J-1 Visas for Visiting International Lawyers
As a U.S. Department of State-designated sponsor, the ABA International Law Section’s International Legal Exchange Training Program (ILEX) certifies international lawyers' eligibility for exchange visitor status under the J-1 visa. International attorneys with a training offer from a U.S. law firm or legal office can apply for the J-1 visa through the Section’s ILEX program. Please note the Section can only process applications for training programs, not internships, and only legal-related training programs. While ILEX does not place foreign lawyers with U.S. firms it assists those who have been offered training by a law firm or legal office.
Please contact [email protected] if you are interested in applying for the ILEX J-1 Visa Program.
The processing fee is $2,000 and the visa is valid for three to eighteen months, depending on the length of the applicant’s training program. Under the J-1 visa trainee regulations, the minimum placement period is three months and the maximum placement period is eighteen months. The J-1 visa processing times for the DS-2019 is up to four weeks; expedited processing, within five business days once a completed application is received, is an additional $700. The processing fee for each J-2 visa is $700.
- J-1 Visa processing (up to four weeks): $2,000
- Expedited processing fee (five business days, once a completed application is received): $700
- J-2 Visa processing fee (each visa): $700
J-1 Visa Participant Requirements
According to the U.S. Department of State regulations for the J-1 Visa state that trainees must have all the following:
- Hold a degree from a post-secondary academic institution outside of the U.S.
- Been offered a training program through a host firm. We are not authorized to issue J-1 Visas for internships.
- Have at least one year of prior related work experience in their occupational field acquired outside of the United States
- Possess verifiable English language skills sufficient to function on a day-to-day basis.
- Complete an acceptable training placement plan (DS-7002).
Questions and Contact
Since 1999, the Section’s ILEX program has assisted over 3000 lawyers from more than 60 countries to obtain a J-1 visa to participate in training programs with over 500 law firms, corporate legal departments and non-governmental organizations.