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J-1 Cultural Exchange Visitor Visa for Entrepreneurs, Scholars, Au Pairs, Professors, and Trainees


The Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) provides opportunities for around 300,000 foreign visitors per year to experience United States society and culture and engage with Americans.  Exchange visitors on private sector programs may study, teach, do research, share their specialized skills, or receive on-the-job training for periods ranging from a few weeks to several years.   EVP participants are young leaders and entrepreneurs, students, fledgling and more seasoned professionals eager to hone their skills, strengthen their English language abilities, connect with Americans, and learn more about the U.S. There are fifteen different categories under the J-1 visa program, including: professors and research scholars, short-term scholars, trainees, interns, college and university students, teachers, secondary school students, specialists, foreign medical graduates, camp counselors, au pairs, and the summer work travel program.

To obtain a J-1 visa , you must work with a sponsoring agency. They agency will provide you with Form DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status. After you have obtained a Form DS-2019, you may then apply for a J-1 visa through the U.S. Department of State. Waiting times may very, so it is recommended that you submit your visa application as early as possible, keeping in mind that you may not enter the US as a J-1 visitor more than 30 days before your program begins. While in the US, you may only work for your sponsoring agency and cannot obtain outside employment.



East Stroudsburg University’s International Innovation Program allows international entrepreneurs to come to the U.S. for up to five (5) years in order to establish a new business or bring a new product to market in the state of Pennsylvania with little initial investment liability.

If you have a spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age, they may join you in the United States as J-2 visitors. Your spouse and children may obtain work authorizations, but their income may not be used to support you.

Click here for additional information about the J-1 visa.

If you are interested in immigrating to the United States, or have questions about the various visa options, or finding the right J-1 program, schedule a complimentary 15-minute consultation with The Grady Firm’s attorneys; call +1 (323) 450-9010; or fill out a Contact Request Form.


The Grady Firm works with dynamic employers and employees across the country to prepare successful employment-based visa and Green Card applications. In addition, we help individuals, families, employees, business owners, and investors obtain non-immigrant and immigrant visas (B-1/B2, H-1B, H-2B, L-1A, L-1B, O-1, TN, E-2, E-3), as well and Green Cards and citizenship based on family relationships, investment, or employment.

Click here to schedule a complimentary 15-minute consultation with The Grady Firm’s attorneys; call +1 (949) 798-6298; or fill out a Contact Request Form.


*This article is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. This article does not make any guarantees as to the outcome of a particular case, as each case has its own set of circumstances and must be evaluated individually by licensed attorney.

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