Exchange Visitors

Students, including those studying at secondary school and university, foreign medical graduates seeking to pursue graduate medical education or training, foreign scholars sponsored by universities as temporary faculty, and some business trainees.

In addition, there are several exchange visitor programs for young people, including summer employment programs, intern programs for university students, and au-pair programs.

U.S. Government sponsored exchange visitor applicants and their dependents are not required to pay the MRV application fee or applicable issuance fees if participating in a Department of State, a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), or a Federally funded educational and cultural exchange program.  The programs are identified by the serial number printed on the DS-2019 which will begin with G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-7.  If this applies in your case, you are required to contact the Embassy directly; click here for further information.

If resident in Northern Ireland, you should contact the Consulate via email at this address:

In order to perform services as a member of the medical profession or to receive graduate medical education in the United States, certain alien physicians are required to pass the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) Parts I and II, or an examination determined to be equivalent. More information is available from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates.

If you wish to pursue practical training through an internship with a U.S. based employer you will require either an exchange visitor (J-1) or trainee (H-3) visa. Such activities cannot be conducted on a B-2 visa or visa free under the Waiver Program, even if you will receive no payment from a U.S. source.

The first step is to determine if the prospective employer is a designated exchange visitor program sponsor. Training opportunities exist in variety of occupational categories including the arts and culture, information media and communications, education, management, business, commerce and finance. If the prospective employer is a designated exchange visitor program sponsor they will issue you with a Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status, form DS-2019, which you will be required to furnish when applying for a J-1 visa

If no exchange program exists, you may be eligible to obtain the requisite sponsorship for the J-1 visa through an approved work exchange program. There are a number of work exchange programs between the United Kingdom and the United States which allow participants to perform any employment which is available to them, others are restricted to a specific field. Further information is available from the individual program sponsor.

If you are unable to obtain sponsorship for an exchange visitor visa, your prospective employer will be required to file, on your behalf, a petition to accord you trainee (H-3) status. The petition, Form I-129H, is filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) having jurisdiction over the area of intended employment. The petition will take several months to be processed. Please follow this link for further information.

If you wish to work as an au-pair for one year under an officially approved exchange visitor program with an American host family, you may be eligible for an exchange visitor (J-1) visa.  Please click here for further information.





A former exchange visitor may not be issued an immigrant, fiancé(e),temporary worker or intracompany transferee visa until he/she has resided and been physically present in the country of his/her nationality or last residence for at least two years following the termination of exchange visitor status if certain conditions apply.

For further information, including information on obtaining a waiver of the J Visa Two-Year Foreign Residence Requirement, if required, click here.