Here we’ve compiled the most essential information about the J-1 Visa and how to maintain your J-1 Visa status
Teachers in J-1 status are responsible for learning, understanding, and complying with U.S. federal laws and regulations governing the J-1 visa. Failure to do so will violate their legal status in the United States. A sponsor has the right to terminate an exchange visitor's participation in its program if the sponsor determines that the exchange visitor or any accompanying spouse or dependent willfully fails to remain in compliance.
Your responsibilities include but may not be limited to the following:
All J-1 Visa holder participating teachers are required to perform the activities for which a J-1 Visa has been granted to them.
The U.S. Department of State (USDOS) requires that each exchange visitor and all J-2 dependents maintain insurance coverage for the full duration of their J-1 program in the U.S.
J-1 teachers must maintain the required health insurance (includes Basic Medical Health Insurance, Medical Evaluation, and Repatriation Insurance) for themselves and any of their dependents with J-2 status throughout their stay in the U.S.
Minimum coverage shall provide:
Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness
Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000
Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000
A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.
All exchange visitors and their family members must have insurance arranged by USAE for them at the cost of the insurance company. USAE is not an insurance provider.
Once the exchange program ends, J-1 visitors may remain in the U.S. for up to 30 days during the grace period. During this time, all visitors must maintain their insurance compliance through the time of exit.
All J-1 Visa holders and their J-2 dependents must maintain a valid passport during their stay in the U.S.
All J-1 teachers are required to report their change of address and phone number to USA Employment within 10 days of any move. USA EMPLOYMENT must have your work and residential addresses, even if you choose to receive mail at a Post Office Box.
Teachers must seek pre-approval from USA Employment before any changes may be made to their employment status or location. This is a detailed process and all teachers must receive USA Employment approval prior to any changes taking place. A revised Form DS-2019 must be issued stating the new work location, revised salary and any other compensation information. The employer holds the financial responsibility on Form DS-2019 and updated information is mandatory before finalizing any commitments with a new employer. Participating exchange visitors and their employer can face substantial penalties if the suggested procedure is not followed.
Keep USA EMPLOYMENT informed when J-2 dependent family member(s) arrive in the USA. Teachers should not depart the U.S. for more than one month during their period of stay while dependents are present in the USA.
If you are planning on traveling outside of the United States during your exchange program, you must have your DS-2019 form endorsed by USAE before your date of departure. However, we do NOT encourage exchange visitors to plan any international travel outside of the U.S. while school is in session (generally between September and late May/early June).
Please send the original copy of your DS-2019 form to USAE at least THREE weeks prior to the scheduled date of departure by courier (FedEx, UPS, USPS, etc.) along with a payment of $35. IF YOU ARE TRAVELING DURING WORK DAYS, please send a Travel Validation Request form completed by your direct supervisor. This should state the approved dates of your travel and confirm your mailing address. USAE will then sign the front of the form and return it to you. If you are traveling in emergency please reach out to USAE.
If a participating teacher decides to leave the program before the program's end date, U.S. federal regulations require them to inform USA Employment immediately.
By sharing your culture and customs to American students and educators, you will play an important role as a cultural ambassador. At USAE our commitment is to help foster an environment that welcomes cultural diversity and exchange for communities, workplaces and future generations.
As part of your cultural exchange program, you have a unique opportunity to participate in the many traditions and holidays the USA has to offer in addition to sharing your own. We strongly encourage you to open yourself up to your new community and engage in the classroom to enhance your experience and create new opportunities.
Exchange teachers must complete at least one cross-cultural activity every year from each of the following three categories:
An activity in which teachers give an overview of the history, traditions, heritage, culture, economy, educational system, and/or other attributes of his or her home country. This cross-cultural activity may be hosted within the classroom, larger host school, host school district population, or the community at large.
At least one cross-cultural activity (as per the description above) per academic year must take place outside the host school. This activity can be hosted in neighboring schools or communities. The goal is to share in cross-cultural exchange with other communities where these opportunities may not be so prevalent.
A cultural exchange activity that involves U.S. student dialogue with schools or students in another country, preferably in the exchange teacher's home school, through virtual exchange or other means, in order to supplement the goals of the in-person exchange.
Exchange teachers must submit annual reports from their activities. These reports should describe in detail the cross-cultural activities that they have completed, including at least one from each of the aforementioned categories. This report must be submitted by the first week of January. This report is mandatory to stay in this program. Host schools are required to support teachers in their activities and outreach efforts.
We offer comprehensive relocation services to teachers participating in our J-1 exchange program. These are available at an affordable fee, and will help you get situated in your new location quickly, comfortably, and securely.
USAE will assist you with:
Transportation from airport to lodgings
Assisting for hotel reservation if required
Social Security office visit.
State ID office visit.
Getting your fingerprints for background checks
Visiting your host school for the first time and Human Resource
Completing your home & grocery shopping trip
Finding an apartment
Signing your first lease
Moving from the hotel to your apartment
Navigating local transportation options
Assisting in medical tests, if required
Finding information about the closest ethnic grocery store(s)
Assistance in teaching certification
Our goal is to ensure that you are comfortable in your new home and feel completely cared for throughout the process.
You are more than just a number to us. We value each and every one of our teachers, and want to see you flourish far beyond your time teaching with USA Employment. When you teach with us, you become family. Our support of your career and development extends long beyond your stay in the U.S.!
Our handbook will provide you with all the information and support you need as you depart the U.S. and return to your home country, as well as all documentation required for J-1 compliance in the process.
When you do return home, we hope that you’ve built new friendships, gained valuable knowledge, and made lifelong memories. As you go back to your home country, be sure to share all that you’ve learned with your students back home and continue the important work of cultural bridge-building. We love to connect with our teachers after their program has ended - so don’t be a stranger!