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Jian Law Group

Exchange visitors for training or internship (J visa):

J-1 visa (exchange visitors) is for individuals who are coming to the U.S. with intention to participate in government approved programs for the purpose of teaching, instructing, lecturing or receiving training, etc. Usually, J-1 nonimmigrant visa holders are sponsored by exchange programs designated by the U.S. Department of State. The exchange visitors may include: professors or scholars, trainees, teachers or specialists, etc. The period of stay for J-1 visa may vary with 18 months of stay for trainees or 12 months of stay for interns.

Jian Law Group strongly advise our clients to be aware of the “two-year home-country physical presence requirement,” or also known as “foreign residence requirement,” which is when individuals agree to participate in the visitors exchange program at the interview with the U.S. consulate. Because the government sponsored exchange programs are either funded by the U.S. government agency or individual home country’s government, returning to their home countries for at least two “cumulative” years is required under the U.S. law.

Note that two cumulative years does not mean individuals cannot travel to the U.S. Until the two-year home-country physical presence requirement is met, individuals are not able to “change status” (to H-1B, L-1 or K non-immigrant visas) or “adjust status” (to immigrant visas). Jian Law Group understands this may raise individual concerns and we have successfully helped clients by requesting “waivers” from USCIS to avoid the request to relocate home and stay for the two “cumulative” years.

J-1 visa holders’ dependent will receive J-2 status. Both the spouses and the children under age of 21 are eligible to apply for employment authorization and that children are also given the opportunity to attend public educational institutions but certain restrictions may apply. For more information regarding the “waivers” program or other inquiries please contact Jian Law group for a prompt reply.




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