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J-1 student visa

J-1 visas are an option for students who are receiving sponsorship to participate in cultural or educational programs in the United States.

Namita Agarwal | Oct 31, 2017

Student/Exchange Visitor Visas Generally

F1 - Academic Students The F-1 classification is for foreign-born academic students studying in the United States. To qualify for a F-1 visa, an individual must: Apply and be accepted to the school where you want to study; Obtain a Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status, from the school that has accepted you; and Make an appointment with your local United States consulate to receive approval for your F-1 visa. J1 - Exchange Visitors The J-1 classification is for persons who have been accepted to participate in exchange visitor programs in the Untied States. Before applying, an individual must be accepted by a sponsoring organization designated by the U.S. Department of State. Each category has its specific own requirements and rules. The categories of exchange visitors include: Au par Camp counselor Student (college or university) Student (secondary school) Government Visitor International Visitor (reserved for use by the Department of State) Physician Professor Research Scholar Short-term Scholar Specialist Summer student in a travel or work program Trainee Certain J-1 visitors may be subject to a 2-year home country physical presence requirement upon the completion of the J-1 visa. Waivers such as the "No Objection Statement" and "Exceptional Hardship" may apply depending on an individual's circumstances. M1 - Vocational Students The M-1 visa is a temporary student visa for persons who want to pursue nonacademic or vocational studies in the United States. To qualify for a M visa, an individual must: Apply and be accepted to the school where you want to study; and Obtain a Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (M-1) Student Status, from the school of acceptance; Show evidence of intent, proficiency in English, and sufficient funds to live temporarily in the United States.

Irina Lust | May 31, 2017


Domestic Workers Accompanying Travelers When a parent ordinarily lives outside of the country and plans to travel to the United States for a limited period of time, a B-1 visa may be the best option for having a nanny accompany the traveler on that trip. A B-1 visa authorizes a visitor to enter the United States temporarily for a business purpose. In this case, the business purpose would be to provide childcare or other services to the traveler. A B-1 visa may be available if the nanny's employer is: o a United States citizen who lives abroad permanently, or is stationed abroad in connection with government or military service, and will be returning to the United States for a visit or temporary assignment; or o a citizen of another country who is entering the United States with a nonimmigrant visa. In addition to a nanny, the employer can ask for a B-1 visa to have other kinds of family helpers accompany the employer, including eldercare companions, cooks, and maids. To obtain a B-1 visa for a family helper, the employer will need to enter into an employment contract with the helper that includes specific terms. Many of those terms (such as a guarantee that the employer will not withhold the helper's passport) are intended to protect the helper from exploitation. An immigration lawyer can make sure an appropriate employment contract is in place. The nanny will generally need to submit a visa application and attend an interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The B-1 visa is usually issued for 6 months but it can be extended. Domestic Workers for U.S. Residents Residents of the United States have a few options if they want to hire a nanny from another country. An immigration attorney can help families decide which option is best for their situation. EB-3 Visa One popular option is to sponsor the foreign resident for an EB-3 immigration visa. The EB-3 Green Card allows skilled workers to live and work in the United States. The process of obtaining an EB-3 visa has been simplified by the Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) program, administered by the Department of Labor. Nannies are categorized as skilled workers by the PERM program. To apply for PERM, they must have: o a job offer for a full-time, permanent position in the United States, and o qualifications for the position, as certified by the Department of Labor. To qualify for certification, nannies need to have at least 2 years of relevant experience or training. Nannies may need to satisfy the Department of Labor that they are proficient in: o Administering CPR o Recognizing symptoms of illness o Assuring that the child's environment is safe o Assuring that the child receives nutritional meals o Organizing age-appropriate activities for the child o Administering appropriate discipline o Communicating clearly with the child The nanny's employer will need to demonstrate that no qualified workers for the position are available in the United States. That demonstration may require employers to prove that they advertised for the position, placed job orders with state employment agencies, and took other unsuccessful steps to find a qualified nanny in the United States before making a job offer to a nanny from another country. An EB-3 visa is most likely to be issued when an employer has kept careful records of the steps taken to find a nanny in the United States, and when the job is offered to someone who has records establishing the necessary training or experience. An immigration attorney can help families assemble the information needed to maximize the opportunity to obtain an EB-3 visa. H-2B Visa An H-2B visa is available for temporary, nonagricultural workers. Like the EB-3 visa, an employer must satisfy the government that United States residents are not available to fill the position before an H-2B visa will be issued. Unlike the EB-3 visa, the H-2B visa does not entitle the nanny to permanent residence. An H-2B visa is typically issued for one year. It can be extended, but not for longer than 3 years. The employer must pay wages that equal the prevailing market rate for nannies. There is a cap on the number of H-2B visas the government can issue each year, and residents of some countries are not eligible. Unlike the J-1 visa discussed below, the H-2B visa does not require the employer to go through a host sponsor. The H-2B visa is a good choices for parents who have already identified the nanny they want to hire, but do not want to sponsor the nanny as a permanent resident. J-1 Visa A more expensive option is to seek a J-1 visa. The J-1 program allows nonimmigrant visitors to engage in a work-study experience in the United States. Unlike the options discussed above, the host family does not need to prove that local nannies are unavailable. The J-1 Au Pair program allows host families to sponsor a foreign resident who will provide au pair services to the family for one year with an option to extend for up to another year. To be eligible, the au pair must be: o fluent in English; o a high school graduate (or equivalent); o between 18-26 years old; o physically capable of performing the job; o personally interviewed, in English, by the program sponsor; and o able to pass a background investigation that includes psychometric testing. The au pair can provide up to 45 hours of childcare per week. The au pair must also attend and complete at least 12 semester hours of post-secondary education during the first year, and additional coursework if the contract is extended. Whether to extend the au pair's stay after the first year is up to the host family. The family typically pays $500 toward the cost of the au pair's coursework (or the full cost if it is less than $500) for each year of participation. The host family also pays weekly wages to the au pair (typically $250 to $450 per week) and must pay the program sponsor for its services (typically between $7,500 and $12,500). The program sponsor trains and orients the au pair and screens potential host families. The host family must provide the au pair with a private room and three meals per day. Getting Advice Which of these options is best will depend on a family's circumstances and needs, as well as the availability of each kind of visa. Consultation with an immigration lawyer will help a family decide which approach to take in bringing a nanny from another country to the United States.

