Benefits of the J1 Students Visa

Many students travel to other countries for higher education and Master’s degrees. During the coronavirus pandemic, there was a complete halt in student migration globally, giving rise to several universities hosting classes online to help curb the spread of the virus. Among these were countries like the UK, Australia, Canada, India, and the US. The student migration to and from these countries is incredibly high in volume. 

Many students travelling to the US prefer opting for the J1 study visa, which allows international students to receive professional training and study on an Exchange Visitor program while in the US. These students prefer the duration, benefits, and programs available with the J1 study visa

What is the J1 Visa?

The J1, like many others, is essentially a student visa or student permit. However, it differs from other visas since it allows students to teach, receive training, and study when within the US. The J1 Visa is ideal for students enrolled with institutes accredited by the US States Department. In its fundamental essence, the J1 Visa is like a student exchange and visitor program that promotes cultural exchange, medical, management, or business training. It allows for skills exchange and building between the US and international students. 

Many students with international languages as their first language prefer opting for this Visa. However, it is vital to fit the eligibility criteria and receive sponsorship from a not-for-profit, profit, educational, private, or government-owned entity. 

What is the J1 Exchange Visa?

This Exchange Visitor Visa helps participants enhance their English language skills and engage and interact with American students and those who speak English. The J1 Exchange Program has more than 15 categories, with several privately funded and plenty in the sectors of not-for-profit, profit, and local government. 

Those with the J1 Visa can easily benefit by participating, researching, teaching, receiving on-the-job training, and studying for weeks or years (basis the duration of the J1 Visa). Many students opt for the J1 Visa from an excellent university in the US and then switch to a Global talent visa in the UK. This Visa is awarded by the UK government to individuals with relevant work experience and educational qualifications from top-tier universities globally.

What are the Benefits of the J1 Visa?

Since overseas students and migrants can avail of the J1 Visa, several benefits exist. The J1 Student Visa should not be confused with the F1 Visa. The F1 is only for students. However, with the J1, students, scholars, teachers, researchers, interns, trainees, professors, and more can travel to the US to impart or receive formal education and training and work. Another name for the J1 Visa is the Exchange Visitor Visa. 

  • International students and foreigners can gain excellent English language skills. 
  • Migrants can receive training and skills in several faculties in the US. They can then use these skills or start training others in their home countries. 
  • Mandatory ‘home residency’ of two years to help impart the skills learned before revisiting the US. 
  • The J1 Visa accommodates College and University Students, Secondary School Students, Short-Term Scholars, Research scholars, interns, specialists, summer work travel, government visitors, physicians/ doctors, camp counsellors, international visitors, au pairs, professors, trainees, and teachers.
  • J1 Visa holders can work part-time (up to 20 hours per week) at the educational institute they study or work in, with a job relevant to their field of study. Au pair between the ages of 18 to 26 years can work as childcare providers in exchange for food expenses, accommodation, and compensation.

The total length of the stay can vary from a few weeks to a decade, depending on the type of work, training, or research you are doing. 

J1 Visa Extension

The J1 Visa can be extended for exceptional circumstances. While there is a mandatory ‘home residency’ requirement after the J1 Visa, there are circumstances where it can be waived. These conditions are:

  • No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your home country.
  • Formal evidence that shows you will face persecution in the home country.
  • A US government agency expresses its interest in retaining you in the US.
  • Formal proof/ evidence that you and your family would be in extreme hardships in the home country upon returning.

Apart from these waivers, you could also apply for the DS-2019 form with evidence supporting the reasons to stay back in the US. If this application goes through, you could get a visa extension. Many students also apply to a different visa category. However, this should only be done for extenuating or unusual circumstances. 

After the program, you are allotted a ’30 days Grace’ period to wind up your affairs in the US and leave the country. 

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By Bello

Ismail Bello is a content creator and enthusiast who is passionate about youth development.