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J-1 visas, also known as exchange visitor’s visas, are nonimmigrant visas that allow individuals to “participate in an approved program for the purpose of teaching, instructing or lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, demonstrating special skills, receiving training, or to receive graduate medical education or training” in the United States.[1] The J-1 visas are designed to allow recipients to study or research at secondary or post-secondary institutions and work in the United States.[2]  There are 848 post-secondary institutions that are approved by the Department of Homeland Security including most state institutions and a  large variety of private institutions.[3]

There are many benefits to obtaining the J-1 visa including a cultural exchange element as well as the ability to work and study in the United States.[4] However, if you wish to obtain this visa by adjusting status from a B-1 or B-2, you may run into some issues. The B-1 and B-2 visas are not dual intent visas. Therefore, when you were granted this visa, there was the understanding that you only intended to stay as a visitor and not for the purpose of studying or working. Adjusting your status from B-1 or B-2 to J-1 is not impossible but it is difficult. There are many nuances associated with adjusting from a B visa to J-1 that a lawyer would know and be able to help you with. For more information about J-1 visas or adjusting status while on a B visa, please contact us at

[1] Exchange Visitors, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (11/08/2018).

[2] Interested in Studying in the States? Consider the J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program, Department of Homeland Security Study in the States (May 25,2017)

[3]Designated Sponsor Organizations, Department of Homeland Security Study in the States (2019).
[4] Chelsae Iversane, What are the Benefits of the J-1 Visa Program?, envoy (November 20, 2017).