Suppose you want to come to the United States to teach, instruct, study, observe, conduct research, consult, or receive training. In that case, the J-1 classification (exchange visitors) might be just your visa.
What is a J-1 Visa?
The J-1 visa is intended for those who want to participate in an approved program that promotes the interchange of persons, knowledge, and skills in education, arts, and science. Some examples of exchange visitors include professors, students, research assistants, and nannies/au pairs.
The first step in obtaining a J-1 visa is to submit a Form DS-2019, also known as the Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status. Your sponsoring agency will provide this form, and you should work closely with them throughout the process. After obtaining a Form DS-2019, you may apply for a J-1 visa through the U.S. Department of State at a U.S. embassy or consulate.
Employment is authorized for J-1 nonimmigrants only under the terms of the exchange program. Some J-1 nonimmigrants enter the United States specifically to work, while others do not. If you plan to work in the United States, it’s essential to check with your sponsoring agency for more information on any applicable restrictions.
Family of J-1 Visa Holders
Your spouse and unmarried children under 21 are entitled to the J-2 classification. They are also entitled to work authorization; however, their income may not be used to support you. To apply for work authorization as a J-2 nonimmigrant, your spouse or child would file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
Canadian citizens do not require an entry visa to enter the U.S. Still, D.O. needs a DS-2019, a valid passport, and proof of payment of the SEVIS fee to enter the U.S. in J-1 student status. Therefore, at the port of entry, Canadian students must present Form DS-2019 and supporting financial documentation to the immigration inspector to be admitted into the U.S. in J-1 status.
If you’re looking to come to the United States to teach, study, or conduct research, the J-1 visa is an excellent option. Just be sure to work closely with your sponsoring agency and check for any restrictions on employment. Then, with the proper preparation, you can enjoy a flourishing exchange program and make the most of your time in the United States.
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