As a U.S. government designated sponsor, the ABA Section of International Law’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 ABA International’s ILEX program. Trainees must complete the ILEX application, which is then processed electronically through the U.S. Department of State. Benefits of our J-1 Visa Services: * Cost effective * Worldwide experience

The processing fee is $1000 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 maximum placement period is eighteen months. For accompanying family members, the attorney can apply for the J-2 visa. The J-2 processing fee is $500 per visa.

The J-1 visa requires applicants to possess personal health and repatriation insurance. Once submitted, the application will be processed and submitted to the U.S. Department of State within two to four weeks.

View the J-1 Application Instructions and the J-1 ILEX Application.

For more information about our J-1 Visa Services, contact Alfredia Marshall, ILEX J-1 Program Officer, at (202) 466-2600 or

Please note: As of July 19, 2007, the U.S. Department of State regulations for the J-1 Visa have changed.

Under the new U.S. Department of State regulations for the J-1 visa trainee program, trainees must:

  • hold a degree from a post-secondary academic institution outside of the U.S. and have at least one year of prior related work experience in their occupational field acquired outside of the U.S.
  • possess verifiable English language skills sufficient to function on a day-to-day basis. Trainees’ English language skills must be verified by a recognized English language test, or signed documentation from an academic institution or English language school.
  • complete an acceptable training placement plan (DS-7002). More information about the J-1 visa can be found on the U.S. State Department’s website at: and