Five reasons why employers like the J-1 visa

Last week we looked at five reasons why immigration attorneys like the J-1 visa. This week we will review reasons why U.S. employers like the J-1 visa. U.S. businesses have hosted J-1 trainees and interns for decades with great success.
Here are five reasons:

Training overseas employees
More and more U.S. companies are expanding their international presence through acquisitions, establishing branch offices, joint ventures or marketing alliances. To ensure that affiliates deploy the company’s U.S. methodologies and best practices on a standardized platform, overseas employees participate in on-the-job training at the U.S. company.

Improve skills of US employees
In today’s ever increasing global interconnected world, J-1 interns and trainees bring unique perspectives and expertise to American businesses. The exchange of culture, knowledge and skill between US workers and J-1 exchange visitors significantly improves skills of all employees.

J-1 Dependent is eligible to work
The  spouse of a J-1 exchange visitor is eligible to apply for Employment Authorization through USCIS, as long as the J-2 dependent’s income is not needed to support the J-1 exchange visitor.

Fast, easy application process
The J-1 visa does not need prior USCIS approval, and therefore, can be obtained very quickly. Many J-1 visa organizations process J-1 visas cases in a matter of weeks. Compared to other visas, the application process is short and straightforward.

Payroll related savings
While hardly ever a primary consideration, payroll savings certainly are a benefit.  In most cases, J-1 exchange visitors are exempt from paying social security and medicare taxes.  The exemption applies to employers as well, resulting in payroll related savings of around 15%.

4 Responses to “Five reasons why employers like the J-1 visa

  • Bhagwan Ahuja
    6 years ago

    If a hotel or motel in India intends to send its employees in J-1 to any hotel or motel, what’s the procedure? If a college or Institution conducting classes for training its “Auto diploma Program” in India intend to send its students, a year before the completion of their course, to the United States in any Auto dealer or auto company for a specialization, what is the procedure.

    In the first case, hotel or motel needs to be registered with the USCIS or any agency for the purpose of issuing letters for J-1 visa to the applicants in India to enable them to apply for grant of J-1 visa and similarly in the second case scenerio. Please advise.

    • Excellent questions. The State Department recently launched a new website dedicated to the J-1 programs. It has detailed information about eligibility, process, current sponsors, etc. Please see

    6 years ago

    if you are already in the states under the ESTA program can you still apply for the J visas in order to improve your experiences

    • Helene, ESTA is an automated system that determines the eligibility of visitors to travel to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program. Most sponsors will allow you to apply for a J-1 program while you are in the US. However, the sponsor will most likely ship your form DS-2019 to your address in your home country. The State Department highly recommends that all J-1 visa applicants apply for their J-1 visa at a US consular post in their home country.