I am a French student currently on my second J1 visa.
The first one I ever had was to do a year as a foreign exchange student at the San Francisco State University from 2009 to 2010.
The second J1 visa (the one I am currently under for a few more days) was for a year long internship sponsored by the American Immigration Council (aka AIC).
I am currently in the process of applying to a UCLA summer program but discovered that - as far as foreign students were concerned - the application to get the J1 visa required that at least 51% of [my] expenses must be covered by a sponsoring party other than [my]self or [my] family (i.e. an employer), and that sponsoring party will have to provide a letter indicating that they have agreed to provide you with financial support.
I do not remember ever having to deal with that policy for either of the J1 visas I have been under since 2009.
Does anybody know what this means and what options might be at my disposal as I currently do not have any employer in France?
Also, I am not planning to go back to France once that summer program would be over: my goal is to do that summer program in preparation for a Master program starting in the Fall, just after the summer program would come to an end.
I am therefore hoping to have the opportunity to apply for both the J1 & the F1 visas at the same time and be able to remain in the US between the end of the summer program and the beginning of the master.
Would that be possible?