NONIMMIGRANT VISAS - J Exchange Student Visitor

The J Visa category is for exchange students and exchange workers. This Visa enables foreign youths to get a taste of the US by working or training here for short duration and returning to their home countries with their expertise gained in the US. The duration of stay varies from 4 months to 36 months depending on the level of importance of their work.

The Department of State has a list of approved organizations that are licensed to issue recommendations for J1 Visas. The Alien either contacts the approved organization directly or a US employer who contacts the approved organization for the issuance of an approval known as IAP-66. Upon receipt of the IAP-66 with a firm job offer, the Alien contacts his local US Consulate for the issuance of a Visa.

2 year foreign residence requirement:
If the Alien is funded either by a US Government Agency or by the foreign government, the Visa officer at the Consulate would usually endorse a 2 year foreign residence requirement. This would mean that the Alien is not eligible to change his Visa status in the US unless he physically remains outside the US for 2 years. This requirement can be waived either by the foreign government indicating that they have no objection to his remaining in the US, or by the Alien showing that for humanitarian reasons he cannot return to his home country.