Alternate Working Visas - J1

Most overseas professionals looking for work in the US are familiar with the H-1B visa. By far the most versatile of visa options, with the US economy heating up again, they are now once again scarce. Gone are the days when H-1B visas were still available in November… now, they’ve usually all disappeared by the first week or two after they are released by the US government (many companies are already set to file the very first day).

That is certainly a setback for those looking to work in the US. However, there are several other options available to companies when looking to bring over solid talent and professionals should explore them as well to determine their suitability. When interacting with HR and hiring managers at companies who may not have knowledge of them, it can provide professionals the leverage they need to land a great new opportunity, even when the H-1Bs are gone.

Today we will be discussing the J-1 visa.

J-1 Visas

The Exchange Visitor (J) non-immigrant visa category is for individuals approved to participate in work-and study-based exchange visitor programs. It provides countless opportunities for international candidates looking to travel and gain experience in the United States. The multifaceted programs enable foreign nationals to come to the U.S. to teach, study, conduct research, demonstrate special skills, or receive on the job training for periods ranging from a few weeks to several years.

Programs Covered:

Each program has a different maximum duration. The following categories exist:

Au Pair
Camp Counselor
College and University Student
Government Visitor
Intern
International Visitor
Physician
Professor and Research Scholar
Secondary School Student
Short-Term Scholar
Specialist
Summer Work Travel
Teacher
Trainee

Designated Sponsors:

Candidates and potential employers must work through Designated Sponsors (organizations that administer exchange programs). These are most often schools or government agencies:

http://j1visa.state.gov/participants/how-to-apply/sponsor-search/

Additional Details:

http://j1visa.state.gov/
http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1267.html

It may not seem like the perfect fit for some professionals, but many companies are utilizing this option to bring over professionals when H-1B visas have run out so be sure to discuss it when dealing with job offers and employment opportunities.

Do you have experience working on a J-1 visa and/or going through the application process? Feel free to share. Thanks.

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"Pursuing new opportunities was challenging, being on an H1B visa. Arthur walked me through every step of the process, actively seeking all H1B employment possibilities... Landing my new job with a Big 4 firm was a dream come true as a result of Arthur’s relentless efforts and involvement. Arthur is truly an expert and I would recommend his “out of the box” approach and attitude to anyone!"

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