J- Visas are non-immigrant visa issued by the United States to exchange visitors participating in programs that promote cultural exchange, especially to obtain business training within the U.S. All applicants must meet eligibility criteria and be sponsored either by a private sector or government program.
J-1 visitors may enter the United States 30 days before the program start date and remain until the end of their exchange program, as specified on form DS-2019. Once the J-1 visitor's program ends, he/ she may remain in the United States for an additional 30 days, often referred to as a "grace period," in order to prepare for departure from the country. When the visitor leaves the United States during these 30 days, the visitor may not re-enter with the J-1 visa as the visa will be closed upon departure.
On-campus employment does not require a work permit. BYU–Hawaii J-1 students are allowed to work only on the BYU–Hawaii campus and at the Polynesian Cultural Center. Employment off-campus is not allowed.
Academic training (post-completion) is available for up to 12 months per BYUH policy. If a student wants to extend to 18 months, they must first contact ISS to submit a request, which requires approval from the President's Council. Before the academic training is approved a job offer letter is required and the department chair must sign off on the legitimacy of the job. Paid academic training during the degree program reduces the total months of academic training available after the program is completed. Unpaid academic training does NOT reduce the total of months for academic training available to students.
J-2 dependent (spouse, child) employment is available but J-2 dependent must request for work authorization card to be employed. Employment can be on or off-campus.
J-1 and J-2 dependents may be subject to the two-year home residency requirement.
J-2 dependents are eligible to study part-time or full-time in the U.S
Many persons in the United States on J-1 visas are subject to the two-year home residency requirement found in Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Under the Section 212(e), before a person on a J-1 visa with the two-year home residency requirement can change to nonimmigrant status (H-1B or L1, for example), or adjust to U.S. permanent resident status, the J-1 person must either return to the country of last residence for two years or obtain a waiver of the two-year home residency requirement.