What are the National Interest Exceptions for J-1 and J-2 Visa processing before December 31, 2020?
The Presidential Proclamation 10052 issued on June 22, 2020 and effective as of June 24, 2020 suspends the issuance of visas to foreign individuals applying for J-1 Visa to participate in the intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, and summer work travel programs in the United States, and accompanying family members, the spouses and children of such applicants, applying for J-2 Visa.
The executive order suspends the processing of J visas at US Embassies and Consulates abroad until December 31, 2020, unless the foreign applicants for J visas are not subject to the order or they qualify for a National Interest Exception.
The executive order does not apply to those individuals who already had a valid J-1 or J-2 visa in their passport as of June 24, 2020 or who were present on the territory of the United States as of June 24, 2020.
In addition, the order does not suspend the processing of J visas applications associated with the other categories of the exchange visitor program and does not apply to the following categories and their family members, spouses and children of:
- Alien physician
- Government visitor
- International visitor
- Research scholar
- Short-term scholar
- Secondary school student
- College/ University student
However, for those foreign individuals who are subject to the order suspending the issuance of J visas meaning they are participating in intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, and summer work travel programs and did not have a J-1 or J-2 visa before June 24, 2020 or were not physically present in the United States on June 24, 2020, the US Department of State has provided a number of national interest exceptions to allow the processing of J visas before December 31, 2020.
The executive order includes exceptions for J-1 and J-2 visa applicants whose travel would be in the national interest of the United States. Based on such determinations of national interest, the consular officer will determine, in his or her discretion, is an applicant for J visa has established eligibility for a national interest exception.
You can qualify for a National Interest Exception to get a J visa before December 31, 2020
A J visa applicant applying as an au pair, intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, or for summer work travel who the consular officer determines is eligible for a national interest exception may still be issued a visa despite the suspension.
In order to qualify for a National Interest Exception and obtain a J-1 visa you must fall under at least one of the following categories of travel or other exception:
1.National Interest Exceptions for Au Pairs.
Au Pairs possessing special skills and who will care for a minor U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident (LPR) or person in lawful nonimmigrant status with special needs (e.g., medical, special education or sign language) can obtain a J-1 visa; or
Au Pairs who prevent a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident (LPR) or person in lawful nonimmigrant status from becoming a public health charge or ward of the state of a medical or other public funded institution can obtain a J-1 visa.
2. National Interest Exceptions for Exchange Visitors.
Exchange visitors providing childcare services for a child whose parents provide medical care to individuals who have contracted COVID-19 or medical research at United States facilities to help the United States combat COVID-19 can obtain a J-1 visa; or
Exchange visitors in exchange programs conducted pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), Statement of Intent, or agreement between a foreign government and any federal, state or local U.S. government entity that was in effect prior to June 24, 2020 and that promotes U.S. national interests can obtain a J-1 visa; or
Exchange visitors whose programs fulfill critical and time sensitive foreign policy objectives.
3. National Interest Exceptions for Interns, Trainees and Teachers.
Interns and Trainees on U.S. government agency sponsored programs (G-3) that support the immediate and continued economic recovery of the United States can obtain a J-1 visa; or
Specialized Teachers in Accredited Educational Institutions (G-5) who will teach full-time and substantially in person at a public or private primary or secondary school.
How can we help?
At Malescu Law, our business and immigration lawyers in Miami, Florida can assist you to establish that you are eligible for National Interest Exception for J-1 visa in front of the consular officer, prepare your J-1 visa application and supporting documents, identify specific programs with foreign governments that are eligible for national interest exception and exchange programs that fulfill critical and time sensitive foreign policy objectives. Contact us now!
Malescu Law P.A. – Business & Immigration Lawyers