J-1 Cultural Exchange Visitor Visa for Entrepreneurs, Scholars, Au Pairs, Professors, and Trainees

globe with kidsThe J-1 Visa is a non-immigrant US visa available to cultural exchange visitors, scholars, and professors. The Exchange Visitor Program fosters global understanding through educational and cultural exchanges. It is often used by entrepreneurs, “au pairs, ” or to obtain business or medical training in the United States. J-1 visas are obtained as part of an exchange program, and the Department of State designates both public and private entities to act as exchange sponsors. All exchange visitors are expected to return to their home country upon completion of their program in order to share their exchange experiences.

The Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) provides opportunities for around 300,000 foreign visitors per year to experience United States society and culture and engage with Americans.  Exchange visitors on private sector programs may study, teach, do research, share their specialized skills, or receive on-the-job training for periods ranging from a few weeks to several years.   EVP participants are young leaders and entrepreneurs, students, fledgling and more seasoned professionals eager to hone their skills, strengthen their English language abilities, connect with Americans, and learn more about the U.S. There are fifteen different categories under the J-1 visa program, including: professors and research scholars, short-term scholars, trainees, interns, college and university students, teachers, secondary school students, specialists, foreign medical graduates, camp counselors, au pairs, and the summer work travel program. Continue reading

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Which U.S. Visas are Available for People in the Arts and Entertainment Industry?

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Anthony Mance, Esq.

For artists, chefs, musicians, dancers, athletes, performers, and other individuals with talent in the art and entertainment industry, there are numerous visa types available to enter and work in the United States on a non-immigrant visa. Read below to learn about the visa types that may be available to such individuals.

O-1: Individuals With Extraordinary Ability or Achievement

TheImage O-1 visa is reserved for a very limited group of people possessing exceptional abilities in the arts, sciences, education, entertainment or business. To qualify for an O-1 visa, the applicant must not only be considered “world-class” in his or her profession, but must be internationally known and recognized for their achievements. According to USCIS, to qualify for an O-1 visa, the applicant must be able to demonstrate a “sustained national or international acclaim.”

As a general rule, a successful O-1 application will include letters of recommendation from recognized individuals and organizations in the relevant field, and demonstrable proof that the applicant is nationally or internationally recognized. Continue reading