How to Apply for J1 Visa – A Step by Step Guide

You can apply for J1 visa, which is a form of study and exchange visa in the US, for a brief stay while participating in an exchange visitor’s program in the country. You must first apply for an exchange program (study or employment) through a designated sponsor in the US in order to be eligible for a J1 visa. You can only apply for a J-1 visa once you have been accepted into a program.


How to get a J1 Visa?

You must carry out the procedures outlined below in the order specified depending on the location you are submitting your application from, if you want to be granted a J-1 visa:

  1. Complete the visa application form.
  2. Arrange a meeting with the embassy or consulate.
  3. Make payment for the application cost.
  4. Get ready with all the documentation you need.
  5. Attend your interview for a visa.
  6. Travel to the United States of America.
Complete the visa application form

You must fill out the online application form for your J1 visa and print the confirmation document. You may get the form here. When you go to your visa interview, you must have the confirmation paper with you.

You must upload your visa photo as part of your online application; in the event that the upload is unsuccessful, bring a backup copy of your photograph with you.

Arrange a meeting with the embassy or consulate

The nearest visa office may be found here. After submitting your application, you must make an appointment with the embassy or consulate closest to you to attend your visa interview. The number of candidates, the personnel on hand, the time of year, and the location are just a few of the variables that might affect how long it takes to schedule an interview.

Make payment for the application cost

In some circumstances, paying the visa fee in advance of your interview may be necessary. In these circumstances, you must take your receipt along with you when visiting the visa office. However, before you make payments for the cost, you should confirm with your program sponsor since occasionally the program will as well cover all the expenses of your visa.

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Get ready with all the documentation you need

Several documents must be ready before you go to the visa interview; the whole updated list can be found below, here in this article. Your documents must all be in English and, if necessary, be apostille-stamped.

Attend your interview for a visa

A consular official will decide if you are suitable to be issued a J1 visa at the interview that you must attend at a consulate or embassy. Depending on the country in question, you could be required to submit your scanned fingerprints at this stage of the application procedure. You must make plans to get your visa and passport before you depart.

You may also be asked to pay an issuance fee once the visa application process is over and your visa is issued. Bear in mind, however, that not all countries are required to pay this charge, particularly if your program covers all expenses.

Travel to the United States of America

You can visit the United States of America now that you have your J-1 visa. A visa does not necessarily ensure access into the nation, though. The Department of Homeland Security officials at the airport may decide not to let you into the nation.

You will be required to present your passport, visa, and DS-2019 form at the border patrol, and if you are permitted entry, you will be given an entrance stamp or paper form I-94.

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J1 Visa Requirements

The following papers must be ready when you apply for a J-1 visa:

Passport: Unless there are certain exceptions based on where you are from, your passport must remain valid for a minimum of 6 months after you leave the country.

Photograph: When submitting your online visa application, you must provide a picture. Provide a physical copy of your photograph if it isn’t downloading, but please remember to follow the guidelines for taking your visa photo.

Form for applying for a non-immigrant visa: In order to visit the embassy or consulate, you must fill out form DS-160 online and carry the confirmation page with you.

Receipt indicating the visa payment: Bring your receipt if you need to pay the visa cost before the interview.

DS-2019 Form: Your sponsor registers you in SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) when you are granted admission into your exchange program. After that, you will receive this DS form and could need to pay a charge for it; you should check with your program sponsor to see whether they will cover the costs.

Document DS-7002: This form is also required if you fall under the J-1 trainee or intern category.

Health insurance for J1 visas: It is the sponsor’s duty to see that you have obtained health insurance, which you are required to have.

Please be aware that other papers could occasionally be needed; for a complete list of what is needed, get in touch with the visa office in your area.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Price of a J-1 Visa?

A J-1 visa typically costs $160. However, this price varies based on whatever category included in the J-1 visa you have filed for and is not exactly the same for every country.

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How long am I allowed to stay on a J-1 visa?

A J-1 visa allows for a maximum stay of up to three years. Nevertheless, the duration of your J-1 visa stay in the US varies based on the program you applied for.

For instance, if you are a college student, the visa you are issued is valid for the duration of your course of study, but if you are a short-term scholar, your stay is limited to six months. Every J-1 visa holder typically has 30 days of grace after their visa ends to plan their return trip.

On a J1 visa, may I bring my dependents?

Yes, but you’re only allowed to bring your spouse and kids. After you travel to the US, your family members must apply individually for a J-2 visa in order to join you.

I have a J1 visa. Can I modify my category?

You are permitted to modify your category as long as you have good justification for doing so and maintain a tight connection to your initial goal for participating in the exchange program. In order to modify your category, the officer in charge of you must submit an electronic request to the Department of State on your behalf. The Department will ask for a $367 fee in order to process the request.

Can My Exchange Program Be Changed?

As long as you stay in the same category, you are allowed to modify your program. Additionally, you need a new sponsor who will submit a transfer request to the Department of State and pay a $367 cost. To be qualified for transfer, your former officer needs to discharge you from your current program. When the transfer is authorized, you are going to receive a new DS-2019 form that reflects the modification.


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