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J-1 Visa Immigration Lawyer

J-1 Visas for Exchange Students Traveling to the United States

The J visa is popular among college-aged students seeking to temporarily study abroad. This visa is generally known as the "student exchange" visa, because it is often sought by students seeking to study for a year or less at an American university.

The first step towards eligibility for the J visa is admission to a qualifying American university or college. Upon admission, the school will issue a Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor. That is the school's indication that you are a student properly admitted to that school, and that you are ready to enroll.

Once this certificate is issued to you, we are prepared to apply for the J visa with the Department of State. Our Philadelphia Immigration Attorneys can represent you throughout the visa application process, and ensure that you are aware of all criteria required, such as sufficient funds, fluency in English and medical insurance.

Once the certification is issued and the Visa Application is complete, you will then be scheduled to appear at an American consulate in your country for the visa interview. Upon a successful interview, you will be issued an J visa that you can use to travel to the United States, and embark on your exciting educational experience here. We prepare all our clients for the interview.

The J visa is multifaceted. It can  not onlybe used by exchange students, but also by au pairs, trainees, interns, graduate students, some diplomats, and even individuals engaged in certain temporary occupations. For example, if you are a foreign youth seeking to be placed with a host family to take care of their child, the J visa may be appropriate for you as well. There is a limit on the hours you may work, and the period you may stay. Allow a Philadelphia Immigration Lawyer at our office to prepare your visa application.


You should note that the receipt and use of a J visa can have certain unintended consequences of which you should be aware. For example, some J visa recipients may have foreign residency requirements that must be fulfilled after the conclusion of their stay in the United States, prior to returning to this country.

The amount of time you can stay in the United States depends on the basis for your J-1 visa. Generally, J-1 status lasts for the extent of the exchange program in the United States. Other programs vary in length. For example, an intern can stay for a year, while a post-secondary student who requires training upon completion of their program can stay for 18 months or longer.

Each case is different, and we are prepared to advise you regarding your particular situation. Note that the J visa is not appropriate for students who seek to study for a full college term in the United States and plan to seek employment after graduation (those students should seek the F visa). Reach out to a Philadelphia immigration lawyer at our office, and we will be happy to walk you through the process.

Call for a Free Consultation with a Philadelphia Immigration Lawyer

The U.S. applies a closer scrutiny to visa applications than it has in the past. We can help ensure that your application is done correctly and turned in on time. Contact Our Philadelphia J-1 Visa Immigration Lawyers Online, or call 215-437-3058 in (Philadelphia immigration lawyer) or 609-257-4976 in New Jersey to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your situation.

This content was written on behalf of Greg Prosmushkin.

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