July 9th, 2012 by Abby Keane
The J-1 exchange visitor visa program is intentionally planned to boost up the interchange of people, knowledge and abilities in fields such as education, arts, and sciences. This J-1 visa classification is authorized for individuals who wish to participate in an authorized program related to teaching, studying, instructing, observing, consulting, demonstrating special skills or conducting research. Through this program, the US Department of State allows certain public and private entities to act as exchange sponsors. Hence, J-1 non-immigrants are sponsored by exchange programs designated by the US Department of State. Exchange visitors include professors, students, trainees, research assistants, teachers, specialists, camp counselors, scholars, etc.
To obtain a J-1 exchange visitor visa, Form DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status, must be filed. This J-1 exchange visitor visa program is primarily administered by the US Department of State. Form DS-2019 will be given to you by the agency that is sponsoring you. You will be assisted by the officials at your sponsoring agency throughout the overall processing of this form. You will be provided with the necessary information about the documents that are required to obtain Form DS-2019, by the Responsible Officer or the Alternate Responsible Officer, who is authorized to issue this form. Once you get Form DS-2019 you can apply for a J-1 visa at the US embassy through the US Department of State.
You will not be able to enter the United States under the J-1 status 30 days prior to the commencement of your program. But the applicants are recommended to submit the visa application sooner because the waiting time for an interview appointment is not the same for all the applicants. You may stay in the United States for the duration of your program while entering America with the J-1 exchange visitor visa.
Most J-1 non-immigrants enter America for the purpose of employment. J-1 non-immigrants are allowed to work in the United States under the terms and conditions of the exchange program. The J-1 visa applicants may get information about seeking employment in the United States, from the sponsoring agency.
The spouse and the unmarried children below age 21 of the J-1 visa applicant will be considered under the J-2 visa category. The spouse and children under the J-2 classification may also be entitled for work authorization in America but that income may not be used to support the J-1 visa holder.
There are certain benefits in obtaining a J-1 visa. By getting a J-1 visa, you will be allowed to enter America as an exchange visitor. If you are in the United States under the J-1 status, your spouse and eligible dependents can also stay with you in the United States. Your children can attend school if they are with you, under the J-2 dependent visa classification. J-1 visa holders are also exempt from tax deductions under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). The Exchange Visitor Program will promote understanding and a good relationship between the Americans and the people of other foreign countries.