Study in USA: All About J1 Visa

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Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Sep 6, 2022 14:16 IST

The J1 visa is intended for applicants who are interested in pursuing education, an internship, or getting hands-on training in the US for a short period of time. The J-1 visa program allows individuals to both study and work, at the same time. Also this non-immigrant visa allows international applicants to enter the US to participate in cultural exchange and gain profession related skills.

Presently, over 170,000 J1 visa holders are in US working, studying, or teaching. Individuals can come to the US through sponsorship through either a governmental program or through a private organization.

The J-1 Visa Program includes 13 different exchange programme categories. Depending on the category chosen, a visa obtained under the ‘J1 Exchange Visitor Program’ will allow an international applicant to work, train or travel in US. The J1 Visa also benefits US businesses by providing them with seasonal staff.

Here are some of the main categories of the J1 visa -

  • Short-Term Scholar - Every year, research scholars teach along with conducting research at US universities for up to six months.
  • Au Pair - Individuals between the ages of 18 - 26 years can come to the US to study and live with a sponsor family for up to two years. They can study at a US university, along with providing childcare to the sponsor family.
  • Internship – Recent graduates can come to the US to learn about the American culture and get hands-on experience in their chosen profession.
  • Work and Travel – Full-time students enrolled at a post-secondary school can come to the US to work and travel during the winter, spring and summer season-breaks.
  • Camp Counselor – Individuals who are 18 years or older can come to the US and work with local youth at the US summer camps as a camp teacher.
  • International Visitor Program - the US Department of State selects international visitors to consult, research, observe, and train with the US colleges

Studying in the US

Many J1 holders who are in the US universities are typically research scholars or visiting professors. Other J1 programs also offer educational opportunities, such as Au Pairs. Though it is important to check with your sponsor family to determine the visa you will be applying to.

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Working in the US

The number of hours you are allowed to work depend on the program you apply for. So it is important to research beforehand and know the requirements. Some J1 visas have a two-year residence requirement, which means you would be required to remain in India for two years after finishing your J1 program.

How to Apply

The application process to J1 visa is similar to that of the tourist visa (B1). Below are the steps you need to follow to apply for the J1 visa -

  1. Complete and submit the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form
  2. Pay the visa fee ($160)
  3. Schedule your visa appointment and Bio-metric appointment
  4. For your visa application center appointment you will need to bring along your passport, DS-160 confirmation page, your appointment confirmation page.
  5. Visit the U.S. Embassy or Consulate on the date of your visa interview
About the Author
Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert

With a plethora of knowledge of the education domain, Piyush Kohli has been involved with study abroad for over 5 years and counting. He comes with prior experience on the complexities of the study abroad applicatio... Read Full Bio


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