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J1 Visa Processing Time 2024 – J1 Visa Complete Guide | US Immigration

December 27th, 2023 at 02:04 am

J1 Visa Processing Time 2024 – J1 Visa Complete Guide | US Immigration

Planning an immigration case requires knowing specifics such as what paperwork is needed, which forms to fill out, how much it will cost, how long it will take if you are already in the process, and more. Do you intend to apply for a visa for exchange visitors? This article explains and provides an estimate of the processing time for your J1 Visa.

J1 Visa Processing Time

It may take anywhere from eight to thirteen weeks for your J1 application to be processed and your visa to be issued. The length of the visa interview process varies and influences the overall processing time. At every stage of the process, there are various wait durations. The OIS may need two to three weeks to process the DS-2019.
Depending on how busy The Establishment is, scheduling an appointment with a US Consulate or Embassy may require you to wait anywhere from two weeks to more than a month. It will take roughly a week for them to add it to your passport if the interview goes well.

J1 Visa Process Steps and Processing Times

There are various steps in the application process for the J1 exchange visitor program. How you and your sponsoring organization collaborate to speed up the application process will determine the total processing time. The length of time you must wait at the embassy or consulate to process your visa is another consideration. These are the actions that come next:
  1. Selecting an authorized sponsor
  2. Processing of DS-2019 and SEVIS ID: two to three weeks
  3. Finalizing the DS-160 and setting up the interview: 2 to 4 weeks
  4. Showing up for your visa interview
  5. Getting your visa issued: Seven Days

Selecting an Authorized Sponsor

The J1 Visa is sponsored by a specific organization rather than by a family member or employee. Of the many authorized organizations, you must select a sponsor that offers your preferred program. Then, to find out more about the program and the prerequisites for applying, you will need to get in touch with the organization directly.
The organization sponsoring the program is in charge of choosing the participants and keeping an eye on them the whole time. It is advised that you locate and provide the sponsor with the necessary paperwork as soon as you can.

Processing of DS-2019 and SEVIS ID: 2 to 3 weeks

A DS-2019 form will be sent to you by the designated sponsor after you are approved for the program. The formal paperwork confirming your ability to apply for a J1 Visa is the DS-2019. You can seek clarification from your sponsoring organization or consult an immigration attorney if you encounter any ambiguities in the form.
Your service will be printed along with your DS-2019. An email with instructions on how to obtain the SEVIS fee payment receipt and a special identification number known as your SEVIS ID will be sent to you. The system that keeps track of information about foreign students and exchange visitors in the US is called SEVIS. Processing for the DS-2019 takes two to three weeks on average.

Finalizing the DS-160 and Setting Up the Interview: 2 to 4 weeks

After receiving your SEVIS ID and being granted approval for a J1 program, the next step is to finish the online DS-160 application. To apply for a non-immigrant visa to enter the US, utilize this form. All necessary data and supporting documentation must be entered into the form. Additionally, it is crucial that you accurately and truthfully complete the form.
Missing Documents or Information
Inaccurate statements on your DS-160 form may cause a hold-up or perhaps be denied. After completing the application, you will get in touch with the embassy or consulate to arrange your visa interview. Depending on the embassy or consulate, there may be a difference in the waiting period for an interview once the appointment has been made. You could have to wait for up to a month or longer in certain situations, but it can happen as soon as two weeks. It is recommended that you set up an interview as soon as your DS-2019 is approved.

Show up for your Visa Interview

The embassy or consulate will notify you of the location, date, and time of your interview after it has been scheduled. Carefully read the message to ascertain which documents you must bring to the interview and get ready for the date.

Getting your visa issued 7 Days of the Interview

The embassy or consulate will need a few days to prepare the visa sticker for your passport if your application for a J1 visa is approved. Along with your DS-2019 form, you will receive the visa and anything else you need to fly to the US.

J1 Extension Processing Time

You must get a second DS-2019 form from your program sponsor indicating the approved extension to extend your J1 Visa. The Department of State states that there are only specific situations in which you can extend your visa beyond the maximum amount permitted by your program. Based on your particular situation, your sponsor and immigration lawyer can provide you with more precise information on your eligibility for an extension.
Similar to the first petition, you should anticipate another two to three weeks after filing the second DS-2019. The caseload at your specific service center determines this timeline.

Premium Processing

The expedited processing option, which reduces the processing period to 15 business days, is exclusively accessible for specific visas and green cards that require the i-129 and i-140 forms. The J1 Visa is not eligible for premium processing since it needs the DS-2019. Since a designated entity initiates the J1 process, some of these organizations will have the ability to move the process forward more quickly. You can ask about this by getting in touch with your sponsor.

List of Programs You Can Apply for Under the J1 Visa

  • Teacher
  • Physician
  • Secondary School student
  • Intern
  • Government visitor
  • Camp counselor
  • Au pair
  • University or college student
  • Professor
  • Trainee
  • Summer work travel
  • Professional International visitor
Before applying, a few prerequisites must also be fulfilled, such as:
  1. In addition to having enough money for your trip, you and any family members traveling with you on a J2 Visa must have sufficient medical insurance.
  2. Have a strong command of the English language
  3. You have to continue living abroad and declare that you have no intention of leaving.
Should you meet the aforementioned requirements and have already found a sponsor, you can begin the process of applying for a J1 Visa by submitting a DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status to the OIS. Your sponsoring organization will create and fill out this form.
Following confirmation that your DS 2019 has been approved, you will be presented with the following two choices:
If you already have a different non-immigrant visa status, you can change it automatically.
Once the DS-2019 is submitted, you will proceed with Consular processing, which entails filling out an online Non-Immigrant Visa Application (DS-160) and taking it to a US Consulate or Embassy in your country of residence for a prearranged meeting. An interview will be conducted with you by a consular officer.
Make sure you study for the interview in advance and provide honest, confident responses to all of the questions. You might also need to file the DS-157 supplemental non-immigrant visa application, which provides the USCIS with information on your intended itinerary.

