J-1 Scholar or Industrial Trainee
J-1 visas are for trainees, scholars, university students, visiting researchers, and others. This visa is often used for interns. J-1 trainee visas are valid for up to 18 months. J-1 visas need a sponsor authorized by the Department of State to issue a Certificate of Eligibility. A training program is submitted to the sponsor who issued Form DS 2019. The applicant then applies to the consul for a visa.
Some people who receive government funds for their training, clinical medical doctors, or citizens of a developing country on the DOS “Skills List” may be required by the J-1 visa rules to go home for two years before obtaining an H-1B visa or be granted a green card. Waiver of this rule (called 212(e)) is permitted under certain circumstances. Most trainees from Western Europe, Canada, and Japan are not subject to 212(e). J-1 visa holders’ salaries are exempt from FICA taxes.