For Host Companies
In today’s global marketplace, the competition for talent knows no boundaries. Companies and organizations all over the world are forced to deploy workers in new markets faster than ever before to capitalize on emerging opportunities.
Those that succeed understand the necessity of building and sustaining a strong international talent pipeline. With more than 50 years of professional exchange experience, Cultural Vistas is uniquely positioned to address this challenge.
Expertise, Experience, and Reliability
As a J-1 Exchange Visitor Program sponsor, Cultural Vistas works with hundreds of organizations every year to bring motivated and talented individuals to the United States to make meaningful workplace contributions, improve cross-cultural skills, and learn about our country and culture – creating an invaluable exchange of ideas, expertise, and global connections for all those involved
Through customizable internship and training programs, the J-1 Visa enables organizations to:
- Connect with foreign markets and create a pipeline for international talent
- Train international clients on new technologies
- Onboard new overseas staff or fast-track training for managers
- Establish international internship programs for university students
- Promote diversity and intercultural competencies
- Support diplomacy and experience the benefits of a more diverse workplace
J-1 Intern Programs
For students and recent graduates
Program Length: Up to 12 months
J-1 Trainee Programs
For experienced professionals
Program Length: Up to 18 months
What We Offer
- Flexibility to sponsor programs from most countries in most fields at any time of year
- Arrival and acculturation assistance, including comprehensive orientation materials
- Issuance of the “Certificate of Eligibility for J-1 Visa” (Form DS-2019) to successful applicants
- Options for expedited service guaranteeing completed applications are evaluated in five business days
- Training plan and application assistance
- Host organization and applicant vetting
- Comprehensive health and medical insurance
- 24-hour emergency support for participants and host organizations
- Program monitoring through a dedicated client relations team and regular evaluation
- Cultural and educational activities and networking events in select cities
- Access to free tax software for participants
For New Hosts
- Complete our host company application request form, which allows us to assess the eligibility of your company and proposed training program. This information is required for all program applications.
- Take part in a brief phone interview with a Cultural Vistas representative in order learn more about your organization and programs. Please note that we cannot process an application until the interview is completed and the participant application is received.
- Pay a new company fee that will be required if you have not previously worked with us. Please see the Fees + Refunds page for more information.
- Has fewer than 25 employees at the program site
- Generates annual revenue of less than $3 million
Host companies who have not hosted a successful program* with Cultural Vistas within three years prior to submitting a new program application will be subject to New Host Company on-boarding.
*The U.S. Department of State defines a successful training program as one in which the participant has submitted required evaluations to sponsoring organization. Programs of six months or less only require a final evaluation and programs longer than six months require both a midterm and final evaluations.
During site visits, prospective hosts are expected to provide a copy of their workers’ compensation policy, a quick tour that shows where the intern or trainee will be working, and to answer additional questions about the information submitted in the Training/Internship Placement Plan. Please note that academic and government institutions are usually exempt from the site visit requirement.
Eligible Internship & Traineeship Fields
- Arts and Culture
- Business, Management, Commerce, and Finance
- The Sciences, Mathematics, Architecture, and Industrial Occupations
- Information, Media, and Communications
- Public Administration and Law
- Education and Social Sciences
- Hospitality and Tourism
Fields Not Eligible for Intern or Trainee Sponsorship
- Positions involving more than 20% clerical activity
- Positions of unskilled labor
- Flight training
- Performing arts, including dance instructors
- Positions involving clinical or medical patient care or contact including dentistry, child/elder care, veterinary medicine, doctors, nurses, psychological therapy, cosmetology, sports or physical therapy, speech therapy or social work
- Programs in child care and sports coaching, this includes positions at pre-schools and daycare centers, and afterschool programs
- Programs in the field of carpentry, home electricians, or construction trades
- Programs at camps or residential facilities, economy hotels, bakeries, retail sites, auto body shops, home-based construction businesses or home offices
- Programs involving the use of staffing agencies or unauthorized recruiters
Host Company Eligibility Requirements
- The host must be an established business in operation for at least one year and provide their Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN). Cultural Vistas may consider the number of staff, incorporation date, company history, current business activities, and financials in determining whether the host organization meets our requirements for sponsorship.
- A minimum of 5 full-time staff is required at the company and training site.
- Cultural Vistas requires a staff to participant ratio of 10-1 in most cases.
- The host must not use the intern/trainee program for ordinary employment or staffing and must not displace American workers with interns/trainees.
- The host must not intend to assist the participant in remaining in the United States beyond the authorized program dates or change status to another type of visa.
- The host must be able to prove they have a valid workers compensation insurance policy. If exempted by law from having insurance, proof of exemption must be submitted to Cultural Vistas.
- All participant applicants must be interviewed by either the US host or the sponsor. For the purposes of the J-1 Visa such interviews must be documented and be performed via web cam, video conference, phone, or in-person. Hosts will confirm these details in the Host Company Application.
- The host must offer a minimum of 32 hours per week to the participant.
- The host must provide continuous on-site supervision of participants and their program activities and provide feedback to facilitate the participant’s development.
- The host is expected to provide the participant with a “real life” experience in his or her career field as normally practiced in the United States including exposure to various aspects of the business or occupation and activities designed with the participant’s career level and interest in mind. Programs should be clearly defined and expectations, requirements, and activities specified in the training plan. Program elements should not be changed without approval from Cultural Vistas.
- 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 Visa trainees and interns do not pay FICA (Social Security/Medicare) and FUTA (Unemployment) 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.
- The host should provide or make available opportunities for the participant to learn about American culture through events in and outside the office.
- The host must ensure participants notify us of their arrival and complete all required evaluation forms.
- The host should 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.