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The J-1 Visa or Exchange Visitor Program was first implemented in 1961 as part of the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961. The motivation behind this act was to promote the understanding of other cultures by the people of the United States and likewise the understanding of the America culture by people of other countries through educational and cultural exchanges.The U.S. Department of State plays the primary role in administering the J-1 exchange visitor program.
A J-1 Visa is a non-immigrant visa available to aliens that fall under the designation of "Exchange Visitor". J-1 exchange visitors travel to the United States through a Department of State approved sponsor program to teach, study, receive training or demonstrate special skills. To obtain a J-1 Visa, your sponsor must be accredited through the Exchange Visitor Program designated by the U.S. State Department.
Individuals who qualify for J-1 status if sponsored through an accredited Exchange Visitor Program include:
Certain types of J-1 exchange visitors require that the alien return to his/her home country or country of last permanent residence for a period of two (2) years after the completion of the J-1 status. However, there are certain circumstances where this requirement can be waived.
Recently the State Department launched an extremely informative and user friendly J-1 visa website for participants and sponsoring organizations. To visit the J-1 website, please click here.
The Department of State also maintains a complete and updated list of all sponsoring J-1 organizations on their J-1 website. To view the complete list of approved sponsoring organizations, please click here.
For more information about J-1 visa, please refer to the following links:
J-1 General Issues
Specific Information on J-1 Waivers