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The J-1 Visa program allows qualified nonimmigrant visitors to participate in various exchange programs for work and study within the United States. To qualify for a J-1 Visa program, you will need to first obtain sponsorship through an accredited private entity or government body.

There are specific requirements that apply both to J-1 Visa applicants and J-1 Visa sponsors, and it is important to be familiar with both before starting the application process. Fortunately, legal representation could help. A seasoned Wheaton J-1 Visa lawyer could guide you through the steps to sponsorship and ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.

Process of Obtaining J-1 Visa Sponsorship

The first step to applying for a J-1 Visa is to choose a qualified sponsor program that is accredited by the Department of State. Interested applicants must contact the sponsor directly in order to participate in its exchange program, and designated sponsors vary depending on the type of program. Sponsors include the U.S. government, as well as other academic, research, and private sector organizations that have been approved by the State Department’s Office of Private Sector Exchange.

With the help of a Wheaton lawyer, J-1 visa applicants could obtain sponsorship for educational and graduate studies, teaching jobs, au pair positions, summer employment, research programs, and camp counselor positions. Once a sponsor has accepted an applicant to participate in the exchange program, the applicant can obtain a Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (Form DS-2019) from the sponsoring agency.

J-1 Visa Sponsor Obligations

Under federal law, all J-1 Visa applicants participating in an exchange visitor program must obtain insurance coverage that includes coverage for medical care including treatment for sickness and accidents that may occur during the time he or she is serving in their exchange program. It also includes insurance for medical evacuation and repatriation. Specifically, the insurance coverage must meet or exceed the following minimum requirements:

  • Medical insurance coverage of at least $100,000 per illness or accident
  • Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000
  • Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of applicants back to their home country in the amount of $50,000
  • A deductible not to surpass $500 per illness or accident

It is the sponsor’s responsibility to either provide the insurance or to verify that the participant has obtained coverage for the full duration of the exchange program. The sponsor must confirm that the policy is backed by the full faith and credit of the government in the participant’s home country.

Sponsors are further required under 22 CFR 62.10(b) to provide J-1 Visa exchange visitors with orientation information both before the participant’s arrival and during the duration of their stay. The sponsor will provide applicants with specific instructions for remaining in compliance with sponsorship program regulations. It is important for applicants to be aware of all costs and fees associated with their program of interest. Applicants should contact their sponsor for specific details.

Finally, sponsors are required to monitor the participant’s welfare and progress to ensure the participant’s activities are consistent with the program category as outlined in Form DS-2019. A skilled attorney in Wheaton could answer any other questions that a potential J-1 visa sponsor has regarding their responsibilities in this role.

A Wheaton J-1 Visa Attorney Could Offer Helpful Advice

Whether you are applying for sponsorship, are a sponsor yourself, or are in the process of obtaining a J-1 nonimmigrant Visa, a Wheaton lawyer could ensure that you have met all the necessary steps to get your application approved. It is important to present accurate and relevant information during the application process, and the assistance of qualified legal representation could help you avoid any mistakes. Contact us right away to set up your initial consultation.

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