How to apply for j1 us visa

The J1 visa is a non-immigrant US visa that permits people to visit the United States to exchange skills, experience, or knowledge in various areas.

The visa allows you unlimited travel in and out of the US, and in many circumstances will allow you to be employed in the country.

How to apply for j1 us visaThe J1 covers several areas of interest, including the following:

  • Medical graduates who want to follow an accredited course in medical education or training.
  • Student exchange programs that promote knowledge in education, the arts, or sciences
  • Research scholars who wish teach, conduct research, or to observe colleagues
  • Professors who wish to teach, carry out research, or consult at educational institutions, museums, libraries, etc.
  • Au pairs who will live with American family
  • Foreign nationals who wish to attend business & industry training programs
  • Research assistants who are sponsored by the National Institutue of Health
  • Camp counselors who will be working on U.S. summer camps
  • Foreign nationals working on achieving further academic qualifications or practical training in specific areas of knowledge
  • Potential leaders or experts

The list provides plenty of scope for flexibility. J1 visas are also quite easy to get approved.

The length of stay depends on the type of activity. Those pursuing academic study may get a visa for up to three years, while camp counselors will typically only get a 3-month stay.

Extensions are also variable, depending on the category of visa. We will be happy to advise on any of these questions.

Unlike some other visas, the J1 can allow change of status, meaning that you may apply for a different visa type from within the United States, without having to return to your home country first.

Spouses and unmarried children under 21 may accompany a J1 visa holder to the US under a J2 (dependents’) visa. They are permitted to study, to travel in and out of the country, and they may work after securing a relevant work permit.

How to Apply for a J1 Visa

First you will need a sponsoring company to apply to. The US State Department provides an online tool to help you find the right sponsor for you.

The sponsoring organization will take you through the steps you need to see if you qualify. If they are willing to sponsor you for the visa, you will then need to complete form DS-2019 (“Certificate of Eligibility for Exchanger Visitor [J-1] Status”). After completing the two-page form and submitting it along with the relevant fees (if required), the next step is to attend an interview with your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Foreign Residency Requirement & Waiver

It is worth noting that some J1 visas are subject to a two-year residency requirement (212[g]) which mandates that you must return to your home country for a minimum of two years after your J1 visa expires before you may return to the US on any other visa. There are some exceptions to this.

If it is your intention — or you think you may be likely — to wish to stay on in the United States after the end of your visit, you may be advised to consider other options. In some situations it may be possible to get a waiver to the two-year foreign residency requirement. Speak to one of our immigration attorneys to understand your options.

Published by admin on May 5, 2020 May 5, 2020

The J1 visa is one of the most complex visas in the US. This visa can be anything from Au pair to Interns to a Student visa and the duration of the visa all depends on the type of program. This visa is divided in to two sectors, private sector and Government and academic sector. So here is the steps for how to apply for J1 visa.

Step 1 – Find a sponsor

When you apply for a J1 visa you will need to find a designated sponsor to accept you into their program when applying for a J1 visa. Their physical location doesn’t matter, many of these sponsors can place participants throughout the US. Keep in mind that many sponsors screen their participants and look for those with good English language skills. So your sponsor can also help you with your application for the J1 visa. The US Department of State has the official list of designated sponsors. The list of designated sponsors.

Step 2 – Apply for the DS-2019

Once you have been approved by a sponsor, the next step is to submit the DS-2019 Form, also known as the “Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor J1 Status”. This form is the official documents used by the US Department of State that will permit you to get an interview with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you will be accompanied by a family member, they will also be given a separate DS-2019 form. This two-page form is issued by your sponsor and will include a description of the exchange program, including the start and end date, as well as the cost of the program, with a breakdown on financial support.

Step 3 – Pay your fees

You or your sponsor will be required to pay a SEVIS I-901 fee to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as part of your J1 visa application if your sponsor pay for this fee it may already be part of your program fees to your sponsor. It’s important to check with your sponsor to confirm whether it will be paid by you or by your sponsor. Make sure to get the proof of payment from your sponsor if they pay your SEVIS fee.

