A J1 visa is a visa that allows someone from a foreign country (non-US citizen) to come to the United States in order to participate in come sort of activity that promotes the exchange of cultural ideas. More specifically it is granted to students that come to the United States to study business or medicine. Residents of some countries are required to have a job offer secured in the United States before they can start the J1 visa application process.

Spouses and unmarried dependents under the age of 21 may apply for something called a J2 visa. This visa is for those family members to join the employed J1 visa holder or enrolled student J1 visa holder in this country. The J1 visa categories of child care providers, youth counselors, high school exchange student ecetera do not allow for J2 dependent visas as they are only intended to be short term visas. The J1 visas, other than the short term ones just mentioned, can last anywhere from one year to five years.

In order to secure a J2 visa, you have to provide proof that the dependents you are petitioning to have join you in the United States of America are indeed your dependents. This is proof must show that you are the financial support for those people. That could be your spouse, any children (adopted or natural born), etc that derive their financial support from you, the J1 visa holder. This proof can be in the form of marriage licenses, birth certificates, adoption paperwork, etc.

Maintaining phone records throughout this process is never a bad idea. The original J1 visa holder is required to have sponsor. That sponsor is usually an employer or an educational institution like a university. The phone records of who was talked to and when could be used in the process of securing a Certificate of Eligibility (form DS-2019). Records of all communications with the United States Department of State and Department of Homeland Security could be of service in expediting the matter. All calls should be documented by recording the day, time, location, and person (or persons) spoken to.

About the Author

Jo Harris is a writer and the Director of Content for the Morgan Law Firm, an Austin, Texas divorce firm. Please visit the Morgan Law Firm Blog for additional content.

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