Internship / Traineeship (J-1)
The J1 Exchange Visitor Program is an exchange program that was set up by the American government. The goal of this program is to allow foreign students and young professionals to gain on-the-job experience in the US.
There are various categories for the J-1 visa. For students and recent graduates the ‘intern’ category is applicable, for young professionals (who have graduated more than one year before their start date) the ‘trainee’ category applies.
Requirements J-1 visa
- The internship or training will have to take place in the field of education and/or work experience. For trainees without relevant education a minimum of 5 years of experience in the field must be shown.
- The J-1 visa is not a regular work visa, but an intern/trainee visa aimed at gaining experience. You must intend to return to your home after completion of your training.
- The maximum duration of the program is 12 months for interns (students or recent graduates) and in most cases 18 months for trainees (applicants who have graduated more than 12 months prior to the start date of the training).
- Most sponsor organizations use a minimum age of 18 years for the intern/trainee program. Some have a maximum age as well, others don’t. Students must be able to show that they have progressed far enough in their studies for the internship to take place.
- At this moment we are only able to assist if the employer has 5 full-time employees at the internship/training location. If the employer has 5 full-time employees but does not meet other requirements, a site visit may have to take place.
- After completion of the program, the J-1 visa holder will be able to stay in the US for another 30 days to travel (grace period).
Application Process J-1 visa
This is what the process will look like if we assist with a J-1 application:
- Collecting the required documents specified on our checklist
- We will put together the visa application, including application forms and supporting documentation.
- When the application is complete it will be submitted to the sponsor organization for review. This organization acts as the sponsor of the J-1 visa and will issue the required DS-2019 form (Certificate of Eligibility) after approval.
- After receiving the necessary documents, you will need to apply for the J-1 visa at a U.S. Consulate. The applicant has to apply for the visa in person at the U.S. Consulate.
- If the application is approved, the passport (with visa) will be send back by mail.
Some fields of study are excluded from the J-1 Intern/Trainee Program. This generally concerns fields of study in which the intern/trainee has direct contact with patients or children (for example physical therapy, early childhood education, psychology, speech therapy, etc).
The total cost of a J-1 visa application is dependent on the sponsor organization where the application can be submitted, the duration of the internship/training and the size of the company. This varies for every application. For an estimate, please contact us.