Validity Period for J1 Visa

The duration of your J1 Visa is solely determined by the program providing sponsorship. A J1 Visa holder is rarely allowed to remain for more than seven years. Based on the most well-liked programs, the following generalized validity periods are provided;
  1. A maximum of five years allowed thereby academics, researchers, teachers, and scholars.
  2. Graduate medical students are only valid for a maximum of seven years.
  3. Professional trainees and foreign tourists to the US are allowed to stay for a maximum of 18 months, with certain exclusions lasting up to 2 years.
  4. The maximum validity time for J1 visas for camp counselors and summer employees is four months.
  5. The typical period for au pairs and nannies is one year.
  6. The International Communications Agency is one program that permits participants to stay for longer than seven years; employees are permitted to stay in the US for a maximum of ten years.
It is crucial to get in touch with your sponsoring program to find out the precise duration of your visa’s validity. If you continue to stay after the date on your I-94, you may face severe repercussions, such as being deemed out of status and maybe being prohibited from reentering the country in the future.

Is there a J1 Visa grace period?

Before visiting the US, take notice of the two J1 Visa Grace periods. The first one starts 30 days ahead of the official start date of your J1 Visa. You are not permitted to work in the US at this time. Additionally, there is a 30-day J1 grace period that begins the moment your program concludes. You can finish up affairs during this period. – travel within the United States
You won’t be allowed to return to the US without a new visa if you depart the country within this grace period. This is because your DS-2019’s expiration date will have passed. Additionally, you cannot work during this J1 grace period. You must depart the US before your grace period runs out. If you stay longer than necessary, you may lose your immigration status, which might seriously affect your future chances of obtaining a visa or green card.

How long would it take to go from a J1 visa to a Green Card?

Once you receive your J1 Visa, your first step toward obtaining a green card is to locate a sponsoring employer. This can be an employer of a different kind, or it might be the program that supported your J1 Visa. Additionally, you must determine which green card best fits your circumstances. You can be eligible for the EB-2 if you possess outstanding skills or an advanced degree. If you are a skilled worker, you might be eligible for an EB-3.
Noting that the J1 Visa is not a dual intent visa is crucial. This means that while you have J1 status, you are not allowed to apply for a green card. To fulfil your home residency requirement, you will either need to return home or get a different non-immigrant visa with dual purposes. You will require a J1 Visa waiver to be exempt from the home residency requirement.
Your sponsor will need to get a PERM Labor Certification on your behalf once you are in your home country or the status of a dual-purpose visa. To ensure that there are no suitable US workers available for your position, your sponsor will need to undertake an advertisement campaign, which makes this a substantial and time-consuming phase in the process of going from a J1 visa to a green card.
If the Department of Labor does not audit your sponsor, the full procedure may take up to nine months. Should they be, this might cause a one-and-a-half-year processing wait. Your sponsor is going to file an i-140 on your behalf once you receive your PERM. Premium processing can accelerate this form to 15 calendar days.

Further Details

The priority date of your petition will still apply to you, which could make premium processing pointless. The day the USCIS receives the petition that your employer sent is your case’s priority date. The Department of State’s monthly Visa Bulletin contains final action dates that you and your employer must compare with that date.
Your priority date will be deemed current when the dates line up, at which point you will be eligible to obtain a Visa number. Depending greatly on the type of green card you are pursuing and your place of origin, this might take years or never happen at all.
After that, you have the option of submitting the i-485 application to change your status from J1 to your new green card. You can go to your native country’s US Consulate or Embassy to have a one-on-one interview with an immigration officer. If this interview goes well for you, you will be granted entry into the US as a permanent resident.
Although changing your status can seem like the easiest option, it might also take the longest because premium processing is not accessible and the i-485 processing process frequently takes six months on average. However, depending on the circumstances, the US Consulate or Embassy may be able to arrange for your interview to take place in a few weeks.

J1 Waiver Processing Time

You need a waiver to get around the two-year home residency requirement when transferring from a J1 Visa to another non-immigrant visa or a green card. However, you can get this waiver based on five primary statutory bases.
  1. Getting a “no objection” statement from your own country’s government
  2. Receiving a request from a US federal government agency to remain in the country while working on a project that will considerably benefit from your involvement
  3. Having evidence that should you decide to go back to your native country, you might face persecution
  4. Demonstrating that your spouse or dependents would suffer if you had to go back to your nation of origin
  5. Being a doctor who has been offered a full-time job in a place where there aren’t many medical professionals
You submit an online application for your waiver suggestion at the start of the J1 Visa waiver processing period. The caseload of the USCIS service center that received your petition and the kind of statutory basis you are filing under will determine how long it takes to process your waiver application.
It could take longer to obtain a persecution waiver or a J1 waiver than a “no objection” waiver. A minimum of three to four months will pass while processing your J1 waiver. Remember that if you are eligible for more than one, you can submit applications at the same time. If one goes through the processing quicker than the other, you can proceed as soon as the first one is accepted.

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