J1 Visa Sponsorship Cost: Complete Guide

Are you considering applying for a J1 visa to study or work in the United States? One crucial factor you should keep in mind is the cost of sponsorship. The J1 visa requires a sponsor, such as a school or employer, to cover certain expenses. This guide will provide a breakdown of the J1 visa sponsorship costs, as well as the factors that can affect them and ways to reduce expenses.

Key Takeaways

  • The sponsoring organization typically covers the cost of J1 visa sponsorship fees, but the J1 applicant may be responsible for other expenses like medical insurance.
  • J1 visa sponsorship fees vary depending on the sponsoring organization, the specific J1 category, and any additional services offered.
  • Factors that can affect J1 visa sponsorship costs include the length of the program and geographic location.
  • To reduce J1 visa sponsorship expenses, applicants can consider alternative sponsors, lower-cost areas, or J1 programs that provide in-kind benefits.

J1 Visa Sponsorship Fees

The J1 visa sponsorship fees vary depending on the sponsoring organization and the specific J1 category. However, in general, the sponsoring organization will cover the J1 visa sponsorship fees, which typically include:

  • SEVIS fee: The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) collects this fee to cover the costs of maintaining SEVIS, the online system that tracks J1 visa holders. The SEVIS fee is $220 for J1 visa applicants for most categories, with the exception of some J1 short-term scholars who pay a reduced fee of $35.
  • Sponsor designation fee: The sponsoring organization must first apply to become a J1 sponsor and pay a designation fee, which varies according to the type of organization and program category. For example, a university may pay a lower designation fee than a private company. This fee typically ranges from $1,000 to $3,000.
  • Program fee (if applicable): Some J1 programs charge a program fee that covers additional services. For example, a language program may include room and board in addition to language classes. J1 applicants should check with their sponsoring organization to see if a program fee applies and how much it costs.
See also  How to Write an Effective Life or Death Emergency Passport Letter

Aside from these fees, J1 applicants may be responsible for other expenses, such as medical insurance. The sponsoring organization may require the J1 applicant to purchase a specific type of medical insurance that meets the J1 visa requirements.

Factors That Affect J1 Visa Sponsorship Costs

Several factors can affect J1 visa sponsorship costs. The following are some of the most significant factors:

  • Geographic location: The cost of living and doing business can vary widely based on the region, state or even city in the US. Certain states with high living costs may lead to higher sponsor designation fees.
  • Program length: As the duration of the program increases, the cost of J1 visa sponsorship typically increases. Sponsors may also charge additional fees for programs that exceed a specific duration.
  • Additional services: Some sponsors may offer additional services such as on-site accommodation, meal plans or excursions, that may increase J1 visa sponsorship fees.

How to Reduce J1 Visa Sponsorship Costs

While the sponsoring organization typically covers the J1 visa sponsorship fees, J1 applicants can take steps to reduce overall expenses. A few strategies include:

  • Alternative sponsors: If a J1 applicant has multiple sponsoring organizations to choose from, it may be worth comparing their fees and services to find the most affordable option.
  • Lower-cost locations: Some areas in the US are less expensive than others. J1 applicants can explore locations with lower costs of living or doing business.
  • In-kind benefits: Certain J1 programs offer in-kind benefits such as accommodation that can lower expenses for the participant.


The J1 visa is an excellent opportunity for international students or professionals to study, work, or conduct research in the United States. However, the cost of sponsorship can vary widely based on different factors. Understanding the fees involved and ways to reduce expenses can help J1 applicants better prepare for their stay in the US.

See also  Passport Recognised Profession: What Are They and Who Needs Them?


Q. Who pays for the J1 visa sponsorship fees?

A. Typically, the sponsoring organization covers J1 visa sponsorship fees such as SEVIS fee and sponsor designation fee.

Q. Will the J1 applicant be responsible for additional expenses?

A. Yes, J1 applicants may be responsible for additional expenses such as medical insurance.

Q. How can I reduce J1 visa sponsorship expenses?

A. Strategies to reduce J1 visa sponsorship expenses include considering alternative sponsors, lower-cost areas, or J1 programs that provide in-kind benefits.

About the Author

Latasha W. Bolt

Latasha is a travel writer based in Atlanta, Georgia. She has a degree in journalism and has been traveling the world since she was a teenager. Latasha is experienced in navigating the visa and passport application process and shares her knowledge and experiences on the blog. Her articles are personal and engaging, providing readers with a unique perspective on the joys and challenges of international travel.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *