Visas for exchange students

J and Q visas allow them to foreigners to enter the United States for the exchange of knowledge and artistic, academic and scientific skills and to share the history and culture of their home countries.

The J visa is for:

  • Students from secondary schools, colleges or universities
  • Teachers
  • Specialized researchers or teachers
  • Not academic specialists
  • Physicians
  • Coordinators camps
  • Young nannies (au pairs)
  • Student summer travel or work programs
  • Visitors whose purpose is to travel, observe, consult, investigate, share or demonstrate knowledge or specialized skills or participate in organized person to person

Q visas are for aliens coming to the United States to provide practical training, employment and to share the history, culture and traditions of their country of origin in the United States. Some specific examples are traditional dance companies and musicians playing traditional music of his home country.

General requirements for the J

Those wishing to obtain a J visa must demonstrate sufficient funds to support themselves throughout their stay in the United States. Must have academic training and English language skills necessary to support their participation in their specific programs. The English language skills are not required if the exchange program is designed for people who do not speak English.

General requirements for the Q visa

Exchange Visitors Q visa holders should not demonstrate economic support, as the sponsoring employer pays an amount equivalent to local domestic workers in similar jobs amount. Must be at least 18 years of age and be able to really communicate all information on the culture, history and traditions of their countries.


Foreigners wishing to obtain a J visa for medical education or training must pass the Foreign Medical Graduates Examination in Medical Sciences and possess competent skills in the English language. Are subject to temporary limits on the duration of their education or training and can be required to return to their home country for two years after completion of the program. Physicians who enter the United States in order to observe, consult, teach or conduct research, and patients who do not attend or attend very few patients are not subject to these requirements.

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