J-1 for Interns, Trainees and Teachers

J-1 visas for interns, trainees and teachers involve three separate parties. The first party is the J-1 program sponsor. This is an organization or entity that has an approved exchange program by the U.S. State Department. The second party is the host organization, which can be a company or other entities that wish to employ the J-1 visa holder as an intern, trainee or teacher. The last party is the J-1 visa holder or exchange visitor. This is the person that will be coming to the U.S. to participate in the cultural exchange program.

J-1 Interns

A foreign national interested in U.S. J-1 internships must be enrolled and studying at a foreign post-secondary academic institution outside the United States,  or the foreign national must have graduated from such an institution no more than 12 months prior to the J-1 internship program start date.

J-1 internship programs are offered in the following categories:

  • Arts and Culture
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Health Related Occupations
  • Public Administration and Law
  • Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
  • Construction and Building Trades
  • Information Media and Communications
  • Management, Business, Commerce and Finance
  • Science, Engineering, Architecture, Mathematics and Industrial Occupations
  • Education, Social Sciences, Library Science, Counseling and Social Services

The J-1 internship is intended for the applicant to acquire practical work experience in the U.S. in his or her field of study. The maximum duration of the program for a J-1 intern is 12 months.  The host organization must go through screening according to the program sponsor’s requirements. Also, the field of training has to match the host organization’s approved fields of training.

If you are interested in obtaining a J-1 visa as an intern, please call our office to start the first steps towards securing your visa.

J-1 Trainees

In order to qualify, the trainee must already have a degree or professional certificate from a foreign, post-secondary, academic institution and at least one year of prior related work experience in his or her occupational field outside the United States. In absence of college degree or certification he or she must have a total of five years of work experience outside the United States in the occupational field they are applying for in their J-1 trainee visa. This category is not available for graduates of U.S. colleges and universities.

J-1 training programs are offered in the following categories:

  • Arts and Culture
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Health Related Occupations
  • Public Administration and Law
  • Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing
  • Construction and Building Trades
  • Information Media and Communications
  • Management, Business, Commerce and Finance
  • Sciences, Engineering, Architecture, Mathematics and Industrial Occupations
  • Education, Social Sciences, Library Science, Counseling and Social Services

The J-1 training program is for the applicant to acquire practical work experience in the U.S. in the field of his or her study. The maximum duration of the program is 18 months. The host organization must go through screening according to the program sponsor’s requirements. Also, the field of training has to match the host organization’s approved fields of training.

If you are interested in obtaining a J-1 visa as a trainee, please call our office to start the first steps towards securing your visa.

J-1 Teachers

The J-1 teaching program is offered to candidates who are interested in a temporary teaching position at an accredited primary or secondary educational institution in the United States. Although it is a temporary position, the candidate will be expected to work at a full-time capacity (30-40 hour weeks).

The J-1 candidate must meet several qualifications in order to successfully apply for this program. He or she must:

  • Be found to have good reputation and character
  • Possess sufficient proficiency in English language
  • Satisfy the occupational standards of the U.S. state in which they will teach
  • Have a minimum of three years of teaching or related professional experience
  • Meet the qualifications for teaching in primary or secondary schools in their country of nationality or country of last legal residence

Many states require a bachelor’s degree as well as certification from teachers who teach in public schools; however, for many private schools there is no such requirement.

The J-1 visa sponsoring organization must approve the candidate according to their criteria, and the J-1 visa holder also needs to have an offer of employment as a teacher from a host organization that is a school.

If you are interested in a J-1 visa for yourself or for an employee, call our office to consult with an immigration attorney. We’ll determine your best strategy to get you positive results and show you how we avoid common issues that can lead to delays and denials.