J-1 Visas

J-1 Temporary Exchange Visitor Visa

J-1 Visas are for people who want to work or study in an approved program.

J-1 visas include professors, research assistants, students, trainees, teachers, specialists, nannies or au pairs, and camp counselors. The length of stay is determined by the type of field the visitor is in. For example, an internship may have a maximum duration of 12 months whereas professors and scholars may stay for up to five years.

The Bernard Firm P.L.C. has an emphasis in internships and trainee programs for livestock production and management, specifically swine production however J-1 internship and trainee programs are available for multiple occupations including agriculture, forestry and fishing, arts and culture, education, hospitality and tourism, public administration and law, information media and communications, management, business, commerce, and finance, STEM careers, and industrial occupations.

The internship is for someone who is either currently enrolled in and pursuing studies at a post-secondary institution outside of the United States or graduated from the institution within the last twelve months.  The trainee program is for someone who has a degree or professional certificate and at least one year of related work experience in the occupational field or five years of work experience in their occupational field. In either of these programs, the maximum stay is twelve months. An additional six months may be available for the trainee program if there is a classroom component.

To start the process, an organization must be designated as a sponsor.  The organization will apply and pay a fee for designation. Once the organization is considered a sponsor, it will screen and select exchange visitors for their program. The sponsor must have a minimum of five exchange visitor participants each year in order to remain eligible for the designation.

In order to qualify for the program as an exchange visitor, the person must have sufficient funds and be fluent in English. They will also have to maintain sufficient medical insurance and have a residence abroad. The exchange visitor will work closely with the Responsible Officer at the sponsor organization in order to obtain a Form DS-2019. Once they have the DS-2019, they can apply for a J-1 visa through a consulate or embassy.

In addition, spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age may be eligible for J-2 classification and be eligible to work. Stories from J-1 visa participants can be found at https://j1visa.state.gov/participants/videos/.

If you are thinking about starting a J-1 program, or you would like to be an exchange visitor for an agricultural business, please contact The Bernard Firm P.L.C. to discuss your options.

  1. Breeder
  2. Poultry Scientist
  3. Soil Scientist
  4. Zoologist Teacher (college, seminary, university)