by the first day of school. Once you are in the U.S., you are not allowed to work.

You must leave the country at the end of one academic school year.

If you are an international university pupil, you can apply for the College and University J1 Visa Student Program. This will let you pursue a full-time course of study in the U.S.

To be eligible, you must be able to support yourself financially. To be eligible, you need a written agreement between both your local and the American institutions.

J1 Exchange Visitor Program

The International Visitor Program is issued to foreign professionals. It is intended to enhance relation between international specialists and U.S. institutions.

To be eligible, you must be recognized as a formal or potential leader or key figure in your area of expertise. Only the U.S. Department of States can select suitable applicants.

Likewise, Government Visitor Program is targeted uniquely at prominent foreign visitors chosen by a U.S. local agency. If selected, you can take part in conferences, workshops, training, and academic research.

J1 Visa Internship or Trainee Program

international pupils over the age of 18 can apply for a J1 Visa intern program. If you are a foreign student or have graduated no more than 12 months before your chosen program start, you can apply for a J1 Internship Visa. You will need evidence of your English language proficiency.

If you hold a J1 Trainee Visa, you can receive training in the U.S. in your occupational field. To be eligible, you must have either a degree or one year’s work experience in your area. In addition, you must be at least 20 years old and hold an English proficiency accredited qualification.

How much does the J-1 Visa cost?

First of all, you should check with your sponsor to confirm whether you need to pay for your own Visa application. If your institution is going to pay on your behalf, you need to ask for a receipt to confirm the payment.

Your J-1 Visa total cost covers:

  • The SEVIS 1-901 fee ($180);
  • The Nonimmigrant Visa Application Processing Fee ($160) ;
  • The filing fee for other application forms that your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate may request.

Can you get a J1 Visa Extension?

Based on the J-1 program you are interested in, you may stay in the U.S. for a period ranging from a few weeks to several years.

A prolongation of your J1 Visa status can be granted only for selected program categories. If you want to apply for a J1 Visa extension, you need to submit a new DS-2019 Form with evidence to support your rationale to remain in the U.S.

You may also apply for a change of visa category. In any case, your request must only be due to unusual or exceptional circumstances.

After the conclusion of your program, you can still benefit from the so-called “Grace Period”. It means you can remain in the country for 30 days before going back to your home country. However, you are not allowed to take part in any exchange activity anymore, nor to work. If you travel outside the U.S. during this period, you will not be permitted to re-entry.

What service do IAS lawyers offer?

During your interview, it is crucial to provide adequate documentation about your program. Your primary concern must be to demonstrate that you have enough funds to cover your stay. Besides, you must be prepared to show your indissoluble ties with your home country.

At IAS, we can help you prepare the perfect portfolio to support your application. It is essential to know what you need to do before and during your interview. Your IAS immigration lawyer can offer you the best guidance to maximize your chances to get your J-1 Visa.

Our service includes:

  • Check if you meet the J1 Visa requirements for your chosen program;
  • Ensure that you all your application forms have been accurately filed;
  • Liaise between both your local and the U.S. educational institutions.

Get in touch today: you can call us on +1844 290 6312 or use our online contact form.


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