Prospective applicants wishing to come to the United States under the J1 visa program in the summer of 2018 have been advised to begin their application process right now. This is in anticipation of the delays that may be caused due to the current immigration climate in the US as well as the backlog of processing time it takes to execute on the large amount of paperwork involved.
The J1 visa is an educational and cultural exchange program and provides foreign students with an opportunity to live and work in the US in exchange for a chance to share their own cultural viewpoint through temporary work and travel experiences. This is most popular for seasonal jobs like tourism and sales. Today this program invites 300,000 exchange visitors from 200 countries and territories around the world to engage with the American people. As of the available data from year 2016, California had 35,131 exchange visitors on the J1 visa seconded by New York with 31,304. While every state has some number of such visitors annually, the lowest were in Mississippi with around 800 visitors in 2016.
In order to qualify, one must first apply and be accepted into an exchange visitor program through a designated sponsoring organization. There are several sponsors who may place you as au pairs, camp counsellors, short term scholars, or guest of the US department of state as a researcher. Find a complete list of options in an Overview of the J1 visa. Once accepted, you can apply for a J1 visa for a fee of $160 with form DS-160.
The documents required for the J1 visa include –
- The confirmation page of the DS-160 visa application page
- A valid passport
- Receipt of fee payment
- Photo of the applicant
- Documents outlining the purpose of your travel
- Proof of ties to the parent nation – this confirms your intent to leave the US after your visa expires
- Bank statements to display ability to pay all travel costs
- Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status, Form DS-2019
- Training/Internship Placement Plan, Form DS-7002
An additional requirement to qualify for the J1 visa is having mandatory insurance. The J1 visa insurance FAQs answers questions pertaining to this and gives resources to apply for the most suitable visa.
The J1 visa program is an opportunity for intercultural exchange with the American people and is now accepting applications for the summer of 2018.