Exchange Visitors ("J-1")

This program is actually an "exchange program" and not necessarily a student-based program. However, by far, students seeking their medical degrees in the United States are the most frequent users of J-1 visa. It is preferred over the F-1 by some students since the spouse of the J-1 is allowed to work in the United States.

The basic requirements for grant of J-1 visa are:
  • Sufficient funds to cover all expenses or a sponsoring organization that will provide full support;
  • The required education for the particular program;
  • A good understanding of the English language, or a program for non-English speakers;
Additional requirements for Medial Education Participants
  • Must have passed the FMGEMS;
  • Must have demonstrated competency in English;
  • Subject to limits on duration of program; and
  • Subject to two year foreign residence requirement.
  • Exception to two year foreign residence requirement for physicians coming to the U.S. for observation, research, teaching and consultation where there is minimal or no patient care.
Application Requirements for J-1 Visa
  • Form OF-156, completed and signed;
  • A passport with a validity of at least six months from the end of the intended stay;
  • One photograph 1.5 inches square;
  • Completed IAP-66;
  • Demonstrable ties to a residence in a foreign country; and
  • Promise/statement that they are coming to the United States for a temporary period.
Visas for your dependents : J-2
  • Your spouse and minor children may apply;
  • They must present your form IAP-6 as well as other basic documentation;
  • They must demonstrate sufficient financial resources to support themselves while in the United States.

Employment on J-1 status

You may accept employment if your program involves paid employment like on-the-job training, teaching, research or other such activities. Employment options are dictated by the nature of your particular program.

Employment on J-2 status

Your J-2 dependents may work in the United States for either the duration of your J-1 or four years - whichever is shorter. Application for work authorization may be made by using the form I-765 and submitting the appropriate fees. The J-2's income should not be used to support J-1.

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