Call Today 512-323-2333
We help families and individuals Achieve the American Dream. Start Your Evaluation Chat Live Now!
William Jang William Jang

J-1 – Exchange Visitor

Basic Requirements:

The J-1 visa status is available to foreign citizens through the Exchange Visitor Program for the express purposes of engaging in academic study, gaining experience, or contributing to research in the United States. With that in mind, this visa status may be available to a broad range of foreign nationals, including: students, scholars, researchers, teachers, business trainees, experts, medical interns, camp counselors, and aux pairs. Applicants must maintain residence in a foreign country for the duration of their stay.

Sponsors for applicants must already possess the Department of State’s designation as an Exchange Visitor Program participant and have been assigned a designated program number.

Two Years Foreign Residence Requirement:

Before some J-1 visa holders may obtain nonimmigrant or permanent residency visas in the L or H categories, they may be required to satisfy a two year foreign residence requirement following the completion of their visit. Pursuant to this requirement, some J-1 visa holders may first be required to live in their home country for a period of two years—or any country they last resided in—in order to obtain a waiver for this requirement.

In most instances, any individual who studied or worked in a field that appears on his or her home country’s Skill List—as maintained by the Department of State—will be subject to this requirement. Additionally, individuals who received funding from the United States or their home country will likely be required to fulfill the two year foreign residence requirement.

Waivers to this requirement may be available under specific circumstances; this will be discussed in greater detail below.

Duration of Stay:

The duration of stay for individual J-1 visa holders will directly depend upon the following classifications within the Exchange Visitor Program:

Students: Students who wish to attend a secondary school may be admitted for a period of a single year. Students who wish to enter college or university programs may be admitted for a period of time that will be sufficient to complete their studies. Under some circumstances, college or university students may extend their visas to engage in professional training upon the completion of their degrees.

Teachers: Teachers who wish to work in a primary or secondary school may be admitted for a period of up to three years. Professors and research scholars that will be associated with a college or university will be admitted for a period that may not exceed five years.

Short-Term Scholars: Under this designation, short-term scholars may be admitted into the U.S. for a period of six months.

Foreign Medical Graduates: Doctors who participate in an internship or residence in the United States may be admitted for the duration of their program, which will not typically exceed seven years.

Trainees and Interns: Individuals who will be serving as trainees in most occupations will be admitted for a period of no more than 18 months. However, trainees in the field of hospitality and tourism may only be admitted for 12 months, except for those individuals training for a management position. Individuals who will be serving as interns may remain in the United States so long as they maintain their status as a student or begin their program within a year of their graduation.

Specialists: Individuals serving as specialists may be admitted for a period of a single year.

Aux Pairs: Individuals serving as aux pairs may be admitted for a period of a single year.

Camp Counselors and Summer Student Workers & Travelers: Individuals of any of these designations may be admitted for a period of four months.

Government Visitors: Individuals who will be entering the United States under the capacity of a government visitor may be admitted for a period of 18 months.

Depending upon the circumstances of any given case, the Department of the State may choose to extend the duration of stay for any of these designations to match the needs of the applicant.

Family Members:

The derivative J-2 status will be available to the spouse and children of any person who obtains J-1 status. To be eligible, children must be under the age of 21 and be unmarried. As such, spouses and children of J-1 visa holders may accompany and remain with their loved ones for their duration of their stay.

Under the J-2 derivative status, spouses and children who are of age may accept employment opportunities after they have first obtained employment authorization. To obtain authorization, J-2 visa holders must apply for and receive approval. The compensation spouses and children receive from their positions must not be required to provide financial support for the J-1 visa holder.

Fees for the J-1 Status Change Application:

At the William Jang, PLLC, our Austin immigration attorneys will charge the following in attorney’s fees to file your application from within the United States at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)(please take a moment to look over this disclaimer), in addition to the filing fees that are currently charged by the USCIS:

  • $2,000 in attorney’s fees to file the J-1 application for the principle beneficiary
  • $370 for the filing fee that is currently charged by the USCIS
  • $200 for the fee charged by the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)

Waiver of the Two-Year Foreign Residence Requirement:

There are a number of waivers that may be obtained to satisfy the two-year foreign residency requirement. The following waivers may be obtained by the exchange visitors:

No-Interest Waiver: This waiver may be obtained when an individual’s government of nationality—or of previous residency—provides the Department of State with a statement indicating that it has no objection to waive the J-1 visa holders obligation to return home.

It should be noted that physicians that have received medical training in the United States under the J-1 program will not be eligible for this waiver. Moreover, this waiver will likely not be available to anyone who received a U.S. government fund during their stay. This is probably the most widely used waiver for non-physicians.

