J visa is a nonimmigrant visa which allows the applicant to participate in an exchange visitor program in the U.S. There are a number of categories that fit under the J visa umbrella and some of the most common ones include: au pair, government visitors, interns, physicians, professors and research scholars, students, summer work travelers and teachers.


Depending on the category that you are applying for and the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in which you will be applying, the process can be different. Also, students studying in a U.S. university must also check the university’s requirements and policies and when you can apply for a J visa based on your major and earned credits.

How to Apply

Every J visa requires a nonimmigrant visa application, which is Form DS-160, to be filed out online. With the form, applicant must submit a photo that meets the photo requirements set by the U.S. Consular. Once the application is submitted, the applicant must print out the confirmation page in order to bring it to the interview. The non-refundable fee that usually needs to be paid before the interview is $160.

You can then prepare for your interview, if you are required to complete one. Applicants between the ages of 14 and 79 usually will be required to complete an interview. To prepare, applicant should gather the necessary documents, which include: passport, DS-160 Confirmation page, receipt of payment if payment was made before the interview, photo, Form DS-2019 issued by a sponsor and Form DS-7002(if applicable).

Having attorney assistance throughout the process helps to ensure that each step is completed correctly, avoiding delays and confusion.

What Else You Should Know

As an employer you need to ensure that the applicant has everything approved by the sponsoring organization before he or she begins to work for you. Not having the entire process completed can create problems for both parties if for some reason the sponsoring organization does not want to approve the applicant’s application. Without the approval, the applicant is not allowed to legally work in the US, which means that if he or she starts working without approval, they will be working illegally, putting their status at risk and causing problem for an employer who allowed illegal labor.

Contact Sobon Law, LLC at (216) 586-4246, today if you are considering applying for a J Visa through a sponsoring organization.

About the author : Sobon Law, LLC

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