ContractsCounsel Logo

J Visa

Clients Rate Lawyers on our Platform 4.9/5 Stars
based on 9,787 reviews
No Upfront Payment Required, Pay Only If You Hire.

Jump to Section

The J visa allows students outside of the U.S. to participate in certain study and work-related exchange programs in the country, per the education department. It works under the command of the Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in the country. The J visa is also called the J1 visa, exchange visitor visa, or J student visa. Let us learn more about the relevant aspects of the J visa in detail below.

Steps to Apply for the J Visa

Applying for a J visa to participate in an exchange program is a structured process. Below are the key steps to guide everyone through the application process in the United States:

  1. Choose a Designated Program Sponsor. Select an exchange program sponsor approved by the Department of State to facilitate the J visa application.
  2. Receive Form DS-2019. The sponsor will provide Form DS-2019, also known as the "Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status," after acceptance into the program.
  3. Pay the SEVIS Fee. Pay the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee online. Moreover, retain the receipt before applying for the visa.
  4. Complete DS-160 Form. Fill out the DS-160 nonimmigrant visa application form online and get the confirmation page.
  5. Schedule a Visa Interview. Contact the embassy or consulate in the home country to schedule a visa interview appointment.
  6. Attend Visa Interview. Attend the scheduled visa interview and present all required documents. Be prepared to answer questions about the exchange program and intentions in the U.S.

Categories of the J Visa

The J visa can be divided into different categories in the U.S. Here is a detailed brief on each of these visa types for everyone’s understanding:

  • Au Pair (Childcare): This category allows individuals to participate in childcare and cultural exchange programs as au pairs in American households.
  • Camp Counselor: These people travel to the United States to work at summer camps and gain experience in activities related to the youth.
  • Intern: They participate in internships, training programs, or work-study programs. Most of these programs provide practical training in their chosen field.
  • Trainee: Trainees engage in structured training programs in their occupational field to enhance their skills and knowledge.
  • Research Scholar: Individuals in this category are involved in research activities in an academic or scientific context. Moreover, they may also engage in teaching as well as lecturing activities.
  • Professor: These professionals come to the U.S. for teaching and lecturing. They may also indulge in observing or consulting at post-secondary academic institutions.
  • Physician: Medical graduates pursuing graduate medical education or training in the U.S. fall under this category.
  • Short-term Scholar: This category is for individuals who visit the U.S. briefly. They aim to attend a lecture, observe, consult, or engage in research processes.
  • Specialist: Specialists observe, consult, or demonstrate their expertise in a specific field after coming to the U.S.
  • Government Visitor: Individuals in this category participate in government-to-government exchange programs.
  • Teacher: This category is for individuals who teach full-time. They are usually a part of accredited primary as well as secondary schools.
  • International Visitor (Non-government): This category participates in educational and cultural exchange programs that do not fall into other specific J categories.
Meet some lawyers on our platform

Sara S.

104 projects on CC
View Profile

Karen S.

34 projects on CC
View Profile

Taren C.

2 projects on CC
View Profile

Ryenne S.

555 projects on CC
View Profile

Cost of the J Visa

The cost of a J visa can depend on several factors. It includes the program sponsor, the specific J category, and the duration of stay. Hence, the applicants must know the various fees associated with the J visa application process in the country. Here is a look at the detailed costs as well as fees involved in it:

  • SEVIS Fee (I-901 Fee): The program sponsor will enter the applicant's information into the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) before the visa interview. It generates the Form DS-2019, also known as the "Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status." Applicants may be required to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee, which is $220. The program sponsor may cover this fee in some cases.
  • Nonimmigrant Application Processing Fee: The visa applicants must also pay a nonimmigrant application processing fee, which is currently $160. However, authorities may waive this fee for individuals participating in certain government-sponsored exchange programs.
  • Reciprocity Fee: Applicants from certain countries may need to pay a reciprocity fee after completing the visa interview. The reciprocity fee can depend on the applicant's home country and the specific exchange program.
  • Program Sponsor Costs: Applicants should also consider any costs associated with their chosen program sponsor. These costs can differ across places, including program administration fees, insurance coverage, and other program-related expenses.

