Consulates may issue visa at any time as long as DS-2019 is valid. Exchange visitor may not enter US more than 30 days before the program start date on DS-2019 and may remain 30 days post-completion “for the purpose of travel.”
J students are part of the Visa Interview Waiver Pilot Program and may not need an interview to renew their visas if they are continuing the same program or attending the same institution.
J-visa trainee program is generally limited to 18 months, except in the case of agriculture and hotel and tourism which are 12 months with certain exceptions.
Sponsors are obligated to ensure that program is full time; not displace US workers; conduct periodic evaluations; meet all the FLSA and MSAWPA requirements; retaining all documents for 3 years following the completion of the program; obtain DS-7002 forms from each trainee or intern before issuing Form DS-2019; and provide detailed metrics of the intern’s and trainee’s work.
Sponsors cannot place a person in an unskilled or casual labor position; bring the pgoram into notoriety or disrepute; contract with a staffing agency to recruit, screen, evaluate, or train interns; have training involve more than 20% clerical work; have a hospitality or tourism program of greater than 6 months duration that does not have at least 3 departmental or functional rotations; and have interns in the field of aviation.
Sponsor may not place program participants in jobs that require licensing; that are on exclusion list; that involve a position for which there is another specific J visa category; that are with staffing agencies; or that are with employers that fill nonseasonal or non-temporary job openings with exchange visitors with staggered vacation schedules.
Certain exchange visitors are required to return to their home country or country of last residence upon completion of their US training before they may apply for an IV, AOS, or C/S to another NIV status. J visa holders subject to the 2 year foreign residence requirement are persons:
 whose participation was “financed in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, by an agency of the governemtn of the US or by the government of his nationality or last residence;
 who at the time of admission or acquisition of status was engaged in a field on the DOS Exchange Visitor Skills List or;
 who case to the US or acquired J status to receive graduate medical education or training.
Waiver of 2 year Requirement
USCIS can grant waiver upon favorable recommendation by DOS after determining for “persecution” or “hardship” categories (Form I-612) or for “interested government agency” and “no objection” categories.
For more information on J Visas, contact Joseph at [email protected].