When is J-1 appropriate?

A J-1 visa may be suitable if you are a scholar, trainee or intern, student, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, summer student in travel/work program and certain visitors.

Am I eligible for a J-1 visa?

The main criteria for entry under the J-1 visa category are that you:

  • Have sufficient funds and maintain sufficient medical insurance;
  • Have the requisite fluency in the English language; and
  • Have a foreign residence that you do not intend to abandon.

What is the foreign residence requirement?

Under the J-1 visa, certain visitors are subject to a two-year foreign residence requirement, under which, upon expiry of their visa they must return to their home country (or last residence) for a period of two years.

Can I avoid the foreign residence requirement?

You may but only if you successfully apply for a waiver of the requirement.

There are a number of bases for the waiver; the most common are:

  • Hardship; and
  • No-objection.

In order to establish the former, you must have a qualifying relative, to whom the foreign residence requirement would cause hardship. The latter, “no-objection waiver”, requires your deemed country to issue a statement regarding your decision not to return.

For how long will the J-1 visa be approved?

The duration of an applicant’s stay is usually the time it takes to complete the relevant program plus 30 days, but extensions may be available in exceptional circumstances.