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J1 Exchange Visa : A Complete Step by Step Guide

There are a number of questions in the minds of people regarding J1 visa. What is a J1 visa type? Who can qualify for the J1 visa? How long is the J1 visa? Hold on! This blog is a complete step by step guide to the J1 exchange visa. You will get answers to all your questions by reading this blog scrupulously. 

Table of Contents

  1. What is an J1 exchange visa? 

  2. Requirements to apply

  3. Steps to apply for F1 visa 

  4. How long does a J1 exchange visa last? 

  5. FAQs

  6. Wrapping Up

What is an J1 Exchange Visa?

J1 exchange visa is a kind of Us study and Exchange visa that allows you to stay temporarily in the USA while on an exchange visitor program. To get a J1 visa, one first has to apply for an exchange program. Once you get accepted into a program, you will be able to apply for a J1 visa.                                                       

"Hii Manbir Singh Here founder & CEO of IBT Overseas, Holds 10+ years of immigration experience. We are an emerging team of student visa consultants sucessfully stamped 1000+ Visa.  Moreover, IBT Overseas recently bagged the “Best in the market” award in the immigration  field by the leading national media."


Requirements to apply for a J1 exchange visa

What is required to apply for a J1 exchange visa? Which documents are essential? Will you need any photographs or fee receipts? Let’s figure out everything. Read the points given below to know the major requirements of the J1 exchange visa: 

  • You must have a legitimate passport having validity for at least 6 months after your departure from the country. 

  • Evidence of scores on the language proficiency test. 

  • You need passport size photographs that must be clicked as per the instructions given for the visa photo. 

  • Fill the Ds-160 form online and don’t forget to take a screenshot and print out of the confirmation page because it is required in the embassy. 

  • If you need to pay the application fee before your interview, you need to bring your fee receipts during the interview. 

  • Diploma or school transcripts. 

  • Bank statements. 

  • Confirmation of SEVIS Fee. 

  • J1 visa health insurance. 

Steps to apply for a J1 Exchange Visa

Before we proceed further with the steps to apply for a J1 Exchange visa, you first need to know the categories of a J1 Exchange visa. So, below-mentioned are the categories of a J1 exchange visa: 

  • College and University Student

  • International Visitor

  • Government Visitor

  • Camp Counselor

  • Au Pair

  • Secondary School Student

  • Specialist

  • Teacher

  • Intern

  • Professor

  • Physician

  • Trainee

  • Short Term Scholar

  • Research Scholar

  • Summer Work Travel 

Well,  the steps to apply for each category are the same, just the duration to stay in the USA varies for each category. The steps are: 

Step 1: Decide on a sponsor 

The foremost step for a J1 visa is to choose a non-personal source as a sponsor who is able to fund your program. Note that, without a sponsor, you won’t be able to apply for a J1 exchange visa. Moreover, the sponsor must be authorized by the US Department of State

Step 2: Submit the DS-2019 form

Now, you need to complete the DS-2019 form which will be issued to you by your sponsor. There are different DS-2019 forms for different categories. The DS form fee is $160. Make sure to fill in the correct one. After filling the form and checking all the information, submit the form. 

Step 3: Pay the required fees 

At this step, you need to pay the SEVIS fee. Some students think that they only need to pay the SEVIS fee. No, there are multiple fees students need to pay such as SEVIS fee and I-901 fee. The SEVIS Fee for J1 students is $220. 

Step 4: Schedule a visa interview 

You need to fix an appointment for a visa interview because it is a primary step to get your application accepted. This must be done as early as possible after you make payment for the fees. 

Step 5: Attend your visa interview 

Before you attend your appointment, make sure to prepare some frequently asked questions properly. Afterward, reach the destination on time, take all the required documents with you and make sure to answer every question confidently. 

How long does a J1 student visa last? 

It is always a heated question that how long can students stay in the USA with a J1 exchange visa. Well, the minimum duration of a J1 exchange visa is 3 weeks, while the maximum duration is 5 years depending on the program you have chosen. 

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Ques 1) Do we require bank statements while applying for a J1 exchange visa? 

Ans) Yes, you must have  bank statements as proof to show your financial stability while applying for a J1 exchange visa.

Ques 2) How much is the SEVIS fee for J1 students? 

Ans) SEVIS fee for J1 students is $220.

Ques 3) How long can we stay in the USA with a J1 visa? 

Ans) The minimum duration of a J1 exchange visa is 3 weeks, while the maximum duration is 5 years depending on the program you have chosen. 


To conclude, this is a complete guide that will help you apply for a J1 exchange visa appropriately. If you need the right consultation, make sure to approach the best platform such as IBT Overseas. 

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