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J-1 Visa – US Work Permit for Interns and Trainees

The J-1 Visa category was designed to increase mutual understanding between Americans and foreigners by allowing exchange visitors to enter the U.S. temporarily to participate in internships or receive training. Generally, a J-1 may be issued for up to 18 months for a training program and 12 months for an internship. The J-1 is a great option for medical graduates seeking to pursue their fellowship in the United States. To be eligible for a J-1 Visa, the applicant must be sponsored by an organization that approves the training or internship program.


A lot of different industries participate in the program. There are 14 subcategories that an applicant may fit in to secure the visa:


  1. Au Pairs
  2. Camp Counselors
  3. College and University Students
  4. Government Visitors
  5. International Visitors
  6. Interns
  7. Physicians
  8. Professors and Research Scholars
  9. Secondary School Students
  10. Short-Term Scholars
  11. Specialists
  12. Summer Work Travel Program
  13. Teachers
  14. Trainees


When weighing the J-1 Visa option, one should consider the two-year home physical requirement. When it applies, it renders those who enter the U.S. in J-1 status ineligible for select visas and permanent residence (green card) until the applicant has returned to his or her home country for a period of two years. Under some circumstances, the two-year requirement may be waived.


Canadians seeking entry to the U.S. as exchange visitors do not need a visa. Instead, they may apply for admission at a designated port-of-entry by presenting form DS-2019, along with the required supporting documentation.


Looking for help securing a J-1 Visa US work permit?


Silver Immigration can guide you through the process of obtaining a US work visa. Our team will help you understand your visa needs and assist you throughout the process of successfully acquiring a J-1 work permit. Book your free consultation with an immigration lawyer directly or fill out our contact form to speak with a team member.