Interested Government Agency Waiver:

This waiver must be granted by what is known as an Interested Government Agency (IGA). These waivers must be submitted by a U.S. IGA to the Department of State and must indicate that agency’s belief that the J-1 visa holder’s departure would adversely affect a program or activity that is of official interest to that same agency.

If a J-1 visa holder is employed by a governmental agency in the U.S., that agency will most likely be the agency to request this waiver. If the J-1 visa holder is not employed by a governmental agency in the U.S., then the agency that is most directly involved with the J-1 visa holder’s work will request this waiver.

With this in mind, physicians who have chosen to work with underserved populations may look to the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), the applicable State Health Department that is under the Conrad Program, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Hardship to Family Member(s) Waiver: This waiver may be available if it may be determined that the departure of the J-1 visa holder would create exceptional hardship for a United States citizen or permanent resident, particularly for spouses and children. Typically, a full assessment of the hardship expected to be suffered by all parties must be addressed in this waiver application. It may be further argued that a social, cultural, economic, medical, psychological, business, political, racial, or religious hardship will qualify an individual for this waiver.

Persecution Waiver: If J-1 visa holders fear that they will be persecuted—based on race, political opinion, or religious views—upon their return home, this waiver may be obtained so that they may make arrangements to remain in the United States. However, it should be noted that the asylum application may be a better means of remaining in the U.S.

Fees for the J-1 Two Years Foreign Residence No-Interest Waiver:

At the William Jang, PLLC, our Austin immigration attorneys charge the following in attorney’s fees during the visa application process from within the United States and with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)(please take a moment to look over this disclaimer), along with the filing fee that is currently charged by the Department of State:

  • $2,000 in attorney’s fees to file the principal beneficiaries application
  • $215 for the filing fee charged by the Department of State
  • The fee charged by your government (fees vary)

What do I need to begin?
Information and Documentation Required for the J-1 Application
Information and Documents needed for Two Years Foreign Residence Requirement Waivers
Sample Retainer Agreement

Consult with a J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa Attorney in Austin

If you or a loved one will be applying for a J-1 visa, you should speak with one of the Austin J-1 exchange visitor visa attorneys at the William Jang, PLLC, to begin the process. Our Austin immigration attorneys have experience with the application process for this visa; we can help ensure the administrative processes run smoothly for you. To discuss your situation with one of our Austin immigration attorneys, please call our Austin offices at today.

Take a moment to look over a sample of our approved cases.

What Our Clients Are Saying

Mustafa Okandan
Mustafa Okandan May 17, 2017
5.0

William has practical solutions for complicated business settings and he uses charts and tables effectively to elaborate business processes. I definitely enjoyed his way of detailed work and cooperation. Best of all, he handles the case by himself completely in a timely manner.

Yanitza Gutierrez
Yanitza Gutierrez May 16, 2017
5.0

To start my dad was already a client of mr. Jang and he had great results. my dad had recommended me going with mr. Jang I was a DACA student and had thought that I had no results with trying to get my green card with immigration but my dad told me to try, and I did and it was a struggle but at the... Read More

Dong Min Han
Dong Min Han Apr 01, 2017
5.0

Fully satisfied!! William and his team helped me and my family with citizenship, change of name, and change of status. They answered my questions clearly. All of my cases was approved!

Hwang Kyuwon
Hwang Kyuwon Feb 09, 2017
5.0

Very friendly and efficient! I highly recommend his team to anyone looking for great immigration related services.

Felipe mtz
Felipe mtz Jul 19, 2016
5.0

Buen abogado siempre al pendiente de tu caso siempre firme

Shahid Gaus
Shahid Gaus May 19, 2016
5.0

I cannot describe how efficient Willam and his team is. We feel Blessed and very thankful to have hired him as our attorney. He was with us all the way till we resolved our immigration issues. he even skyped with us several times when he was visiting Korea and we needed his help. I would highly... Read More

Clementina Anguiano
Clementina Anguiano May 19, 2016
5.0

He was straight and to the point with all our immigration questions. We went to him for renewal of permanent residence and it was awsome. Now we will be contacting him for citizenship.

Marco Blazquez
Marco Blazquez Dec 19, 2015
5.0

Mr. Jang and his associates are by far the most professional and comprehensive law firm I have encountered. They produce results that are phenomenal. My wife and son were granted LPR in less than four months. If you are looking for a world class immigration law firm, look no further!!!!

See More Reviews
Don’t wait until it’s too late!  Contact us today at 512-323-2333
Law Office of William Jang, PLLC Law Office of William Jang, PLLC (512) 323-2333
314 E Highland Mall Blvd #406 Austin TX 78752