What is a J-1 visa?

The Exchange Visitor (J) non-immigrant visa category is for individuals approved to participate in work-and study-based exchange visitor programs. For detailed information, visit http://j1visa.state.gov/

When can I arrive in the U.S. with my J1 visa? How long can I remain after my program ends?

You may not arrive more than 30 days before the program start date shown on your DS-2019.  Upon completion of your exchange program, you have a grace period of 30 days to depart the United States.

Can I continue my internship at the Host Business during the 30-day grace period?

No.Once your DS dates have expired, you are no longer in a bona fide sponsored internship program and cannot continue at the Host Business. You have the option of either returning home or staying in the U.S. an additional 30 days beyond the expired DS dates for the exclusive purpose of travel. If you wish to remain in the U.S. to travel longer than the 30 days allowed following the program, you need to contact the Office of Homeland Security and request a change of status to a B-2 (tourist) visa.

Can I work at other companies as well while on J-1 visa?

Extra-curricular employment outside the participant’s J-1 internship program is strictly prohibited.

What is SEVIS?

The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is the web-based system that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) uses to maintain information on J visa participants in the United States.

What is Form DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility)?

A SEVIS-generated Form DS-2019 is required when applying for the J-1 Visa.  The DS-2019 is a controlled form provided to you by your program sponsor.   It documents your acceptance to an exchange program sponsored by a State Department designated Exchange Visitor Program sponsor.

What will happen to my J-1 Visa status if I withdraw from my exchange visitor program?

If you plan to withdraw from your program, you must notify your program sponsor.  Your program sponsor will enter this information into SEVIS and you will be expected to depart the United States immediately.  You will not be entitled to the post-completion 30-day period because you did not successfully complete your program.

Can I participate in another J1 program after finishing my current program?

Your current J-1 visa is ONLY applicable for your current J-1 exchange program and under your current program sponsor. Upon completion of your current J-1 program, you are expected to depart the United States. If you intend to pursue a 2nd J-1 exchange program (in a different category and with a different J-1 sponsor), you will need to apply for a new J-1 visa for your new exchange program and new J-1 sponsor – in order to reenter the U.S. for the 2nd program.

What is the J-2 Visa?

The J-2 Visa is a non-immigrant visa issued by a consular official at a U.S. embassy or consulate for spouses and dependents (unmarried children under the age of 21) of J-1 exchange visitors who accompany or later join the J-1 holder in the United States. For more information, visit http://j1visa.state.gov/basics/j2-visa/