Facts about J-1 non-immigrant exchange visa

The non-immigrant Exchange Visitor visa is commonly known as “J-1” or “Exchange” visa.  They are issued to individuals who participate in work- and study-based exchange programs.  It promotes cultural as well as medical or business training in the U.S.  All applicants must meet the criteria and should be sponsored by private or government entities.  Duration period of the visa wary according to the program and all J-1 visa holders and their family members must leave the U.S. within 30 days after the completion of the program.

One of the conditions of this type of visa is that there is a mandatory completion period at the home country.  Once a person complete the J-1 program and leaves the U.S., he or she must complete a mandatory two-year period at the home country before entering back to the U.S. again.  However, under certain situations such as threat of prosecution and exceptional hardships may waive the two-year home country service requirement.  Most eligible categories for J-1 visa include physicians, Au Pair, Interns, teachers and flight training.  J-1 visa holders are exempt from FICA, Medicare and Social Security payroll deductions.  However, depending on the program, earnings within the U.S. may be taxable for Federal and state taxes.