The J-1 classification (exchange visitors) is authorized for those who intend to participate in an approved program for the purpose of teaching, instructing or lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, demonstrating special skills, receiving training, or to receive graduate medical education or training.
In carrying out the responsibilities of the Exchange Visitor Program, the Department of State designates public and private entities to act as exchange sponsors. J-1 non-immigrants are therefore sponsored by an exchange program that is designated as such by the U.S. Department of State.
These programs are designed to promote the interchange of persons, knowledge, and skills, in the fields of education, arts, and science.
Examples of exchange visitors include, but are not limited to:
The U.S. Department of State plays the primary role in administering the J-1 exchange visitor program, so the first step in obtaining a J-1 visa is to submit a Form DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status, (formerly known as an IAP-66). We will work with your employer and a sponsoring agency to prepare and provide you this form. We will work closely with the officials at your sponsoring agency who will be assisting you and your employer through this process.
After you have obtained a Form DS-2019, you may then apply for a J-1 visa through the U.S. Department of State at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The waiting time for an interview appointment for applicants can vary, so submitting your visa application as early as possible is strongly encouraged (no more than 30 days prior), and we will work with you and your employer to prepare you for your consular interview.
On average, it takes 4 – 12 weeks for Bay Immigration Law and the sponsoring agency to prepare all of the documents required for the J-1, including the DS-2019. Once your DS-2019 is issued, then you will schedule a consular interview at a U.S. Consulate abroad, go through the interview and enter the United States. In general, the process is as follows:
We have an introductory phone call and go over your plans, requirements, and the documentation/information that will be necessary to proceed.
We send out an Engagement Letter establishing the Attorney-Client Privileged relationship, and outlining the legal and government costs for the preparation and filing of the case.
Once the Engagement Letter has been returned to us, we will make a formal request for documentation and information to begin preparation of the case.
On a continuing basis, we work with you to collect the information and documentation to fulfill the submission requirements for the Forms, Letter of Support, and Packet.
Once the DS-2019 is issued by the Sponsor Agency, we will walk you through the process of booking a Consular Interview, and will prepare you for the interview a week or two prior to the interview.