J-1 Visas: Your 5-Step Checklist
Posted by May 27, 2015in Travelon
Figuring out the application process for a J-1 visa can be challenging, so HCC Medical Insurance Services (“HCCMIS”) created this easy, five-step checklist to help you as you explore opportunities abroad.
Step 1: Make sure the J-1 visa is right for you
If you are considering working and studying in the United States, the J-1 visa might be right for you. Issued by the United States to promote cultural exchange, J-1 visas are short-term, non-immigrant visas for international visitors enrolled in work-and-study-based exchange programs.
Another option is the F-1 visa, which is for those who wish to study on a longer-term basis and receive a degree from an American institution. If that describes your situation, visit our F-1 Visa page.
However, if you…
Want to gain work experience in the U.S.
Intend to learn and exchange ideas with American counterparts
Plan to return to your home country upon completing your work program
…then a J-1 visa is right for you.
Step 2: Choose a program
There are 14 distinct programs. Decide which one best applies to you.
For descriptions of each program, visit http://j1visa.state.gov/programs. After choosing a program, your next step is to find a certified sponsor.
Step 3: Find a Sponsor
To apply for a J-1 visa, you must first be accepted by a certified exchange visitor program sponsor. Each sponsor offers slightly different services, so be sure to explore your options to find the best one for your specific program.
Your sponsor will:
Facilitate your J-1 visa application process
Be your main point of contact throughout the exchange program process
Monitor your welfare and progress during the length of the exchange program
All certified sponsors are listed on the government J-1 Visa page.
Once you have decided on a sponsor, begin the application process for that specific program.
Step 4: Begin the application process
Although every sponsor has a slightly different process, they all require you to:
Complete Form DS 2019: You can get this form only from a certified program sponsor
Interview at a U.S. embassy: Many sponsors will help you prepare for this
Have travel medical insurance coverage
Your travel medical coverage should include the following minimum benefits*:
- Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness
- Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000
- Expenses associated with medical evacuation of the exchange visitor of his or her home country in the amount of $50,000
- A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness
Your sponsor will help you with the required forms and interviews. HCCMIS can help you with travel medical insurance.
Step 5: Get travel medical insurance
HCCMIS offers travel medical insurance options that meet all J-1 visa requirements.
Atlas Travel Insurance: Customizable medical insurance plans for anyone traveling outside of their home country
StudentSecure Insurance: Comprehensive medical coverage for full-time students or full-time scholars studying outside of their home country
HCCMIS plans also include coverage for many sports activities without any additional costs. When you get travel medical insurance to meet J-1 visa requirements, you also get peace of mind knowing you will save on out-of-pocket medical expenses.