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Does the J1 visa really require 51% of the funding to come from the hosting institution or an external source?

Some sources: 1, 2, 3 mention that criteria while some others like this and this don't.

  • I can't find this requirement in the regulations. – phoog Nov 16 '19 at 0:03
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+50

J1 is a broad category of visa, covering from camp counselors to Post-Doc students. Each category has a different goal and requirements. It looks like that your question is related to being a "college/university student".

According to the 22 CFR 62.23 (the legislation):

A student is eligible for participation in the Exchange Visitor Program if at any time during his or her educational program in the United States:

(1) The student or his or her program is financed directly or indirectly by:

(i) The United States Government;

(ii) The government of the student's home country; or

(iii) An international organization of which the United States is a member by treaty or statute;

(2) The program is carried out pursuant to an agreement between the United States Government and a foreign government;

(3) The program is carried out pursuant to written agreement between:

(i) American and foreign academic institutions;

(ii) An American academic institution and a foreign government; or

(iii) A state or local government in the United States and a foreign government;

(4) The student is supported substantially by funding from any source other than personal or family funds; or

(5) The student is participating in a student internship program as described in paragraph (i) of this section.

That is why the links that you sent require that at least 51% of the funds come from an institution.

  • Thanks! By any chance, would you be able to answer this? – S.D. Nov 18 '19 at 15:49
  • @S.D. My conclusion after reading the post is similar to the one that you posted as a comment on user6726's answer. Unfortunately, that are cases in which immigration law/policy is very broad and leaves room for interpretation. While I agree that by the law user6726 is right, I would follow the universities' advise and apply for an J/F visa. By doing so you avoid future problems with USCIS. The last thing you want is to jeopardize your future by a gray area matter. – IanDan Nov 18 '19 at 22:57
  • The problem really is that US REUs don't pay international students, so J1 visa is out of the equation. The F1 visa is kind of out too because it requires full time enrollment in a course of study. So that means I wouldn't be able to attend the REU even if I were selected. – S.D. Nov 19 '19 at 9:39
  • You don't need to get paid to be a J-1 though. While you're not eligible for the "college student" category of the J1 visa, there are several others that might fit your needs, such as "short-term scholar". Check this link: j1visa.state.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/… – IanDan Nov 19 '19 at 14:43
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    The link provided is the best resource that I found. At this point it might be better to contact a college that you're interested on and speak to an International Advisor. Its usually easy (and free) to get a hold of them through email and they will know very well how to find the right category. – IanDan Nov 19 '19 at 15:12

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