J-1 visas may be issued to foreigners accepted into an “exchange visitor program” in the U.S. J-1 visa applicants must (1) submit to an interview, (2) complete a DS-160 form, and (3) pay the appropriate fees.
In Las Vegas, common exchange programs involve au pair jobs in Summerlin or Green Valley, UNLV professorships, teaching positions at the Clark County School District.
Below our Las Vegas J-1 visa attorneys answer frequently-asked-questions about “exchange visitors” visas in Nevada. Click on a topic below to go directly to that section.
- 1. Can I get a J-1 visa in Las Vegas, NV?
- 2. How do I apply for a J-1 visa?
- 3. What is the time frame for getting a J-1 visa?
- 4. What are J-1 visa fees?
- 5. Can my family come with me on a J-1 visa in Las Vegas, NV?
1. Am I eligible for a J-1 visa?
In general, a foreign citizen will apply for a J-1 visa when he/she is an exchange visitor. An exchange visitor is an individual who is approved to participate in exchange visitor programs. Exchange visitor programs include:
- Au pair
- Camp counselor;
- Government visitor;
- International visitor;
- Professor and research scholar;
- Short-term scholar;
- Summer work travel;
- Teacher; and
In order to be eligible for a J-1 visa, the foreign citizen must initially apply for and be accepted into one of the approved exchange visitor programs with a designated sponsoring organization. Once accepted into an exchange visitor program, the foreign citizen will be enrolled in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Exchange visitors who are citizens of countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) are not allowed to travel without a visa on the VWP if the reason for the travel is to participate in an exchange visitor program.
2. What is the application process for J-1 visas in Las Vegas, Nevada?
When completing an online J-1 visa application, the applicant will need to complete Form DS-160 as well as upload a photo as part of the process. The majority of J-1 applicants are required to participate in a visa interview, which is scheduled and administered by a consular officer. Generally, all applicants between the ages of 14 and 79 will be expected to have an interview. If the applicant is 13 and younger or 80 and older, he/she will typically not have an interview. However, keep in mind that the consular officer has discretion in this matter and may require an interview for any applicant.
The interview will take place at the U.S. embassy or consulate in the individual’s country of residence. Wait times associated with these interviews will vary by location, season, and visa category.
When preparing for the interview, it is important to have the necessary documentation which will be expected for the interview. This documentation typically includes:
- Passport: The passport must allow for travel to the U.S. and be valid for at least six months beyond the intended period of stay in the U.S.;
- Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160;
- Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status, Form DS-2019; and
- Training/Internship Placement Plan, Form DS-7002.
3. How long does it take to get a J-1 visa?
Usually several months, but it varies depending on the applicant’s home country and circumstances. The applicant can learn more at the Department of State website. Either way, applicants should apply as soon as possible and note that they may not enter the U.S. more than 30 days prior to the start date of their program in Nevada.
4. What does it cost to get a J-1 visa?
Typically, a J-1 visa costs $140. The SEVIS I-901 fee may be $180, $35, or free depending on the type of exchange visitor. Other costs depend on the kind of foreign exchange program and how long it lasts.
5. Can my spouse or child travel to Las Vegas, Nevada, with me on a J-1 visa?
It depends on the foreign exchange program. If the specific program permits for husbands/wives and kids to live with the exchange visitor, they will be issued documentation for J-2 visas.
Call a Nevada immigration attorney…
When considering applying for a J-1 exchange visitor visa to the U.S., it is in your best interest to work with an immigration professional who understands the laws and who can ensure that you receive the best representation possible. Contact our Las Vegas immigration attorneys today, and we will let you know if we believe we can help you.