Immigration

J and Q Visa FAQ

Are you a citizen of a foreign country? Would you like to visit the US in an exchange program? You'll need a visa. The US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, provides information on its website about acquiring an exchange visa. You must pay close attention to all the various requirements. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about J & Q exchange visas.



Q:

When should someone get a "J" exchange visitor visa?





Q:

What types of exchange visitor visas are available?



  • A:

    There are two main exchange visitor visas: the "J" visa and the "Q" visa.



Q:

What's the purpose of a "J" exchange visitor visa?



  • A:

    The purpose is to foster an understanding between people from the US and people from other countries through cultural and educational exchanges.



Q:

What's the purpose of a "Q" visa?



  • A:

    The purpose is to provide practical employment and training. It's also meant to share the culture, history and traditions of the visitor's country in the US.



Q:

When should someone get a "Q" visa?





Q:

What's my first step if I want to be an exchange visitor with the US?





Q:

Where do I apply for an exchange visitor visa?





Q:

Could I just get a visitor visa instead of an exchange visitor visa?



  • A:

    You need an exchange visitor visa if you want to engage in any vocational study. A visitor visa will only allow you to engage in recreational or short periods of study.



Q:

Are there certain requirements that must be met to qualify for a "J" exchange visitor visa?



  • A:

    There must be evidence that you only plan on staying for a temporary time and that there's money available to pay your expenses. There also needs to be evidence of "strong ties" so that you'll return to your country at the end of the visit.



Q:

Can I participate in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) to enroll in college?



  • A:

    You can't participate in the VWP if you want to be an exchange visitor. You must obtain an exchange visitor visa.



Q:

Is there an online system that tracks exchange programs and their students?





Q:

Will I have to undergo an interview to receive an exchange visitor visa?



  • A:

    Most people have to undergo an interview as part of the visa application process. If you're age 13 or younger, or age 80 or older, you're usually exempt from the interview requirement.



Q:

What documentation and forms do I need to submit to the US Embassy or Consulate?





Q:

I was denied an exchange visitor visa. What can I do?



  • A:

    You can apply again if you have new evidence to overcome the reason for the refusal.



Q:

Is there a wait time to receive an interview appointment?



  • A:

    Wait times can vary. There's no specific period of time you have to wait. The US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, provides a website so that you can check the wait times at each US Embassy or Consulate.



Q:

Who decides whether to grant me an exchange visitor visa?



  • A:

    A consular officer from the US Embassy or Consulate where you apply will decide whether to grant you a visa.

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