Visa Overview

Understanding The J1 Visa Program

The purpose of the J-1 visa program is to provide international participants with opportunities for professional development, insight into the American know-how in the field of training and a greater understanding of the American society and culture. J-1 visa interns and trainees are expected to share the cross-cultural and professional knowledge that they have gained in the US upon return to their home country at the end of their training. The J-1 program is also intended to allow American citizens to learn about the culture and expertise of the participant’s home country. The Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 which created the J-1 visa, enables the Government of the United States to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange. It promotes international cooperation for educational and cultural advancement and thus to assist in the development of friendly, sympathetic, and peaceful relations between the United States and the other countries of the world.

The J-1 Visa provides countless opportunities for international candidates looking to travel and gain experience in the United States. The multifaceted programs enable foreign nationals to come to the US to teach, study, conduct research, demonstrate special skills or receive on the job training for periods ranging upto 12 months. US employers do not sponsor J-1 visa participants. The applicant is sponsored by accredited organizations that have been authorized by the US Department of State to sponsor a number of exchange visitor programs. Global Career Exchange Partners visa service is available to participants in the Intern and Trainee categories within the following fields:

  • Hospitality and Tourism.
  • Business, Management, Commerce and Finance.
  • Information, Media and Communications.

The J1 Visa Allows The Applicant To

  • Participate in a training program from 3 to 12 months.
  • Obtain a Social Security number.
  • Obtain a U.S. driver’s license.

The J1 Visa Does Not Allow The Applicant To

  • Change host employer unless the transfer and new Host Company has been previously approved.
  • Gain employment outside of the original training program.
  • Extend the hospitality/culinary training program past 12 months.

Changing Host Companies

  • Transfers are exceptions, and will only be considered in the event that the Host Company where you are completing your program is unable to provide the agreed training or some other irreconcilable issue has emerged.
  • J-1 visa regulations prohibit participants from changing host companies without their sponsor first vetting the new host company and approving the transfer before any host company change. Note that transfers, if ever approved, may take weeks to get processed and may incur administrative costs to the participant involved.

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