You will be required to pay another fee that is the Non-immigrant Visa Application Processing Fee, which is $160. You can pay it by visiting the Department of State’s Fees for Visa Services. Those participants who are part of a program with the US Government, Department of State, US Agency for International Development (USAID), or a US Government funded educational and cultural exchange program do not have to pay Non-immigrant Visa Application Processing Fee as part of their J-1 visa application.

Step 4 – Interview with a US Embassy or Consulate

For you to get your J1 visa application accepted, you will need to have final approval by having an interview at a US embassy or consulate by a Consular officer. Depending on your location the waiting time for an appointment can vary. It’s important to schedule an appointment early to ensure that you have enough time before your departure to the US and before your program begins.

At the interview, you will be asked about the program, your intentions after the program, how you plan to cover your expenses, etc. It is important to have proof/ties that you will return to your home country after completing the program. Be prepared to show your binding ties to your home country and bring any documentation that can further show your ties in your home country. If you are traveling with a spouse and/or child, you can schedule an appointment for those family members who will be accompanying you. It is a very easy interview just be prepared with your ties and don’t stress to much, 99% of the time you will get approved.

Example of ties

  • Proof of property or car (must be registered in your name).
  • Proof of a employment after completing your program in the US.
  • Acceptance to a University or College after completing your program in the US.

**If you work through an agency you don’t have worry about step 1 and 2. The agency will do that for you. I recommend working through an agency. It will make the process a lot easier and less stressful.

How to apply for j1 us visa

J1 Visa Duration

J1 Visa Student Program

The student program is divided into two categories, Collage and University student program and Secondary School student program.

If you choose the Collage and University Student Program, most students can stay for the duration of their program and an additional 18 months of practical training of any employment related to their field of study. So this is all up to the student if they want to stay the additional 18 months. For more info

If you choose the Secondary School Student Program you must be between the age of 15 and 18.5 by the first day of the program. This Program allows you to stay for 12 months. You are not allow to accept US employment except odd jobs like baby sitting or yard work. For more info

J1 Visa Au Pair Program

The Au pair program is perfect for a young individual between the age of 18 and 26 and want to take a gap year and become more independent. The duration of this program is usually 12 months. I have friends that stayed for 24 months, but it all depend on your sponsor/host family. For more info Intern Program

With the Intern Program you are allowed to work for 12 months with a US employer while in the midst of a degree in your home country or within a year of graduation. For more info

J1 Visa Summer/Winter Work Traveler Program

A lot of people think this programs is only for the Summer season, but it’s not, it’s for the Winter season too. The Summer/Winter Work Traveler Program is for the Post secondary education students to work and travel the US for up to 4 months. This must be arranged through a sponsor. For more info.

J1 Visa Camp Counselor Program

This program is for Youth Workers and you can work as a Camp Counselor at a Summer camp for up to 4 months. This program is only available during the Summer season. For more info.

J1 Visa Short-term Scholar Program

The Professors and other academics participating in Short-Term activities, such as workshops, conferences, study tours, Seminars or professional meetings, may stay up to six months on a J-1 visa under the Short-term Scholar Program. For more info

J1 Visa Foreign Medical grad student Program

When foreign medical grad Students may be issued a J-1 visas for the duration necessary to complete their training programs, up to a maximum of seven years (with limited exceptions), plus 30 days in which to prepare to depart the US. For more info.

J1 Visa Teacher, Professor, Research Scholar and People with Specialized Skill Programs

Exchange visitors who are teachers, professors, research scholars or people with specialized skills may be issued a J1 visas for up to a maximum of five years, plus 30 days to prepare to depart the US. For more info on Teachers and Professors and Research Scholars

J1 Visa International Visitor Program

International visitors who want to enter to the US to promote cultural exchange, such as those working in places like the cultural/ethnic pavilions of Disney’s Epcot Center, may be issued a J1 visas for maximum duration of 12 months, plus 30 days to prepare to depart the US. People qualifying under this category may, alternatively qualify for Q visas. For more info.

