Foreign nationals who wish to come to the U.S. in order to be part of a training program in their respective fields may be eligible for a J-1 trainee visa. It is highly advised that residents of New York consult with an immigration lawyer located in NYC since the requirements for the J-visa can be difficult to grasp. Who May Apply? In order to apply, applicants must meet the following criteria: Applicants must have either a degree or certificate and a minimum of one year of work experience abroad; OR At least five years of related work experience in the field they which to train. Are Certain Fields Prohibited? Yes. While applicants must only meet one of these requirements in order to apply, applicants may not work in positions involving: Unskilled labor Child and/or elder care Patient care Fields such as the arts, hospitality, business management, engineering, etc. are all acceptable for purposes of a J-1 trainee visa. What Do I Need To Apply? It is highly recommended that applicants schedule an interview at their respective embassy/consulate. However, these interviews are not required.
Applicants should be able to provide copies of their degree/certificate as well as evidence of work experience. Applicants should also be able to prove that they are able to finance their stay in the U.S. throughout the duration of the trainee program. Why Should I Apply? Applicants are encouraged to apply because the J-1 trainee program may provide applicants with the skills necessary to succeed in their respective fields. May I Adjust Status Later On? Due to the 2-year residency requirement, J-1 visa holders usually need to return to their home country for two years upon the completion of their trainee program. However, in certain circumstances, the applicant may change/adjust status or apply for another visa after the two years have passed. Furthermore, certain applicants may be able to apply for a waiver of this two-year requirement. If an applicant believes he/she would be interested in applying for the J-1 waiver, he/she should speak with a lawyer specializing in waivers. How Long May I Stay On A “J Visa”? J-1 trainee visa holders are not encouraged to remain in the U.S. for more than 30 days after completion of their trainee program. However, under certain circumstances, applicants may seek permission from USCIS to extend their stay in the U.S.