Foreign nationals in New York can get a J-1 visa if they qualify as an exchange visitor under the definition used by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The J-1 visa applies to some people who are entering the country to work and also to some who are not. People can work under their J-1 visas only by the terms of the exchange regulations.
J-1 visas may be available for people who are entering the country to participate in a program that has been approved for purposes of instructing, lecturing, teaching, observing, studying, conducting research, demonstrating special skills, consulting, receiving graduate medical education or receiving training. The program is designed to foster the exchange of people, skills and knowledge in arts, education and science. Some examples of people who may qualify as exchange visitors include research assistants, trainees, scholars or professors, students, specialists, au pairs, teachers and camp counselors.
The J-1 exchange program is primarily overseen by the U.S. Department of State. The first step in a J-1 visa application is the submission of a Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status, Form DS-2019. Officials who have authority to give out these forms are known as Alternate Responsible Officers or Responsible Officers. People may have to wait varying lengths of time following submission of Form DS-2019 before they get an application interview. Once the visa application is approved, the applicant can enter the country within 30 days of the beginning of their program.
An attorney who practices immigration law might be able to help interested parties secure a visa via the J-1 exchange program. He or she may draft and file the necessary paperwork or communicate with government officials on the applicant’s behalf. In cases where the J-1 visa is inapplicable, an attorney might suggest alternative means to secure a visa to enter or remain in the United States.