J1 Visa Government Visitor Program

Visitors may be invited by the U.S. government to participate in exchanges that strengthen the professional and personal ties between two foreign nationals and the United States and U.S. institutions. They may be issued a J1 visas for the duration necessary to complete the program, but for a maximum duration of 18 months. For more info.

For a little bit more in sight on the J1 visa, see my other post here.

Alert: The current edition date for Form I-129 is 03/10/21. Starting July 1, 2021, we will only accept the 03/10/21 edition. Until then, you can also use the 09/30/20 and 01/27/20 editions.

Alert: On Nov. 2, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois vacated the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds final rule (84 Fed. Reg. 41,292 (Aug. 14, 2019), as amended by Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds; Correction, 84 Fed. Reg. 52,357 (Oct. 2, 2019)) (Public Charge Final Rule) nationwide. That decision was stayed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. On March 9, 2021, the Seventh Circuit lifted its stay, and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois’ order vacating the Public Charge Final Rule went into effect.

We immediately stopped applying the Public Charge Final Rule to all pending applications and petitions that would have been subject to the rule. USCIS continues to apply the public charge inadmissibility statute, including consideration of the statutory minimum factors in the totality of the circumstances, in accordance with the 1999 Interim Field Guidance, which was in place before the Public Charge Final Rule was implemented on Feb. 24, 2020, to the adjudication of any application for adjustment of status. In addition, USCIS will no longer apply the separate, but related, “public benefits condition” to applications or petitions for extension of nonimmigrant stay and change of nonimmigrant status.

On or after March 9, 2021, applicants and petitioners should not provide information required solely by the Public Charge Final Rule. That means that applicants for adjustment of status should not provide the Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency, or any evidence or documentation required on that form with their Form I-485. Applicants and petitioners for extension of nonimmigrant stay and change of nonimmigrant status should not provide information related to the receipt of public benefits on Form I-129 (Part 6), Form I-129CW (Part 6), Form I-539 (Part 5), and Form I-539A (Part 3).

If an applicant or petitioner has already provided such information, and USCIS adjudicates the application or petition on or after March 9, 2021, we will not consider any information provided that relates solely to the Public Charge Final Rule, including, for example, information provided on the Form I-944, evidence or documentation submitted with Form I-944, and information on the receipt of public benefits on Form I-129 (Part 6), Form I-129CW (Part 6), Form I-539 (Part 5), and Form I-539A (Part 3).

If you received a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) requesting information that is solely required by the Public Charge Final Rule, including but not limited to Form I-944, and your response is due on or after March 9, 2021, you do not need to provide the information solely required by the Public Charge Final Rule. However, you need to respond to the aspects of the RFE or NOID that otherwise pertain to the eligibility for the immigration benefit you are seeking. If USCIS requires additional information or evidence to make a public charge inadmissibility determination under the statute and consistent with the 1999 Interim Field Guidance, we will send you another RFE or NOID. For information about the relevant court decisions, please see the litigation summary.

USCIS published new form editions for affected forms. Starting April 19, 2021, we will only accept the 03/10/21 editions. Until then, you can also use the prior editions specified on each form webpage.

Alert: Effective Oct. 19, 2020, Pub. L. No. 116-159 increases the fee for Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing, from $1,440 to $2,500, for all filings except those from petitioners filing Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, requesting H-2B or R-1 nonimmigrant status. The premium processing fee for petitioners filing Form I-129 requesting H-2B or R-1 nonimmigrant status is increasing from $1,440 to $1,500. Any Form I-907 postmarked on or after Oct. 19 must include the new fee amounts. Read more here: Premium Processing Fee Increase Effective Oct. 19, 2020.

Alert: On Sept. 29, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Immigration Legal Resource Center et al., v. Wolf, et al., 20-cv-05883-JWS, preliminarily enjoined DHS from implementing or enforcing any part of the USCIS Fee Schedule and Changes to Certain Other Immigration Benefit Request Requirements rule.

While the rule is preliminarily enjoined, we will continue to:

  • Accept USCIS forms with the current editions and current fees; and
  • Use the regulations and guidance currently in place to adjudicate applications and petitions. This includes accepting and adjudicating fee waiver requests as provided under Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) Chapters 10.9 (PDF, 2.87 MB) and 10.10 (PDF, 2.87 MB) .

