Before an individual can apply at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate for a J-1 Visa, you must first apply for and be accepted into an exchange visitor program through a U.S. Department of State-designated sponsoring organization, such as Cultural Vistas.
Additional eligibility information
|J-1 Visa Eligibility Requirements For Interns||J-1 Visa Eligibility Requirements For Trainees|
Minimum 18 years
Proficiency in English
Education Level / Employment History:||Non-U.S. citizen
Minimum 18 years
Proficiency in English
Education Level / Employment History:|
- Applicants must demonstrate recent experience in field for which they are requesting an internship or training experience.
- Applicants must have related work or education within the six months prior to the program start date.
- Applicants must intend to enter the United States solely for the purpose of internship or training; not to abandon non-immigrant status.
- Applicants must not intend to change status while in the United States.
- Applicants must be able to function in an English-speaking environment, during work and non-working hours. This must be verifiable via documentation from an educational institution, English language test, or interview with Cultural Vistas staff.
- Applicants who located their internship through recruitment agencies or other third party organizations may not be eligible.
Not all fields are eligible for J-1 Intern and Trainee sponsorship. Cultural Vistas is authorized to sponsor the J-1 Intern and Trainee exchanges in the following fields:
For Host Companies and Organizations
Cultural Vistas considers many factors when assessing host company eligibility – both those required by the U.S. Department of State and those stipulated by our nonprofit – in order to maintain program quality.Host organizations must have sufficient capacity and resources to provide a structured and meaningful experience that enhances the professional skills of interns and trainees, while providing insight into American customs and business practices.
- Demonstrate robust, well-planned training objectives and activities
- Have been incorporated and in operation for at least one year
- Sufficient resources to provide onsite supervision and mentoring by experienced staff
- Offer minimum of 32 hours per week to intern or trainee
- Facilitate educational and cultural learning opportunities in and outside the workplace for the participants
- Five full-time staff, at minimum, at the training site Please note: Cultural Vistas requires a staff to participant ratio of 10-1 in most cases.
- Valid Employer Identification Number (or Tax ID number)
- Worker’s Compensation policy where required
- The host must abide by all federal, state, and local labor and wage laws. This includes laws relating to withholding applicable taxes as appropriate. J-1 interns and trainees do not pay FICA and FUTA taxes and are required to obtain a Social Security Number in order to be paid wages. Participants should not be considered independent contractors and compensation cannot be based on tips.
- All participant applicants must be interviewed by either the U.S. host or the sponsor. For the purposes of the J-1 Visa, such interviews must be documented and be performed via webcam, videoconference, phone, or in-person. Hosts will confirm these details in the host company application.
- The host must ensure participants notify us of their arrival and complete all required evaluation forms. Hosts should also provide orientation upon arrival to ensure the participant is prepared for participation in the program and clearly explain company rules, policies, and any benefits to which the participant is entitled.
- Arts and Culture
- Business, Management, Commerce, and Finance
- Education and Social Sciences, Library Science, Counseling and Social Services
- Health-related Occupations
- Hospitality and Tourism
- Information, Media, and Communications
- Public Administration and Law
- Sciences, Engineering, Mathematics, Architecture, and Industrial Occupations