J1 Visa Programs

J1 Visa Programs

There are many different types of J1 visa programs for a wide variety of activities such as to study, research, visit, teach, demonstrate special skills, train, work under an internship, etc.

ProgramMaximum Duration
Au Pair Program12 months. Extension of 6, 9, or 12 months is possible.
Camp Counselors4 months. No extensions.
College and University Student ProgramBachelor/Master degree: 18 months
Post Doctoral: 36 months

Non-degree: 24 months
Government Visitor Program18 months
Intern Program12 months
International Visitor Program12 months
Physician ProgramDuration of residency program. Maximum 7 years.
Professor and Research Scholar ProgramMaximum – 5 years, Minimum – 3 weeks
Secondary School Student Program12 months
Short Term Scholar Program6 months
Specialist Program12 months
Summer Work Travel Program4 months
Teacher Program3 years
Trainee ProgramAgriculture, Hospitality: 12 months
Others: 18 months

As you can see from the table above, the maximum duration of any J-1 program is 7 years. 

You should carefully choose the right category. Choosing the wrong J-1 category may create problems and may prevent you from being able to change plans to remain at a particular organization or transfer to another organization. It can even affect your ability to return to the U.S. again on the J-1 visa.

Pilot Programs

There are several pilot programs specifically for the citizens of specific countries:

Summer Work/Travel: Australians, New Zealanders
Intern Work/Travel: Irish
Work/English Study/Travel: South Koreans
2011 Pilot Summer Work Travel Program for Belarus, Bulgaria, Moldova, Romania, Russia and Ukraine

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