For more information, please refer to the Federal Register Notice, dated Jan. 29, 2021.

Petitioners use this form to file on behalf of a nonimmigrant worker to come to the United States temporarily to perform services or labor, or to receive training, as an H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, H-3, L-1, O-1, O-2, P-1, P-1S, P-2, P-2S, P-3, P-3S, Q-1 or R-1 nonimmigrant worker. Petitioners may also use this form to request an extension of stay in or change of status to E-1, E-2, E-3, H-1B1 or TN, or one of the above classifications for an alien.

The J-1 classification (exchange visitors) is authorized for those who intend 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 carrying out the responsibilities of the Exchange Visitor Program, the Department of State designates public and private entities to act as exchange sponsors. J-1 nonimmigrants are therefore sponsored by an exchange program that is designated as such by the U.S. Department of State. These programs are designed to promote the interchange of persons, knowledge, and skills, in the fields of education, arts, and science.

Examples of exchange visitors include, but are not limited to:

  • Professors or scholars
  • Research assistants
  • Students
  • Trainees
  • Teachers
  • Specialists
  • Au Pairs
  • Camp counselors

The U.S. Department of State plays the primary role in administering the J-1 exchange visitor program, so the first step in obtaining a J-1 visa is to submit a Form DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status, (formerly known as an IAP-66). Your sponsoring agency will provide you this form. You should work closely with the officials at your sponsoring agency who will be assisting you through this process. An official who is authorized to issue Form DS-2019 is known as a responsible officer (RO) or alternate responsible officer (ARO). Your RO or ARO will explain to you what documents are needed in order to be issued a DS-2019.

After you have obtained a Form DS-2019, you may then apply for a J-1 visa through the U.S. Department of State at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The waiting time for an interview appointment for applicants can vary, so submitting your visa application as early as possible is strongly encouraged (though you may not enter the United States in J-1 status more than 30 days before your program begins).

Some J-1 nonimmigrants enter the United States specifically to work while others do not. Employment is authorized for J-1 nonimmigrants only under the terms of the exchange program. Please check with your sponsoring agency for more information on any restrictions that may apply to you working in the United States.

Your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age, regardless of nationality, are entitled to J-2 classification. Your spouse and children are entitled to employment authorization; however, their income may not be used to support you. To apply for employment authorization as a J-2 nonimmigrant, your spouse or child would file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. For more information on the application procedures, see the “Employment Authorization” page.

J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa

The Exchange Visitor (J) non-immigrant visa category is for individuals approved to participate in work-and study-based exchange visitor programs. Participants are integral to the success of the program. Here you can learn more about obtaining the J-1 Visa and other relevant visas.

Yes, a J-1 visa holder is eligible for a green card.

To obtain a green card, the alien must first file a petition I-140 with the USCIS. After this, it is essential to apply for an Adjustment of Status (AOS) or for an immigrant visa. If the alien resides in the U.S., they should use an AOS application. If the alien lives in a foreign country, they need to apply for an immigrant visa.

In-order to apply for immigrant status, you can consider any one of the following options:

  • Family based immigration: A petition can be filed by your relatives who are U.S citizens or permanent residents of the U.S.
  • Employment based immigration: In this case, you must find an employer who will file a labor certificate at the DOL for you.
  • EB-1: Based on the classification of EB-1A “alien of extraordinary ability” or EB-1B “outstanding professor or researcher,” you can file an immigrat petition.
  • National interest waiver: There are certain waivers available to individuals who can prove themselves as “aliens of extraordinary ability.” Waivers are also available to individuals seeking opportunities to work in the U.S. These waivers are called national interest waivers. Filing an immigration petition through the national interest waiver can help you obtain immigrant status.

Petitions for green cards can be filed at any time, even if the individual is subject to the requirement to reside outside of the U.S. for a period of two years. The individual must satisfy the two-year foreign residency requirement after the petition has been approved. A waiver can be obtained for the foreign residency requirement, in which case the individual need not move to the home country.

