Where do I apply for an exchange visitor J-1 Visa?
Once you obtain a Form DS-2019 from J1 Training Inc., you may make your exchange visitor J-1 visa application at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate in your country of residence. Also, if you are married, your spouse and any children can apply for an exchange visitor (J-2) visa when you apply, or join you after you are in the United States. In some cases an individual sponsor’s program will not permit a spouse or dependents to accompany their participants. If you are married and/or have dependents who you wish to bring to the United States with you, inquire about this during your interview.
How long before my J-1 program starts can I arrive in the United States? How long can I remain after my program ends?
You may not arrive more than 30 days before the program start date shown on your DS-2019. You will be responsible for your accommodation arrangement and costs if you arrived earlier than your program start date. Upon completion of your exchange program, you have a grace period of 30 days to depart the United States
What will happen to my J-1 Visa status if my exchange visitor program sponsor terminates my exchange visitor program?
If your sponsor terminates your participation in their exchange program for just cause, the sponsor will enter this information into SEVIS and you will be expected to depart the United States immediately. You will not be entitled to the post-completion 30-day period because you did not successfully complete your program.
What will happen to my J-1 Visa status if I withdraw from my exchange visitor program?
If you plan to withdraw from your program, you must notify your program sponsor. Your program sponsor will enter this information into SEVIS and you will be expected to depart the United States immediately. You will not be entitled to the post-completion 30-day period because you did not successfully complete your program.
My visa has expired during the program. What do I do?
If your visa has expired and you do not plan to travel outside the U.S., you do not need to renew the visa.
Please be aware that if you travel outside the United States during your current exchange visitor program and after your J-1 visa has expired, you must apply for a new J-1 visa in your home country in order to re-enter the United States to continue your program.
Can I participate in another J1 program after finishing my current program?
Your current J-1 visa is ONLY applicable for your current J-1 exchange program and under your current program sponsor. Upon completion of your current J-1 program, you are expected to depart the United States. If you intend to pursue a 2nd J-1 exchange program you will need to apply for a new J-1 visa in order to reenter the U.S. for the 2nd program however you have to wait 2 years (not the two-year home-country foreign residence requirement) and should still be able to meet program requirements.
What is Form DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility)?
SEVIS-generated Form DS-2019 is required when applying for the J-1 Visa. The DS-2019 is a controlled form provided to you by the program sponsor. It documents your acceptance to an exchange program sponsored by a State Department designated Exchange Visitor Program sponsor.
Where do I obtain a DS-2019?
After your placement J1 Training Inc. will provide the Form DS-2019 and other necessary visa documents.
What documents are needed to apply for an Exchange Visitor J-1 Visa?
You will receive detailed information on how to apply for a J1 Visa for your specific home country once your
DS-2019 Form is published. Generally;
- Form DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility) issued by your program sponsor
Other supporting documents that proofs your social ties to your home country
- Passport valid for travel to the United States
- Completed Online Form DS-160, non-immigrant visa application form
- Form DS-7002 (your custom training plan)
- Fee receipt showing; Visa application fee
- 1 passport photograph, meeting format requirements
How can I apply for a waiver of the two-year home-country physical presence requirement?
Visa waiver of the two-year rule is simple and you can do it yourself however, process may take up to six months. You can file your application online and can find step bt step instructions from here.
How do I know if I am subject to the two year home country foreign residency requirement?
When you agree to participate in an Exchange Visitor Program you will be subject to the two-year home-country foreign residency requirement if your exchange program is funded by either your government or the U.S. government, involves specialized knowledge or skills deemed necessary by your home country. If two year home country requirement applies, you must return to your home country for a cumulative total of two years at the end of your exchange visitor program. You are not prohibited from traveling to the United States, but may not benefit from certain employment-based or family-based visas until the foreign residency requirement is satisfied. Selection is made randomly so it is really hard to know whether two year rule will be applied to your visa or not.
Will I have to pay taxes on my salary if I am working and receiving wages while on a J-1 Visa?
J-1 visa holders are considered non-resident aliens and are required to pay federal, state and local income taxes. However, they are generally exempt from paying FUTA and FICA taxes such as social security and medicare taxes or unemployment taxes. The logic is that they cannot be “unemployed” (if their Intern or Trainee program were terminated, their visas would be canceled and they would need to return to their home country immediately). Likewise, they are not able to enjoy social security benefits and are not required to pay into the system.
Am I going to receive a tax refund?
Yes you will receive a tax refund. If you received a paycheck during your internship or training program some of the taxes mentioned above were likely withheld from your pay. You have to file a tax return with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by April 15th, latest in order to receive any refund that you may be due. You are required to pay federal, state and local taxes on earned income while in the US.
You will receive a W-2 Form from your employer by mid-January. This is a document issued by your employer which shows your total earnings for that year, as well as the tax you have already paid. If you did not receive a W-2 Form from your employer by the end of February you have to contact them to make sure you have your W-2 form to file your tax return. State and local taxes will be withheld from your paycheck. How much tax will be held depends on the state that you are training. Some states do not have a personal income tax. It is a good idea to ask your host company if you are required to file a state and/or personal tax return.
J-1 Visa holders are not required to pay social security and Medicare taxes. If you see these items has been deducted from your paycheck you have to contact to your host company.