Specific J Visa Eligibility Requirements and Fees

Specific J Visa Eligibility Requirements and Fees


Sponsors screen and select their program participants according to the eligibility criteria for each program category. Some categories require that a personal interview be part of the screening and selection process. In addition to program-specific criteria, all participants must satisfy English language proficiency and insurance requirements. Sponsors are to provide participants with pre-arrival information prior to their departure from their home countries and an orientation upon their arrival in the United States.  Sponsors are also required to monitor the progress and welfare of the participants for the duration of their programs.


For assistance in meeting your J visa eligibility requirements, please contact our experienced Los Angeles immigration and visa attorneys.   We offer a free initial consultation!  [LINK TO CONTACT JCS]


Pre-Arrival Information for Exchange Visitors


Sponsors are required to provide their participants with information about their program and related matters before they come to the United States. Sponsors must also provide their participants with any contractual obligations relevant to their program category before the participant decides to leave their home country.


English Language Proficiency


Participants must possess sufficient proficiency in the English language to participate in the exchange programs approved in the United States.


Orientation for Exchange Visitors


Sponsors must offer an orientation program for all participants in their programs.  Orientation materials provided should include information about the region, state and locale.  Sponsors are also encouraged to offer orientation to the participant's family who are also visiting the U.S. on a J-2 visa, although this is not required.


Monitoring of All Exchange Visitors


Sponsors are required to monitor the progress and welfare of their participants while they are engaged in the exchange program.  Sponsors are to ensure that the participants' activities are consistent with the program category identified on the participants' visa application.  Sponsors must require their participants to provide current contact (address and telephone number) information and to maintain this information in their files.  All sponsorship programs are required to provide emergency, 24-hour contact information to their participants.


Insurance Requirements


Participants and any J-2 dependent spouse and minor unmarried children under the age 21 accompanying them are required to carry medical insurance at the minimum benefit levels required by exchange program regulations.  Program sponsors are required to ensure that all participants have the appropriate medical insurance. Sponsors will verify that the participant's medical insurance meets the regulatory requirements, and will facilitate the purchase of coverage for participants who do not have their own insurance, or whose coverage does not meet the requirements.  Willful failure on the part of the participant and/or any J-2 dependents to maintain active insurance coverage is grounds for termination from the program.


Exchange Program Fees


Unless you are in a federally funded exchange program, sponsor organizations charge participants program fees. Fees vary from sponsor to sponsor.




When you are accepted into an exchange visitor program, the program sponsor will issue you a government form.  The program sponsor will tell you if you must pay a SEVIS fee to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) unless this fee is already part of your program fees.  Your sponsor should provide you with a receipt of the SEVIS fee if they have paid it as part of your program fee.


Visa Fees


Exchange visitors must pay the nonimmigrant visa application processing fee when they apply for a visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate. Visa applicants need to demonstrate their eligibility for a visa during an interview by a consular officer at the U.S. embassy or consulate.  Applicants will need to provide a receipt showing the visa application processing fee has been paid when you come for your visa interview.


Visa Issuance Fee


You may be charged a visa issuance fee.  Nonimmigrant visa issuance fees are based on the principle of reciprocity, and vary for applicants from different countries and by visa classification.  Visa issuance fees correspond to the total of similar visa fees charged to U.S. citizens by a particular country.  If the amount charged to U.S. citizens exceeds the U.S. visa application fee, then a visa issuance fee is charged. For more information about the visa issuance fee and to determine your fee, please read more here.  [LINK TO http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/fees/reciprocity-by-country.html]


Fee Waivers


U.S. Government sponsored exchange visitor J visa applicants and their dependents are not required to pay visa application processing fees if they are participating in a Department of State, a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), or a U.S. Government funded educational and cultural exchange program that has a program serial number beginning with G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-7 printed on their Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status.  U.S. Government sponsored exchange visitor (J visa) applicants and their dependents are not subject to visa application or issuance fees.

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