Are you eligible to apply for a Green Card?

Are you currently living in the United States?

Individuals planning to participate in a work and study based exchange visitor program in the United States must apply for a J1 visa. When applying for a J1 visa, applicants must first select an exchange visitor program and determine their eligibility for that J1 visa program. The J1 visa application involves completing Form DS-2019 and sending the appropriate filing fees. For the complete details on how to get a J1 visa, read the following steps for the J1 visa application process below.

J1 Visa Application Process

Step 1: Choose an Exchange Visitor Program

The first step of how to apply for a J1 visa is to choose a J1 exchange visitor program. There are multiple exchange visitor programs, which include the following J1 visa programs.

  • Au Pair
  • Camp Counselor
  • College and University Student
  • Government Visitor
  • Intern
  • International Visitor
  • Physician
  • Professor & Research Scholar
  • Secondary school Student
  • Short Term Scholar
  • Specialist
  • Summer Work Travel
  • Teacher
  • Trainee

Step 2: Determine Eligibility

Once you select your J1 visa program, but before you apply for a J1 visa, you should determine your eligibility for that program. There are different J1 visa eligibility criteria depending on the program, but all programs require that the participant fulfill an English Language proficiency test such as TOFEL, IBT, IELTS, PTE, TOEIC, CAE, or CPE. When applying for J1 visa, applicants should remember that they must have medical insurance for themselves and their dependents on J2 visa.

In short, anyone applying for J1 visa must have the following in order to be eligible for an exchange visitor program in the US.

  • Proficiency in the English language; and
  • J1 health insurance.

Sponsors are responsible for providing pre-arrival information and a post-arrival orientation for all participants, as well as ensuring that their program is consistent with the J1 program category.

Step 3: Find a Sponsor

Once the participant chooses from one of the above programs, he/she needs to contact a designated sponsor. A designated sponsor is a state department approved sponsor who is authorized to supervise the application process, they also stand as a single point of contact for participants willing to apply for J1 visa. J1 visa applicants can choose different state department designated sponsors on the basis of their program and choice of the state they wish to travel to in Unites States. For example, an applicant can choose an Intern program in the state of Illinois from the listed sponsors and contact them.

Step 4: Complete Form DS-2019

A program sponsor will review the application of the J1 visa applicant and issue Form DS-2019 to prospective applicants selected for the J1 visa program. Form DS-2019 consists of detailed information such as:

  • Participant identification
  • Sponsor identification
  • Brief description of the program activity to be completed by participant
  • Duration of stay including the start and end dates of program
  • Category of exchange
  • Estimated cost of the exchange program

Participants should bring Form DS-2019 to the US Embassy or Consulate they are visiting to obtain their J1 Visa.

Step 5: Pay Application Fees

There are three kinds of J1 visa application fees participants must provide when applying for J1 visa.

  • Program Fee: The program fees vary from sponsor to sponsor. This fee is excluded for federally funded programs.
  • SEVIS Fee: Post acceptance into a program, sponsor will issue Form DS-2019. The sponsor will inform the participant if he/she needs to pay separate SEVIS fee or if it is included in the program fee. If the sponsor has paid on the behalf of applicant, then the applicant will receive a receipt confirming payment.
  • Visa Fee: A nonimmigrant visa processing fee is charged at the US Embassy or Consulate, which may vary from time to time.

J1 Visa Required Documents

J1 applicants for all J1 exchange visitor programs must submit the following documents with their applications.

  • DS-2019 Form, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status. Form DS-2019 briefly describes the exchange visitor program and allows the J1 applicant to schedule an interview at the US Embassy or Consulate in their country.
  • Form DS-7002, Training/Internship Placement Plan, for J1 visa trainee and intern applicants.
  • Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application.
  • Passport valid for travel to the United States. Passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the end date of the applicant’s intended stay in the US.
  • Photograph.

Additional documentation may be required, so be sure to check the US Embassy website for your specific requirements.

J1 visa applicants must also demonstrate ties to their home country, showing the US Embassy or Consulate that they have no intention to stay in the US after the completion of their exchange visitor program. Specific evidence for this requirement varies depending on the applicant.

