J visas for exchange visitors are issued to people so they can participate in an approved programs for the purpose of teaching, instructing or lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, demonstrating special skills, receiving training, or to receive graduate medical education or training.

The State Department of designates various non-profit organizations to act as sponsors of an exchange program. These programs are designed to promote the interchange of persons, knowledge, and skills, in the fields of education, arts, and science.

J visas allows persons to remain in the U.S. for the duration of the program. J-1 program categories range from au pair, scientist, student to physician, and also provide for summer employment.

In order to apply for a J visa, you first need to obtain form DS-2019 from a sponsoring agency together with necessary documents.

Oftentimes, the J visa holder is expected to return to her/his home country for 2 years after completion of the program, in order to utilize the experience and skills acquired in the U.S.

Waiver of Two-Year Return Obligation

J-1 visa holders are eligible to obtain a waiver of the obligation to return for two years to their home country if the applicant:

  • Receives a “no objection” statement from their government
  • Obtains a waiver from an interested U.S. Government agency
  • Would experience persecution by returning to their home country
  • Would cause exceptional hardship to a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident spouse or child by returning home
  • Receive a waiver from a  State health agency or its equivalent

Donald Gross Law advises applicants on completing a J-1 waiver request, assists in obtaining supporting documents, helps you prepare for an interview and guides you every step of the way through the waiver process.

Contact Donald Gross Law for a free 30-minute consultation to start the application process for your J-1 exchange visitor visa or to obtain a waiver of your J-1 return obligation.