J-1 Visa Explained


Millions of people enter and leave the United States every year. Being the third largest

country with a population of over 300 Million, the country has a lot to offer. Whether you just want to explore the land, do business or plan to move there forever, you will need a visa.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the main immigration authority for US Visas. They process and handle all the applications as well as keep a detailed record about all immigrants. In the year of 2018, the United States issued 9,028,026 nonimmigrant and 533,557 immigrant visas (CNN, 2017).

What is a visa?

A visa is basically a stamp that you will get in your passport. That stamp will make you eligible to enter the United States.

There are about 185 different types of US visas, grouped into two main categories:

  • Non-immigrant Visas

  • Immigrant Visas

If you are a student like me, you are looking for a non-immigrant visa, more specifically a J-1 Visa. Non-immigrant visas have one important aspect in common: They are temporary. Depending on the purpose of your visit, the duration ranges from a few weeks to several years!

The J-1 Visa, also referred to as Exchange Visitor Program is designed to allow international candidates to travel and gain experience in the United States, typically through work- and study-based programs.

Step-by-Step Process

Step 1: Choosing an Exchange Visitor Program

The first step of how to apply for a J1 visa is choosing the right program for you! Depending on your background and your interests and skills, you may only be eligible for certain programs. Here are a few of the most common exchange visitor programs:

  • Au Pair

  • Internship

  • College/University/Secondary School Student

  • Teacher

  • Work & Travel

Step 2: Finding a Sponsor