Exchange Visitor Visa
Will you be working in the United States? If so, please review the online pamphlet regarding your rights as an employee
This visa category is designed for applicants planning to participate in programs approved by the U.S. Department of State to teach, study, research, demonstrate special skills, receive training, or to participate in a program to receive graduate medical education.
The category also includes programs approved by the U.S. Department of State to place people into firms, institutions and other agencies for on-the-job practical training in specialized fields for periods not exceeding 18 months.
Attendance at English language programs and seminars, workshops or short courses directly related to the practical training may be allowed. It also enables visitors to travel for observations appropriate to practical training, to train in U.S. techniques and methodology of their respective fields, to contact American counterparts, and to promote cross-cultural contacts between workers, professionals, researchers and students in the general interest of international exchange. This includes camp counselor and au pair programs as well as the Student Work and Travel Program.
For more information regarding the Student Work and Travel Program, please visit: http://canberra.usembassy.gov/student_work_travel_pilot_prog.html
Before applying for a visa, you must have been accepted into an approved program. Evidence of your acceptance is the form DS-2019 (formerly Form IAP-66), sent directly to you by the U.S. or local sponsor. All J visa trainee or intern applicants with DS-2019 forms dated on or after July 19, 2007 must also present a DS-7002. For further information regarding this requirement, please visit the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs website.
Applying for the visa
See Applying for a Nonimmigrant Visa for instructions on how and where to submit your application.
Your application must include the following:
- Original signed acceptance form DS-2019 from your U.S. sponsor or educational institution (All J visa trainee or intern applicants with DS-2019 forms dated on or after July 19, 2007 must also present a DS-7002)
- To complete your online visa application, you will need a digital photo. Please read carefully the requirements to upload your photo and the photo specifications before you begin completing your application. If you do not have a digital photo or you fail to upload your photo correctly, you may send a photo meeting these requirements along with your passport. Further details of photo requirements.
- Complete the Electronic Visa Application Form DS-160 online and print out the confirmation page with the barcode.
- Valid passport
- If applicable, evidence of financial resources to cover expenses while in the U.S.
- Receipt of payment of non-refundable application fee, paid online or at Australia Post
- Payment of issuance fee (see below)
- SEVIS I901 fee information
In addition to the above items, you may be asked to present evidence and documents that establish your purpose and qualifications. You may be asked to submit documentation of a residence abroad to which you will return after your visit to the U.S.
The spouse and minor children (under age 21) of the principal applicant are eligible to apply for visas as dependents (although defacto marriages are not accepted for U.S. visa purposes). Each dependent must complete a separate application, and submit separate processing and other visa fees.
There are three parts to the nonimmigrant student visa fee: the application fee, the issuance fee and the Sevis fee.
Please note: J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa applicants who are participating in a Federal Government sponsored program beginning with the prefix G-1, G-2, G-3 or G-7 are exempt from the application fee, issuance fee and SEVIS fee.
See our fee information.
How long am I permitted to stay in the U.S. after my program has ended?
The initial admission of an exchange visitor, spouse and children may not exceed the period specified on Form DS-2019, plus a period of 30 days for the purpose of travel. The 30-day grace or travel status period is intended to be a period following the end of the exchange visitor's program and is to be used for domestic travel and/or to prepare for and depart from the U.S., and for no other purpose. A spouse or child (J-2 visa holder) may not be admitted for longer than the principal exchange visitor (J-1 visa holder).
For persons wanting to participate in medical programs, there may be additional requirements. You can ask about these requirements by writing to the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) located at 3624 Market Street, Level 4, Philadelphia, PA 19104-2685, or by calling (1) 215-386-5900.