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Exchange Visitors (J Visa)
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Non-Immigrant Visa Unit

The Exchange Visitor Program is administered by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. American universities, summer camps, hospitals, and private foundations sponsor exchange visitor programs. These programs are designed to facilitate cultural and educational exchanges between the United States and other countries.

In order to obtain an Exchange Visitor (J-1) Visa, a visa applicant must first be accepted by a program that is authorized by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to participate in the Exchange Visitor Program. The organization must issue a DS-2019 form to the applicant.

Exchange Program Sponsors

Visiting Scholars

  • The university that you are visiting should provide you with your DS-2019 form.

High School Student Exchange

Practical Training

Agricultural and Horse Training

Au Pair and Study Abroad Programs

How to Apply for a J-1 Exchange Visitor's Visa

Applicants for nonimmigrant visas must be interviewed in person. You can find instructions on how to book an appointment in the feature box on the right side of this page.

Please be aware that United States Department of Homeland Security regulations state that holders of F, M and J Nonimmigrant visas will not be admitted to the United States until a date 30 days or less prior to the beginning of your program date, or start date, as given on your form I-20 (for F or M visas) or DS-2019 (for J visas). Please consider that date carefully when making your travel plans to the United States.

Important: Applicants for J-1 visas who are not resident in Sweden, or who may shortly cease residing in Sweden (e.g., a non-Swedish graduate student who will shortly complete his or her course of study at a Swedish university), and who have no definite plans to return to Sweden after the conclusion of their J-1 program should consider applying for their J-1 visa in their home country or in a country to which they have strong and permanent ties. Such applicants will have difficulty in demonstrating to the U.S. consular officer in Sweden that they have strong ties and long-term commitments outside the U.S. to which they will return.

Two-Year Foreign Residence Requirement

A person subject to the two-year foreign residence requirement is not eligible to apply for an immigrant visa, or for permanent residence, or for an H or L Temporary Employment nonimmigrant visa until it is established that such person has resided and been physically present in the country of his nationality or his last residence for an aggregate of a least two years following departure from the United States.

Exchange visitors who are subject to, but do not wish to comply with, the two-year home country residence requirement, may apply for a waiver of that requirement under any one of the five applicable grounds provided by the United States immigration law. Please visit the State Department website for more information on how to apply for a J1 waiver.