Salisbury University - Center for International Education
J-1 Visa Status
What is J-1 Nonimmigrant Status?
nonimmigrant is a foreign citizen who visits the United States
for a temporary purpose – tourism, work, or study – and, when
finished, leaves the United States. Before being permitted to
visit the United States as a nonimmigrant, foreign citizens must
non-immigrants apply to visit to the United States, they must
declare their primary purpose for visiting.
Non-immigrants must declare this purpose at least twice: once
when applying for a visa at a United States embassy or consulate
and again at the U.S. port-of-entry (POE) where they arrive in
the United States. The declared primary purpose determines the
type of visa needed and the nonimmigrant class of admission when
admitted at the POE.
J-1 nonimmigrant status, therefore, is
individuals whose main purpose for entering the United States
(U.S.) is to complete specific exchange
program and then return to their home country upon
completion of that program.
The J Exchange Visitor category was
developed to implement the Mutual Educational and Cultural
Exchange Act (Fulbright-Hayes Act) of 1961. The overall purpose
of that Act, and the objective of the Exchange Visitor category,
is "to increase mutual understanding between the people of the
United States and the people of other countries by means of
educational and cultural exchanges."
The J exchange visitor category is a
SEVIS category, meaning all exchange visitor programs
must operate within the context of the Student and Exchange
Visitor Information System (SEVIS).
For more information, please view:
Department of State