A J1 visa is a temporary student visa that allows foreign secondary school students to study in the US while living with an American host family or boarding school through an accredited sponsoring organization.

J1 Visa Requirements for Secondary Students

To qualify for a J1 visa as a secondary school student, the applicant must be accepted to participate in a certified secondary school exchange program in the US. Applicants are required to demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to support themselves for the duration of their exchange and that they intend to return to their home country upon completion of their studies.

To participate in a secondary school exchange program, the applicant must be aged between 15 and 18 1/2 and have not completed more than 11 years of primary and secondary education (excluding kindergarten). Applicants may also be required to meet the sponsoring organization’s specific program requirements. Applicants who have previously participated in an exchange program to the US or studied in the US are not eligible to re-apply.

J1 visa applicants may also be required to meet certain health and character requirements.

J1 Visa Entitlements for Secondary Students

A J1 visa entitles the holder to participate in a Secondary school student exchange program in the US while living with an American host family or boarding school.

A J1 visa for Secondary school students is usually granted for a maximum of 1 year and extensions cannot be granted. A J1 visa for secondary students does not entitle the holder to engage in any employment, with the exception of occasional work such as baby-sitting.