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Visas Requirements

Review the Visas Requirements for Visiting Teachers from Spain.

J-1 Visa Program

The Exchange Visitor (J) non-immigrant visa category is for individuals approved to participate in work-and study-based exchange visitor programs. Participants are integral to the success of the program.

Foreign teachers have the opportunity to teach in accredited primary and secondary schools in the United States.

The Exchange Visitor Program fosters global understanding through educational and cultural exchanges. All exchange visitors are expected to return to their home country upon completion of their program in order to share their exchange experiences.

Visa

Teachers must...

  • Meet the qualifications for teaching in primary or secondary schools in their country of nationality or last legal residence;
  • Be working as a teacher in the home country or country of legal residence at the time of application, or, if not working as a teacher, otherwise meet the eligibility qualifications and (a) have recently (within 12 months of application) completed an advanced degree and (b) have two years of full-time teaching experience within the past eight years;
  • Have a degree-equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree in either education or the academic subject field in which they intend to teach;
  • Have a minimum of two years (24 months) of teaching or related professional experience;
  • Satisfy the standards of the U.S. state in which they will teach;
  • Be of good reputation and character;
  • Be seeking to enter the United States for the purpose of full-time teaching as a teacher of record at a primary (including pre-kindergarten) or secondary accredited educational institution in the United States (pre-kindergarten teachers must teach full-time, and at the pre-kindergarten level, may teach only language immersion at an accredited host school);
  • Possess sufficient proficiency in the English language.

Teachers’ responsibilities:

  • Teach as a full-time, paid faculty member at a primary or secondary school
  • Share language, culture, and knowledge with students, colleagues, and the surrounding community, to accomplish the cross-cultural component requirement
  • Fulfill all obligations as outlined in the Terms and Conditions Contract (provided when hired)
  • Fulfill professional development requirements

Cross Cultural Component

A cross cultural activity is defined as an activity designed to promote exposure and interchange between exchange visitors and Americans so as to increase their mutual understanding of each other’s society, culture, and institutions.

During each academic year, the J-1 teacher is required to complete at least one cross-cultural activity from each of the following categories:

An activity for the teacher's classroom, larger host school or host school district population, or the community at large designed to give an overview of the history, traditions, heritage, culture, economy, educational system and/or other attributes of his or her home country. Sponsors of exchange teachers placed at international schools must require their exchange teachers to conduct at least one cross-cultural activity per academic year outside the host school in nearby schools or communities where international opportunities may be more limited than those found in their host school.

An activity that involves U.S. student dialogue with schools or students in another country, preferably in the exchange teacher's home school, through virtual exchange or other means, in order to supplement the goals of the in-person exchange

Teachers will be required to submit annual reports describing the cross-cultural activities performed to the J-1 program director. Support staff at each ILTexas school will assist J-1 teachers in fulfilling the cross-cultural component.

Fees

Applicants will be responsible for the following fees:

  • Fingerprinting ($39.00 online + $10.00 on site)
  • VIT Certificate ($78.00 to District)
  • Program fee to ESC 13
  • ($400 by September 30, 2017)
  • ($100 by September 30, 2018)
  • ($100 by September 30, 2019)

Expenses

Applicants will be responsible for the following costs and expenses:

  • SEVIS Fee (currently $180)
  • Consular/visa application fees (currently $160)
  • Travel expenses to and from the United States
  • Personal expense money for the initial costs upon arriving in the United States prior to receipt of the first paycheck
  • Certification or licensure costs
  • All costs and fees associated with dependents including insurance premiums
  • Typical expenses such as housing, bills, transportation, food, and all other expenses in the United States

Health Insurance

All J-1 teachers will need a health insurance that covers the following concepts:

  • Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness;
  • Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000;
  • Medical evacuation in the amount of $50,000; and
  • Deductibles not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.

What is the J-2 Visa?

The J-2 Visa is a non-immigrant visa issued by a consular official at a U.S. embassy or consulate for spouses and dependents (unmarried children under the age of 21) of J-1 exchange visitors who accompany or later join the J-1 holder in the United States.

The application procedure is the same as that for a primary visa applicant. The sponsor must approve the accompaniment of the spouse and/or children who will each be issued their own Form DS-2019.

J-2 holders and Employment Authorization

J-2 visa holders are eligible to apply for employment authorization through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) upon arrival in the United States. J-2 visa holders cannot work until they receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The wait time for an EAD application to be approved is typically two to three months. Once approved, J-2 visa holders can obtain a social security card. The EAD will have an expiration date. In order to continue working, dependents must renew their EAD card before this date.