Documentation Requirements for the J Visa

An individual must know the documentation requirements to ensure a successful application process when applying for a J visa to participate in an exchange program in the United States. Here is a breakdown of the key documentation needed for a J visa application:

  • Passport: This document must have a validity of at least six months, which should be provided to the authorities.
  • Photograph: Applicants must upload a digital photo when completing the online visa application form. A physical copy can be provided in case of difficulties with online submission.
  • Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form (DS-160): Applicants must complete Form DS-160 online and present the confirmation page during the embassy or consulate visit. This form collects important information about the intended stay.
  • Visa Fee Receipt: Applicants must bring the receipt as proof of payment if they are directed to pay the visa fee before their interview.
  • Form DS-2019: Upon acceptance into the exchange program, program sponsors register participants into the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Subsequently, participants receive Form DS-2019, the "Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status." Any associated fees are to be confirmed with the program sponsor, as they may cover these expenses.
  • Form DS-7002: Participants in J-1 trainee and intern categories may need to submit Form DS-7002, outlining program-specific details.
  • J Visa Health Insurance: Health insurance coverage is mandatory for J-1 visa holders. Program sponsors are responsible for ensuring participants have suitable health insurance coverage during their exchange program.

Key Terms for J Visas

  • Form DS-2019: The official document, also known as the "Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status," provided by program sponsors to J visa applicants.
  • SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System): A web-based system used to track and monitor exchange visitors' and students' information throughout their stay in the United States.
  • Reciprocity Fee: A fee some countries require based on visa issuance policies, applied after a successful visa interview.
  • J-1 Visa Health Insurance: Mandatory insurance coverage for J-1 visa holders to ensure access to healthcare services during their exchange program.
  • Two-year Home-country Physical Presence Requirement: A condition that may apply to some J visa holders, requiring them to return to their home country for at least two years before certain immigration benefits or changes in visa status are allowed.

Final Thoughts on J Visas

The J visa is used for educational exchange programs. Hence, it can be issued to students and other beneficiaries, including au pairs, researchers, and counselors. However, applicants may need clarification regarding a few processes when going through the visa application. So, the best thing to do here is to approach an experienced visa lawyer to help navigate all intricacies properly. This professional will help the applicants get their J visa on time without facing legal complications in the United States.

If you want free pricing proposals from vetted lawyers that are 60% less than typical law firms, click here to get started. By comparing multiple proposals for free, you can save the time and stress of finding a quality lawyer for your business needs.

How ContractsCounsel Works
Hiring a lawyer on ContractsCounsel is easy, transparent and affordable.
1. Post a Free Project
Complete our 4-step process to provide info on what you need done.
2. Get Bids to Review
Receive flat-fee bids from lawyers in our marketplace to compare.
3. Start Your Project
Securely pay to start working with the lawyer you select.

Meet some of our J Visa Lawyers

Damien B. on ContractsCounsel
View Damien
5.0 (3)
Member Since:
October 3, 2023

Damien B.

Managing Attorney
Free Consultation
Forest Hills, New York
23 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NY
Brooklyn Law School

My legal coverage includes Business Law, Commercial Litigation, Appeals and Trusts & Estates. I also handle Trademark applications and issues. I am a designated FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) arbitrator. I have done pro bono work in the Federal Court mediation program. I have worked for companies as a legal writer, editor and content provider. I have written legal articles for the New York Law Journal and the New York State Bar Association magazine. I was a guest lecturer at New York University on the First Amendment in the M.S. program of Public Relations and Corporate Communication program for the course Communication Ethics, Law and Regulation (Adjunct Professor Douglas Rozman). I graduated from Harvard University with an MPA, from Brooklyn Law School with a JD where I was a Richardson Merit Scholar; and Carnegie Mellon University with a BS, cum laude, concentrating in Administration and Management Science, Mathematics and Economics.

Elizabeth A. on ContractsCounsel
View Elizabeth
4.7 (1)
Member Since:
October 2, 2023

Elizabeth A.

