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What You Should Know About the J-1 Visa for Hiring Workers

Aging services communities looking to build a pipeline of foreign workers hired as trainees and specialists might be interested in hiring long-term care workers through the J-1 visa exchange visitor program.

According to Andrea Carter-Price at LeadingAge, the "J-1 visa exchange program" is for foreign nationals who come to the United States for international educational and cultural exchange experiences. The program allows designated U.S. government, academic, and private sector organizations to conduct it, which thousands of companies use to help address their staffing challenges.

State Department-designated sponsors screen, select, and support participants in the program during their stay in the United States. US-based sponsors are authorized to work with partner agencies outside of the United States; they are, however, responsible for ensuring that overseas third parties comply with the exchange visitor program regulations.

You might consider the J-1 visa exchange visitor program if you are interested in building a pipeline of international talent for a specific purpose and time. The program offers opportunities for employers to provide job training for the duration of their stay, which could range up to several years.

While the J-1 program has several categories, long-term care employers could utilize the program to hire interns, management trainees, specialists or even physicians. You can view the State Department’s “Exchange Visitor Program Category Requirements” chart to see which program is right for you.

You can also view information on the “Conrad 30 Waiver Program," which allows a J-1 waiver for a foreign medical graduate to apply for a waiver of the 2-year foreign resident requirement upon completion of the J-1 exchange visitor program if they are offered full-time employment at a:

  • Health care facility in a designated health professional shortage area; or
  • Health care facility which serves patients from underserved communities.

LeadingAge asks that those who utilize the J-1 visa exchange program share their experience with Andrea Price-Carter at aprice-carter@LeadingAge.org.

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