A lot of people are issued J1 visas every year to enter the United States. This is permitted by the Mutual Educational and the Cultural Exchange Act (1961).
The whole purpose behind this J1 visa program was to increase knowledge sharing and mutual understanding, between the US and the rest of the world. This is because of the fact that the United States government was looking forward to establish a long lasting friendly relationships with other countries. Thus what could be better than sharing knowledge and culture as a first step towards establishing the friendship? Under the JI visa program a lot of foreign individuals travel to the United States every year and get a valuable opportunity to see, experience and understand the United States, the US life style, the people and their culture here.
A lot of reputed companies also get in their staff to train or upgrade their skills as a part of this J1 visa program. The maximum duration of the J1 Visa is for a year. The stay could however be stretched over for another additional six months, by completion of the due formalities with the office of exchange coordination and designation. If you are a foreign national and you have come here to the US as a part of the J1 visa program that certainly means that you would be allowed to go to office of the sponsorer. Take all the kind of trainings that would be involved. But you should not be involved in any direct production. As far as the salary goes you would be eligible for the minimum wages prevalent in the United States at that point of time. Please note that you are eligible to the wages declared either by the state or the center which ever is higher. This would be considered as the cost that you would incur to live in the United States for that period of time. Apart from that you would also be entitled to receive the wages from the country that you come from originally.
Overall the J1 Visa program is a good experience and enriches a person. They get to know of the life in the states. While people they come and meet with they also get a flavor of the cultural back ground the visitor is from. Thus this program can be termed as mutually beneficial for both the parties.