This is a very diverse visa category that can apply to:
● Professors and research scholars
● Short term scholars
● College Students
● Secondary School students (host family)
● Foreign National Physicians
● Camp Counselors
● Au Pairs
● Summer Work Travel Programs
● Government Visitors
● International Visitors
Most often these programs are hosted by a U.S. company that has been given a charter by the U.S. Department of State for specific functions. For this reason, you may see many host companies who will assist in the visa process.
One aspect of the J1 visa is the return home requirement noted under section 212(e). Since the J1 visa has a cultural exchange element, foreign nationals normally have a return home requirement. This requirement can be waived when you obtain the DS 2019 as part of the visa approval process. When it is not waived, foreign nationals must file a waiver of the return home requirement under:
1. No objection;
2. Request by U.S. government agency;
3. Persecution if you return home;
4. Exceptional hardship to U.S. spouse or child;
5. Designated by a State Public Health Department.
Each of these categories has many details and requirements, so it is best to work with an attorney during this process.