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J visa category

There are two nonimmigrant visa categories for persons who want to participate in Exchange Visitor programs in the United States. The J nonimmigrant visa is for educational and cultural exchange programs designated by the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs.

Exchange visitor categories

Acceptance in Exchange Visitor Program

Before you can apply at a U.S. embassy or consulate for a J-1 visa, you must first apply for and be accepted into an exchange visitor program through a designated sponsoring organization. When you are accepted into the exchange visitor program you plan to participate in, you will be enrolled in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Your program sponsor will provide you with a Form DS-2019 to present when you attend your visa interview. If your program allows your spouse and children to participate with you, they will be issued their own Form DS 2019 in order to apply for J-2 visas to accompany you.

Two-year Home-Country Physical Presence Requirement

An exchange visitor is subject to the two-year home country physical presence requirement if the following conditions exist: