In many places with information on J-1 I read that the validity period of the J-1 visa may not coincide with the validity of the DS-2019 form that indicates the start and end date of the program; and that status (being allowed to be in the US) differs from visa (being allowed to enter the US).

I could not find any information, though, on how long a J-1 visa is going to be (typically) valid.

Does anyone have some experience here? For example, with a DS-2019 that specifies a program duration of one years, how long will the issued visa be valid? What if the program specifies two years?

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    As far as I know, this is at the discretion of the visa officer. If they consider you to be "low-risk", they will issue a visa for the complete duration of your program. Citizens of some countries often only get shorter visas - at least for F visa, it is like this. In any case, the visa will not last longer than the DS-2019.
    – DCTLib
    Apr 22, 2016 at 8:30
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    In any case, the visa will not last longer than the DS-2019. That’s the bit I was concerned about, thanks. I’ll nudge my sponsor to put two years on that form. Feel free to turn that comment into an answer!
    – Joachim Breitner
    Apr 22, 2016 at 8:37
  • Generally, the length of validity for each nationality and type of US visa can be found on the Visa Reciprocity Tables. Enter the country of nationality, and then select the visa classification from the drop-down menu.
    – user102008
    Apr 22, 2016 at 20:41
  • Thanks for that link! It says 60 months; but I guess it is still bounded by the DS-2019, as DCTLib said.
    – Joachim Breitner
    Apr 23, 2016 at 10:15
  • @user102008 might you add your comment, as the answer (with the link and a portion of the content on the linked page), as it was accepted by OP as what was needed? Put it in and I'll upvote :D !
    – Giorgio
    Aug 14, 2017 at 17:09

1 Answer 1


The length of validity of the J-1 visa should be the length given for J-1 visas for your country of nationality in the Department of State's reciprocity tables, or until the end of your J-1 program, whichever is shorter. See 9 FAM 402.5-6(E)(c):

You should also note the program end date as it appears in the electronic record and ensure that the J visa is issued with a validity that corresponds to the program end or to the reciprocity schedule for the country of the applicant's nationality, whichever is shorter.

And 9 FAM 402.5-6(I)(7)(b):

J-1 visas must be issued for the program dates listed on the Form DS-2019, unless where excepted in [...], or unless visa reciprocity only allows for a shorter validity period.

You said in the comments that the J-1 length in the reciprocity table for your country is 5 years, so if your program will end in less than 5 years, your J-1 visa should be valid until the end of your J-1 program; and if your program will end in more than 5 years, the visa should be valid for 5 years.

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