J-1 Visa Information

Exchange Visitor Program: The Exchange Visitor Program (J-visa program) has the general purpose of promoting international educational and cultural exchange to develop mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries. As a non-immigrant visa type, all exchange visitors are expected to return to their home country upon completion of their program in order to share their exchange experiences.

Home Residency Requirement: Individuals that participate in the exchange visitor program may become subject to the home-country physical presence requirement, sometimes referred to as “212(e).” If you become subject to this requirement, it will be documented on your DS-2019 and/or J-1 visa. Individuals that are subject are required to remain in their home country or country of permanent residency for at least two years after completing the J-1 program before being eligible to return to the US in certain immigration categories such as H-1B. 

Traveling to the US: Be sure when traveling to the US that you keep your passport and DS-2019 in your carry-on luggage. Do not put your DS-2019 in a checked bag! You will need to show your DS-2019, passport, and visa to the officer at the border. It is also recommended that you keep your offer letter with your other important documents in case the officer would like to review it.

Rules and regulations:The Department of State’s brochure on the J-1 program, including important rules and regulations regarding your J-1 status, can be found here.

For questions, concerns, or assistance, please contact Assistant Dean of Students and Director of the International Student Resource Center, Josh Whitson.  The ISRC is located in Wilder Hall 208, 440-775-8462.

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