J-1 Quota and Time Limitations
There are no quota restrictions for J-1 visas. Applications filed at consulates are usually approved in a matter of weeks. Applications filed in the U.S. are approved in about three months.
Exchange Visitor Time Limits
How long you’ll be allowed to stay in the U.S. on your J-1 visa depends on the type of program you’ll be participating in and the dates of your participation.
In seeking a J-1 visa, you will be asked to present a Certificate of Eligibility, formerly known as Form IAP-66) DS-2019). This form is provided to you by the sponsor of the exchange visitor program in which you will take part. The form will list the specific dates you are expected to be participating in the program. Upon entering the U.S. with a J-1 visa, you will be authorized to remain only up to the final date indicated on the Certificate of Eligibility. The Certificate of Eligibility is usually issued for the period of time needed to complete the particular exchange visitor program for which your J-1 visa is approved. INS regulations, however, place some maximum time limits on J-1 visas according to the type of program.