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Helping Exchange Visitors Obtain J-1 Classification and the Path to a Green Card

The Exchange Visitor Program is overseen by the United States Department of State, and it allows approved individuals from foreign countries to come to the U.S. for a variety of reasons. Such reasons include studying, research, teaching, lecturing, instructing, observing, consulting, training, demonstrating specialized skills, or participating in higher-level medical education or training. The State Department designates program sponsors, and exchange visitors can receive J-1 nonimmigrant classification. However, individuals with J-1 status are also eligible to apply for green cards and permanent residency.

The Exchange Visitor Program is important to promote the interchange of ideas, knowledge, skills, and more in fields such as the arts, science, and education. If you are part of a designated exchange program that is seeking J-1 classification for visitors, or if you are a J-1 participant and wish to apply for a green card, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced immigration. Our legal team at Farmer, Farmer & Brown Law Firm, P.L.L.C. handles cases like these, and can help you achieve your immigration goals.

The J-1 Application Process

Potential applicants for J-1 status and related green cards may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Scholars
  • Professors
  • Students
  • Research assistants
  • Teachers
  • Trainees
  • Specialists
  • Counselors
  • Au Pairs

If you wish to come to the U.S. as an exchange visitors in a qualified capacity, you will need to closely following the application procedures and meet all requirements. The process includes:

  • Obtaining Form DS-2019 from the agency that is sponsoring you and the Responsible Officer (RO), who should work with you during the process. Obtaining this form, which is the Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status, requires that you provide specific information and documentation to your sponsor.
  • Submit your Form DS-2019 and your completed J-1 visa application to the Department of State via the U.S. consulate or embassy in your country.
  • Attend your interview appointment at the consulate or embassy and comply with all requirements.
  • Do not enter the United States prior to 30 days before your specific program starts.

Different J-1 visas have different allowances and restrictions, such as the ability to work as part of the exchange program or not. Spouses and children younger than 21 may also accompany J-1 visa holders and may obtain work authorization.

Once you obtain J-1 status, there are different procedures if you wish to apply for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status (AOS) to a permanent resident. In some cases, a requirement for foreign residency of two years may be imposed before receiving your green card, though many people can obtain a waiver of this requirement.

Contact Our J-1 Visa Lawyers for Additional Information about Our Services

If you need assistance with any part of the J-1 visa or green card application process, our immgration lawyers at Farmer, Farmer & Brown Law Firm, P.L.L.C. in Iowa are ready and able to help. We work to prevent complications and help you achieve your immigration goals. Call (512) 894-2128 or contact us online to learn more about our services today.


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