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J-1 Exchange Visitor Eligibility participants

The Exchange Visitor (J) non-immigrant visa category is for individuals approved to participate in work-and study-based exchange visitor programs.  Participants are integral to the success of the program. Here you can learn more about obtaining the J-1 Visa and other relevant visas. With the J-1 visa, students and graduates can complete a cultural exchange program in the USA for up to 12 months by participating in an internship. However, before the internship can begin in the U.S. each global participant must select a sponsor and join a program. There are hundreds of official program sponsors by the U.S. Department of State in the category J-1 Intern and Trainee. Their task is to ensure that the agreed training objectives are achieved with the host company in compliance with US regulations and applicable laws. Program sponsors are the primary contact through the duration of the internship and stay in the U.S.

The purpose of this program is not a bridge towards work program or other employment based visa category,  but a cultural exchange opportunity for interns and trainees and the employees of the host companies. The purpose of  Exchange Visitor Program  is to foster global understanding through educational and cultural exchanges. 

All exchange visitors are expected to return to their home country upon completion of their program in order to share their exchange experiences.

 

 

ELIGIBILITY

 

 

 

  • You must be currently enrolled full-time in a degree or non-vocational, professional certificate program in a college, university, or other post-secondary academic institution of higher education outside the U.S. OR;
  • You have graduated not more than 12 months before program start date, and submit an application more than 8 weeks before this eligibility expires 
  • You  must have finished at least 1 year of your degree program and have completed sufficient academic coursework in your academic field before your program start date in order to be sufficiently prepared for their U.S. internship. OR;
  • Have at least 5 years of related, full-time professional experience from outside the U.S.

 

  • You must hold a degree or non-vocational, professional certificate from a college, university or other post-secondary academic institution of higher education outside the U.S. and at least 1 year of related professional experience from outside the U.S. OR;
  • You must have at least 5 years of related, full-time professional experience from outside the U.S.

 

DURATION Up to 12 months Up to 18 months except Hospitality programs which cannot exceed  12 months regardless of visa category.
CONDITION
  • You must be between 18 - 34 years old
  • Your internship must be directly related to your academic course of study
  • You must demonstrate proficiency in English language
  • You have sufficient financial resources of at least 1,300 USD / month available in the US
  • You must be between 18-34 years old except for Teaching
  • You must also be able to document their current and previous related occupational experience from current/former employers outside the U.S.
  • You have proficient English language skills.
  • You have sufficient financial resources of at least 1,300 USD / month available in the US
 
REPEAT PARTICIPANTSAllowed if previous participant is a current student or recent graduate. 
Current students must return to school for at least one semester before reapplying for the Intern visa.
Allowed, subject to a two-year home-country physical presence requirement  before reapplying. However,  a waiver can be requested under INA Rule 212(e). if you are eligible.