Exchange Visitor Visa (J Visa)
The exchange visitor (J-1) visa is a visa with 15 categories, established for the purpose of promoting international exchange of human resources, knowledge, and technology, such as education, culture, art, and science.
The categories most often used by Japanese applicants are for business training at companies, student internships, and research activities held at universities and research institutions.
The prerequisite for this visa is to bring back to your own country the technology, knowledge, methods, and know-how that can only be obtained in the United States, and to make use of it.
Prior to visa application, the program must be approved by a U.S. State Department-designated sponsor organization.
After the DS-2019 (certificate of eligibility) is issued by the sponsoring organization, you then apply for a visa at the U.S. Embassy (Consulate).
J-1 visa accompanying dependents (spouse and children under 21) can stay in the U.S. with the primary J-1 visa holder by obtaining a J-2 visa.
Student Visa (F Visa, M Visa)
The F-1 visa is the most common student visa and is the visa you will get if you study abroad at a university, high school, or language school in the United States.
If you take less than 18 credit hours a week at a language school, you can enter the U.S. under ESTA without any problems.
M-1 visas apply to non-academic or vocational education or training at a vocational school in the United States.
Both visas require prior admission to the host institution.
After issuing the sponsor organization issues Form I-20, you must pay the SEVIS fee (*) and apply for a visa at the U.S. Embassy (Consulate).
Family members of F or M visa holder (spouse and children under the age of 21) can stay in the United States with an F-2 or M-2 dependent visa.
However, parents of F or M visa holders are not able to apply for a dependent visa.
*The SEVIS fee is collected by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as an operating cost of the database used for procedures regarding foreign students and exchange visitors during their stay in the United States.
F-1, M-1, J-1 applicants must pay the SEVIS fee online before applying for a visa.