Resources > Section 17 > BridgeUSA (J-1 visa) basics > BridgeUSA (J-1 visa) basics
#17-2Exchange visitors (J-1 visa holders)PDFReturnURL
BridgeUSA Exchange Visitor Program (J-1 visa) allows FUSIA as a State-Department designated sponsor to bring qualified foreign nationals to intern or be trained in the United States.
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Exchange visitors (J-1 visa holders or EVs) are foreign nationals who have been screened, selected, and approved by a designated sponsor to participate in work- and study-based BridgeUSA exchange visitor programs in the United States as nonimmigrants in J-1 visa status.
Exchange visitors are non-US citizens who participate in an approved BridgeUSA (J-1 visa) EVP cultural and educational program through a Department of State designated program sponsor.

They come to the United States for a specific period of time and specific objectives (e.g., teaching, lecturing, studying, instructing, conducting research, or receiving training) depending on the program type they are in.

By participating in the BridgeUSA (J-1 visa) EVP, exchange visitors acquire an experience in the US and help educate the American people about their home country and culture. During programs, exchange visitors may work legally in the US if employment is part of the exchange visitor’s approved program as per the predetermined activities stated in their Form DS-2019. After the program, they will no longer allowed to work in the US and are expected to return home to share their experiences with their countrymen.

What to note

1 BridgeUSA (J-1 visa) EVP is a temporary program and “J-1” is a nonimmigrant visa. Exchange visitors must have no immigrant intent; no hosts are also allowed to use exchange visitors to fill employment positions.

2 Each exchange visitor has a Form DS-2019 which specifies details of the exchange program (e.g., duration of stay, host organization) and biographical information recorded in DHS’s SEVIS. Only DOS designated sponsors are authorized to issue this form.

3 Each exchange visitor will take their Form DS-2019 when applying for their exchange visa at a US embassy or consulate abroad and when entering the US. Upon entry permission, they will be issued Form I-94 indicating the exchange visitor’s J-1 nonimmigrant status.