Justin Lee Williams | Mar 14, 2017

J-1 Physicians Guide to Practicing in the U.S.

The J-1 Visa The J-1 Visa is a type of non-immigrant visa issued to exchange visitors conducting research, professors, and programs that promote cultural exchange. They are commonly used by individuals seeking medical training and typically require sponsorship by an employer, university, or government. The recipient of a J-1 Visa may stay in the United states until the end of their exchange program plus an additional 30 days. The J-1 visa recipient is normally required to return to their home country for a minimum of two years prior to being allowed to return to the United States legally. This is oftentimes referred to as the "two-year home residence requirement." However, there are several waivers of this home residence requirement which physicians may wish to pay particular attention to. The reminder of this guide outlines several of the important waivers of the two-year home residence requirement. Conrad Program The Conrad Program is named after North Dakota Senator Kurt Conrad who introduced the legislation creating the Conrad Program in 1994. The program was originally created as a method to address the issue of physician shortages in many rural and undeserved areas of the country. The program originally allowed each state to sponsor up to 20 international medical graduates for waiver of the two-year home residence requirement of the J-1 visa. The number of medical graduates that each state can sponsor has since been increased from 20 to 30. Each state has its own state-specific requirements to participate in its Conrad program, but there are also some general requirements which apply to all states and applicants: 1. The applicant must have received an offer for full-time employment in an area which has been federally designated as a health professional shortage area. 2. The applicant must work in the location for at least 3 years. 3. The applicant must begin working within 90 days of the waiver's approval. 4. The applicant must not apply for another state's Conrad waiver. To apply for the waiver, an applicant will need to obtain sponsorship from a state health department. It is important to remember that each state will approve only 30 applications, so it is important to submit an application early. Some states receive many more waiver applications each year then other, and are therefore, more competitive than other states. Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and Delta Regional Authority (DRA) The ARC and DRA differ slightly than the Conrad Program in that they place a few more restrictions on the types of physician they will accept into the waiver program and the location in which the physician may practice. The ARC program is specifically for primary care physicians that wish to practice in outpatient settings only. The states participating in the ARC program are: Alabama, Georgia, kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. The DRA program is not restricted to only primary care physicians, but specialist J-1 physicians are only considered in areas which have a specific need for the specific type of specialty physician. For example. a cardiologist can only apply for the DRA program waiver in a specific area which has a need for a cardiologist. The states participating in the DRA program are: Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee. United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) waiver The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has its own program which allows non-resident medical graduates to waive the two-year home residence requirement. The HHS program is also referred to as the Exchange Visitor Program and applies only to primary care physicians. The applicant must work in a health professional shortage area in the United States and have performed research in an area of priority or significant interest.

Zoe Zhang-Louie | Jan 11, 2017

J-1 Visa: Residency Requirement, No Objection Statement (China) and Exceptional Hardship Waiver

In Our Case - Foreign Residency Requirement Confusion First, the DS-2019 had checked the box specifying that she was "Not subject to the foreign residence requirement." However, the advisory opinion that the prior attorney received stated that she WAS subject to the requirement, because her "field of specialization is included on the Exchange Visitor Skills List for the exchange visitor's country." Here, the moral of the story is that you can't go by the DS-2019, you should request an advisory opinion, which would help clarify the situation. However, as with all issues in law, this takes time, about 4-6 weeks at the very least. No Objection Statement We would recommend that you request a No Objection Statement from your home country's embassy in any case, unless you are a foreign medical physician and do not qualify. To request a No Objection Statement from China is rather complicated as you do not request it directly from the Chinese Embassy, but from a non-profit organization affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education, the New York Service Center for Chinese Study Fellows, Inc. For more information on how to request, after completing the DS-3035, see J-1????. This is also where you would send the Third-Party Barcode page provided with the DS-3035, along with all their requested documents. Exceptional Hardship Waiver Next, we had to address how the U.S. Citizen spouse could suffer exceptional hardship in the event that the J-1 spouse is forced to complete her foreign residency requirement. You have to address (1) how the U.S. Citizen spouse will suffer exceptional hardship if he leaves the country with the J-1 spouse, and (2) how the U.S. Citizen spouse will suffer exceptional hardship if the J-1 spouse leaves without him. And of course, corroborate everything you say with evidence to avoid further Requests for Evidence from USCIS! In this case, we had a lengthy conversation talking about how the U.S. Citizen spouse's career would be disrupted, how he would be forced to leave his grandmother who suffers from Alzheimer's, how he himself suffers from a stress-caused illness that must be monitored carefully.