J1 Visa Interview

Applicants ages 14 to 79 are required to interview at a US Embassy or Consulate. J1 visa applicants should submit their visa application early, since the wait time for a visa interview appointment can take a while.

As a non-US national, you will typically require a visa to get into the United States. The J-1 exchange visitor visa permits applicants to go to the United States for a temporary stay if taking part in one of the J1 Visa programs. If you have an interest in pursuing one of these programs, you will be required to find a sponsoring body and submit an application for the J1 visa. We have provided a step-by-step procedure on how to apply for a J1 visa:

Step 1 – Find a J Sponsor

When submitting an application for a J1 visa, you will be required to find an authorized sponsor to admit you into their program. Irrespective of their physical location, many of these sponsoring bodies can place applicants throughout the United States. The United States Department of State has the endorsed list of designated sponsor bodies here. Remember that many organizations assess their applicant and look for those with adept English language skills. Your sponsoring body can also assist you with how to apply for a J1 visa.

Step 2 – Apply for the DS-2019

Once you have submitted an application and been approved by an authorized sponsor body, the next thing to do is to submit the DS-2019 Form, also referred to as the “Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status”. This form is the endorsed documents used by the United States Department of State that will allow you to get an interview with the U.S. consulate or embassy. If you will be going together with your spouse or child(ren), they will also be allotted a separate DS-2019 form. This two-page form is granted by your designated sponsoring body and will comprise an explanation of the exchange program, with the start and end date, and also the cost of the program (with an analysis on financial support).

Step 3 – Pay Your Fees

You must pay a SEVIS I-901 fee to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as part of your J-1 visa application process – or this fee may already be included as part of your program fees to your sponsoring body. It is imperative to ask your sponsor to verify whether it will be paid by you, or for you. If the sponsor pays the SEVIS fee for you, ensure you get a receipt proving payment.

Another fee you must pay when you apply for a J1 visa is the Non-immigrant Visa Application Processing Fee, which is $160 and may be paid by going to the Department of State’s Fee for Visa Services. Those applicants who are part of a program with the United States Government, Department of State, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), or a United States Government financed educational and cultural exchange program are excused from paying the Non-immigrant Visa Application Processing Fee as part of their J-1 visa application process.

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Step 4 – Interview with a U.S. Embassy or Consulate

So as to have your J-1 visa application approved, you will require final approval by a consular officer at a US consulate or embassy. Conditional on where you are situated, waiting times to secure an appointment can differ, so it is important to plan early to make sure that you have enough time before your program commences.

If you will be going with a spouse and/or child, you can schedule an appointment for them when you apply for a J1 visa. At the interview, you will be questioned about the program, your plans after the program, how you intend to cover your costs, etc. It is vital to stress that your plan is to finish the program and go back to your home nation upon termination. Be ready to prove your binding ties to your home nation and bring any documents that can further prove your ties back home.

When putting in for a J1 visa, you will be required to submit the following credentials to the U.S. Consulate or Embassy:

  • DS-2019 Form, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status
  • DS-7002 Form, A Training/Internship Placement Proposal (for exchange visitor trainees or intern visa candidates)
  • Form DS-160, Online Non-immigrant Visa Electronic Application
  • A passport valid for travel to the United States with a validity of up to six months after the planned period of stay in the US
  • One 2×2 photograph

It is important to confirm with your particular embassy or consulate to verify the required documents when you apply for a J1 visa. How to apply for a J1 visa will be decided upon based on your embassy or consulate, and also your personal situation, so it is imperative to ensure you have read about what you are required to do prior to and during your interview.

Alert: The current edition date for Form I-129 is 03/10/21. Starting July 1, 2021, we will only accept the 03/10/21 edition. Until then, you can also use the 09/30/20 and 01/27/20 editions.