Free Consultation
Phoenix, Arizona
13 Yrs Experience
Licensed in AZ
Pepperdine University School of Law

I represent business and consumer clients to help them address the range of legal issues that concern them including business contractual disputes, debt litigation, and related matters.

William H. on ContractsCounsel
View William
Member Since:
September 29, 2023

William H.

Free Consultation
Las Vegas
13 Yrs Experience
Licensed in MD
Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State

Diligent attorney and skilled government contracts professional with extensive experience in supply chain management, procurement, business process and procedure, regulatory compliance, intellectual property protection, and complex contract arrangements. With over 20 years of contracts and operations experience, I have handled domestic and international transactions for the sale and purchase of goods and services including construction, engineering, and R&D – in the Defense, IT, Mining, and Aerospace industries. I am accustomed to building and leading global and diverse teams; designing and implementing new processes and systems; and working in close collaboration with broad stakeholder populations, including executive management and other attorneys.

Brittany B. on ContractsCounsel
View Brittany
Member Since:
October 1, 2023

Brittany B.

Free Consultation
Upton, Massachusetts
12 Yrs Experience
Licensed in MA, VT, WI
University of St. Thomas

I am a tax attorney with years of experience as in house counsel at an accounting firm. I have also done tax litigation and audit representation. I work with for profits and non profits.

Lynette P. on ContractsCounsel
View Lynette
Member Since:
October 1, 2023

Lynette P.

Litigation Attorney
Free Consultation
Little Rock, Arkansas
11 Yrs Experience
Licensed in AR, TX
St. Mary's University School of Law

I am licensed in both Texas and Arkansas but actively working in Arkansas. My primary focus is criminal defense, family law, and estate planning (wills and trusts).

Matthew W. on ContractsCounsel
View Matthew
Member Since:
October 2, 2023

Matthew W.

Corporate Lawyer
Free Consultation
16 Yrs Experience
Licensed in TX
University of Texas Law School

I represent startups, investment firms, and individuals frequently with equity and debt financing, M&A transactions, and commercial contracts.

Nicole Y. on ContractsCounsel
View Nicole
Member Since:
October 3, 2023

Nicole Y.

Free Consultation
Miami, FL
3 Yrs Experience
Licensed in FL
St. Thomas University School of Law

Nicole Yñigo is an accomplished attorney with over nine years of experience in the legal field. Raised in Miami, she obtained her education from the School for Advanced Studies, Florida International University, and St. Thomas University School of Law. Nicole is dedicated to helping her clients achieve their legal goals and has built a strong reputation for providing personalized and effective legal representation. She has worked with various law firms and insurance companies on both Plaintiff and Defense matters. Nicole is the founder of The Ynigo Legal Group, where she offers compassionate and competent legal counsel in a direct and practical approach.

Find the best lawyer for your project

Browse Lawyers Now

How It Works

Post Your Project

Get Free Bids to Compare

Hire Your Lawyer

J Visa lawyers by city
See All J Visa Lawyers
related contracts
See More Contracts
other helpful articles

Quick, user friendly and one of the better ways I've come across to get ahold of lawyers willing to take new clients.

View Trustpilot Review

Contracts Counsel was incredibly helpful and easy to use. I submitted a project for a lawyer's help within a day I had received over 6 proposals from qualified lawyers. I submitted a bid that works best for my business and we went forward with the project.

View Trustpilot Review

I never knew how difficult it was to obtain representation or a lawyer, and ContractsCounsel was EXACTLY the type of service I was hoping for when I was in a pinch. Working with their service was efficient, effective and made me feel in control. Thank you so much and should I ever need attorney services down the road, I'll certainly be a repeat customer.

View Trustpilot Review

I got 5 bids within 24h of posting my project. I choose the person who provided the most detailed and relevant intro letter, highlighting their experience relevant to my project. I am very satisfied with the outcome and quality of the two agreements that were produced, they actually far exceed my expectations.

View Trustpilot Review

How It Works

Post Your Project

Get Free Bids to Compare

Hire Your Lawyer

Want to speak to someone?

Get in touch below and we will schedule a time to connect!

Request a call

Find lawyers and attorneys by city