There are a number of different reasons to apply for a J1 visa, and consequently different categories into which your application fits. One common reason to issue a J1 visa is to the government sector in order for government personnel to carry out work and be involved in education in the United States. Within the government sector there are several different categories.

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The first category is for government visitors. Government visitors are allowed to participate in the United States exchange program for a specified length of time, a length of time which is necessary to finish the task for which the visitor travels to the US and which doesn’t go over 18 months. The reasoning behind this visa is to strengthen ties between distinguished foreign visitors and institutions in the United States. Visitors can take part in conferences, tours, meetings and discussions. Another visa category is the international visitor category. This visa helps distinguished foreign nationals learn about American culture and enhance American life through professional and personal exchange.

Professors and researchers can apply for a J1 visa. In this program, a foreign professor or lecturer works with American professionals to lecture and teach in US universities and colleges. Both research and lecturing/ teaching are possible while holding this visa. Visas last for a maximum of five years.

One other category for the J1 visa is the short term scholar. This visa is for people who want to train, demonstrate their skills, lecture or consult in high education facilities, libraries or museums. There is no minimum program duration but there is a limit on participation in the program of six months. Specialists can also apply for a J1 visa. A specialist is an expert in a particular field including people involved in youth training and leadership, museums, library science, and environmental science.