Areas of Practice
B1/B2 Business and tourist visas
A Czech citizen or other foreign citizen who wants to travel to the United States must first obtain a B1/B2 non-immigrant visa (since 2008 it is possible to travel on an electronic ESTA permit) for a temporary stay or an immigrant visa for a permanent stay. The B1/B2 “visitor’s” tourist visa is a non-immigrant visa meant for people who want to travel to the United States on business (B-1), or as a tourist or for medical treatment (B-2). Those who want to travel to the United States for other purposes, e.g. students, temporary workers, crew members, reporters, etc., must apply for another type of visa in the relevant category.
According to the American immigration law it is also possible to perform certain work as the owner of a tourist-business visa (B-1/2), such as participation in business meetings, the purchase of property, negotiating and signing contracts, the preparation of market surveys, participation in conferences or short internships, the purchase of equipment, etc.
The roots of the J1 program, or the “visitor exchange” program, reach back to the 1960s. J1 is a type of visitor’s visa that you can travel to the USA with.
The J1 visa category includes the following stays and programs:
- high school stays
- Work and Travel programs
- au-pair stays
- work exchange programs
Among Czech high school students the J1 (or J1 Exchange) designation has become a synonym for a stay at an American state school.
Unlike the F1 program (under which you can also travel to a high school in the USA), this program is based on a volunteer principle. An American family takes a foreign student to acquire experience and accepts him/her into their home for a half a year or a year without any right to financial compensation. The American host family, or its place of residence, is important in the placement process, as you will be enrolled in the state school that is within reach of this place of residence.
The program is supported by the American government and is bound by certain rules, of which we will inform you. They must be fulfilled without exception. But don’t worry, they are achievable.
With the J1 program your possibility to choose a family and a school according to your wishes is limited. The American family chooses you. But nevertheless, or perhaps precisely because of this, more than 90% of the students are absolutely satisfied with their American experience.
Conditions for acceptance in the J1 program
- strong personal motivation for the program;
- parental support;
- adequate age (when arriving the student must not be less than 15 years and more than 18.5 years old);
- student status (the applicant must be a high school student);
- good marks (you will get more information at the first meeting);
- clean bill of health.
In addition to the J1 program you can also realize your dream of studying at an American High School as part of the F1 program. The name is derived from the type of visitor visa.
You can travel on this visa if you will be studying:
- at a high school in the USA;
- at a language school;
- at a university.
The F1 program begins with the choice of the place of study or even a specific school. Only then is a family chosen for you in the given locality. This, of course, does not apply in the case of boarding schools, where you live right in the school complex.
The program operates on a commercial, not voluntary, principle. Thus this is financially more demanding than for the J1 program. But you can choose a school that closely approximates your ideal wishes. Thus you can influence the type of school, its location and size. When selecting we can compare the subjects and sporting activities that are on offer as well as any other parameters that you consider to be important. As far as the American families are concerned, they receive financial compensation for their hospitality to the student.
Flexibility of F1 program in points
Below we give some of the points in which the F1 program is more flexible than the J1 program:
- the possibility to choose a specific locality for placement (state, city, specific school);
- the possibility to choose the type of school (state, private, private boarding, boys, girls, mixed...);
- the possibility to choose the method of accommodation (family, boarding school);
- the possibility to study longer than 1 calendar year (for private schools);
- the possibility to choose a school with regard to American graduation (HS diploma);
- the possibility to choose a school with regard to the student’s academic interests;
- the possibility to choose a school with regard to sports, arts and other interests of the student;
- the greater flexibility of the program (visits or travel to the Czech Republic during the course of the program, etc.);
- a higher academic level of the schools.