About the Exchange Visitor Program:

The Exchange Visitor Program promotes mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries via educational and cultural exchanges. The Exchange Visitor Program is for people-to-people programs, which seek to develop and strengthen professional and personal ties between key foreign nationals and Americans and American institutions.

There are 14 categories of the J-1 Visa, and “teacher” is one of them. This cultural exchange visa is used to allow foreign teachers with at least two years of experience to teach in an accredited primary or secondary school in the United States for up to 36 months. Exchange teachers sharpen their professional skills and participate in cross-cultural activities in schools and communities, and they return to their home school after the exchange to share their experiences and increased knowledge of the United States and the U.S. educational system.

The goal of the Clear Horizons program is to foster cooperation in educational and cultural matters between the home country of the teacher and the United States. Many students, teachers, and communities have benefited from working with Clear Horizons’ team and the cultural exchange programs that they have supported. Clear Horizons endeavors to help individual students and teachers gain personal experiences and expand their cultural purview. We believe that the world is more interrelated and interconnected than ever, and as such its global citizens must have the ability to collaborate, communicate, and transcend boundaries. Clear Horizons’ mission is to equip K-12 students and educators with global knowledge, best practices, and resources that are necessary in a diverse and ever-changing world.


  • The applicant cannot be a U.S. citizen;

  • The applicant must be fluent in English;

  • For applicants for whom English is not their native language, English fluency must be demonstrated with by taking the Cambridge C1 Advanced Assessment exam and submitting results to Clear Horizons;

  • The applicant must have a minimum of two years (24 months) of full-time documented classroom teaching or related professional experience at K-12 schools outside of the U.S.;

  • The applicant must be working as a teacher in your 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;

  • The applicant must meet the qualifications for teaching in primary or secondary schools in your country of nationality or last legal residence;

  • The applicant must have an academic background focused on education/teaching;

  • The applicant must have a degree-equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree in either education or the academic subject field in which you intend to teach (4 years of University after 12th grade or the equivalent of the end of high school);

  • The applicant must have US state certification eligibility (NACES Credential Report) and must satisfy the teaching standards of the U.S. state in which he or she will teach;

  • The applicant must have a formal written offer from a U.S. primary or secondary school where he or she will teach;

  • The applicant must be seeking to come to the U.S. for the purpose of teaching full-time and sharing their culture in an accredited primary or secondary school;

  • The applicant must be of good reputation and character.

Home-country physical presence requirement:

An exchange visitor, and any accompanying spouse and dependents, who are within the purview of section 212(e) of the Immigration and National Act, as amended, or Public Law 94-484 (substantially quoted in 22 CFR 41.63), must reside and be physically present in the country of nationality or last legal permanent residence for an aggregate of at least two years following departure from the United States before the exchange visitor is eligible to apply for an immigrant visa or permanent residence, a non-immigrant K visa as the fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen, a non-immigrant H visa as a temporary worker or trainee, or a non-immigrant L visa as an intracompany transferee, or a non-immigrant H or L visa as the spouse or minor child of a person who has been granted status in H or L non-immigrant classification as a temporary worker or trainee or an intracompany transferee.

As part of Clear Horizons’ sponsorship, the participant and host employer sign an agreement confirming that the participant does not intend to abandon his or her non-immigrant status.  

Fees & Expenses

As a participant, YOU DO NOT OWE FEES to Clear Horizons as the program sponsor. Clear Horizons does not work with any recruiters that charge the teachers fees. If anyone charges you a fee, please contact clear horizons.

Expected salary & expenses:
Your school district will provide information about their salary schedule. Typically, the approximate salary is $32,000 - $85,000 per year prior to taxes, depending on your degrees and K-12 experience.

Given your likely tax bracket, you can expect taxes to be approximately 30% of your salary on average. This is inclusive of Federal tax, State tax, and FICA tax. This will vary depending on the state where you are working and your income.

Program fees:
If you already have a school that is interested in hosting you for your cultural exchange program, you do not need to pay Clear Horizons any fees. If you would like to be listed on our portal for potential host schools to view your information, you will need to pay a one-time fee of $50.

Clear Horizons does not work with any recruiters that charge teachers. Before we issue your visa form, you will be asked to sign a document stating that you have not been charged by any recruiters.

Estimated expenses the exchange visitor will have to account for:
Portal listing (for teachers who are interested in being listed): $50 USD
Credentialing (NACES evaluation): $200 USD
Visa fee: $160 USD
SEVIS fee: $180 USD
Cambridge English Qualification Test (if English is not your native language): $100-$200 USD
Background/certification in the US: $150 USD
Medical examination in home country (i.e. TB, medical clearance): $25-$100 USD
Drug test in home country (if required by school/district): $25-$50 USD
Lodging upon arrival if housing has not yet been secured: $100-$1,000 USD
Air travel to United States: $400-$1,500 USD
One night of hotel stay at Clear Horizons in-person orientation: $60-$100 USD
Transportation to orientation: $30-$50 USD
Monthly rent: $500-$1,500 USD (depending on the area)
Monthly food costs: $500-$1,000 USD
Monthly utilities (i.e. telephone, electricity, cable, wifi, etc.): $100-$500 USD
Monthly car/transportation: $250-$500 USD
J-2 insurance payments (all premiums, copays, deductibles, etc.) for any dependents you bring to the United States with you: $30-$200 USD
Taxes (federal, state, and FICA): approximately 30% of your salary