Alert: On Nov. 2, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois vacated the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds final rule (84 Fed. Reg. 41,292 (Aug. 14, 2019), as amended by Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds; Correction, 84 Fed. Reg. 52,357 (Oct. 2, 2019)) (Public Charge Final Rule) nationwide. That decision was stayed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. On March 9, 2021, the Seventh Circuit lifted its stay, and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois’ order vacating the Public Charge Final Rule went into effect.

We immediately stopped applying the Public Charge Final Rule to all pending applications and petitions that would have been subject to the rule. USCIS continues to apply the public charge inadmissibility statute, including consideration of the statutory minimum factors in the totality of the circumstances, in accordance with the 1999 Interim Field Guidance, which was in place before the Public Charge Final Rule was implemented on Feb. 24, 2020, to the adjudication of any application for adjustment of status. In addition, USCIS will no longer apply the separate, but related, “public benefits condition” to applications or petitions for extension of nonimmigrant stay and change of nonimmigrant status.

On or after March 9, 2021, applicants and petitioners should not provide information required solely by the Public Charge Final Rule. That means that applicants for adjustment of status should not provide the Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency, or any evidence or documentation required on that form with their Form I-485. Applicants and petitioners for extension of nonimmigrant stay and change of nonimmigrant status should not provide information related to the receipt of public benefits on Form I-129 (Part 6), Form I-129CW (Part 6), Form I-539 (Part 5), and Form I-539A (Part 3).

If an applicant or petitioner has already provided such information, and USCIS adjudicates the application or petition on or after March 9, 2021, we will not consider any information provided that relates solely to the Public Charge Final Rule, including, for example, information provided on the Form I-944, evidence or documentation submitted with Form I-944, and information on the receipt of public benefits on Form I-129 (Part 6), Form I-129CW (Part 6), Form I-539 (Part 5), and Form I-539A (Part 3).

If you received a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) requesting information that is solely required by the Public Charge Final Rule, including but not limited to Form I-944, and your response is due on or after March 9, 2021, you do not need to provide the information solely required by the Public Charge Final Rule. However, you need to respond to the aspects of the RFE or NOID that otherwise pertain to the eligibility for the immigration benefit you are seeking. If USCIS requires additional information or evidence to make a public charge inadmissibility determination under the statute and consistent with the 1999 Interim Field Guidance, we will send you another RFE or NOID. For information about the relevant court decisions, please see the litigation summary.

USCIS published new form editions for affected forms. Starting April 19, 2021, we will only accept the 03/10/21 editions. Until then, you can also use the prior editions specified on each form webpage.

Alert: Effective Oct. 19, 2020, Pub. L. No. 116-159 increases the fee for Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing, from $1,440 to $2,500, for all filings except those from petitioners filing Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, requesting H-2B or R-1 nonimmigrant status. The premium processing fee for petitioners filing Form I-129 requesting H-2B or R-1 nonimmigrant status is increasing from $1,440 to $1,500. Any Form I-907 postmarked on or after Oct. 19 must include the new fee amounts. Read more here: Premium Processing Fee Increase Effective Oct. 19, 2020.

Alert: On Sept. 29, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Immigration Legal Resource Center et al., v. Wolf, et al., 20-cv-05883-JWS, preliminarily enjoined DHS from implementing or enforcing any part of the USCIS Fee Schedule and Changes to Certain Other Immigration Benefit Request Requirements rule.

While the rule is preliminarily enjoined, we will continue to:

  • Accept USCIS forms with the current editions and current fees; and
  • Use the regulations and guidance currently in place to adjudicate applications and petitions. This includes accepting and adjudicating fee waiver requests as provided under Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) Chapters 10.9 (PDF, 2.87 MB) and 10.10 (PDF, 2.87 MB) .

For more information, please refer to the Federal Register Notice, dated Jan. 29, 2021.

Petitioners use this form to file on behalf of a nonimmigrant worker to come to the United States temporarily to perform services or labor, or to receive training, as an H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, H-3, L-1, O-1, O-2, P-1, P-1S, P-2, P-2S, P-3, P-3S, Q-1 or R-1 nonimmigrant worker. Petitioners may also use this form to request an extension of stay in or change of status to E-1, E-2, E-3, H-1B1 or TN, or one of the above classifications for an alien.