If you are looking to come to the USA, the J1 visa is one of the more common visa categories that will let you work, study and spend up to 1 year (possibly more depending on the program) in the USA. The J1 visa is a student visa, so its not available to everyone, but offers you the opportunity to become an exchange visitor as either a short-term scholar, au pair, intern, camp counselor, international visitor or under the work and travel program. For more detailed information about the J1 visa, please see our full explanation of “What is a J1 visa” to learn more about all the categories in more detail.
Each year over 170,000 students come to the USA on the J1 visa, making it one of the larger visa programs and it is immensely popular. To start the process of applying for a J1 visa, you will need to first find a sponsor who will guide you through the whole process – there is a full list of designated J1 visa sponsors on the US State Departments website and it is highly recommended that you only contact one of the approved sponsors first who will guide you in the right direction.
As part of the application process, you will need to attend a J1 Visa Interview where the immigration officer will ask you a range of questions about the program you will be undertaking. One of the biggest points to remember is that the J1 visa is a short term visa, and not designed to be a visa for long term stays in the USA. Therefore during your interview you will most likely be asked about your plans while in the USA and will probably need to show proof that you will return home after your program.
Also as part of your visa application, and an integral part of any travel experience, you will need to show proof of health insurance coverage. J1 visa insurance plans are very common, and in most cases your sponsor should help you find the right plan for you. If this is not the case, or you prefer to locate your own insurance coverage there are certain levels of coverage you will need to meet as outlined in our health insurance requirements for the J1 visa article. This comprehensive article outlines all the coverage and benefit limits you need to meet.
If you need assistance with locating coverage, or have questions about the J1 insurance requirements please do not hesitate to contact us for more information as we are more than happy to assist you.