APPLY FOR J-1 VISA SPONSORSHIP
Are you a potential J-1 intern or trainee? A US company, institution or organization looking to host an international exchange visitor? An immigration attorney representing a host company or individual foreign national interested in the J-1 visa? The International Exchange Center is here to assist you in navigating the J-1 process. We provide resources to help you design the ideal training program to meet your needs.
You can begin by reading the Application Instructions and then download the 2013 IEC Application Packet for a full description of the documents you must submit to apply for J-1 sponsorship with our organization.
LINKS AND RESOURCES
- The Application Process: A Brief Overview
- Application Checklist
- NEW: Introduction to the Online Application System
- Writing a Dynamic Training Plan
- DS 7002 Sample
- Video Tutorial: How to Write a J-1 Training Plan
- Participant Handbook
TIPS ON FINDING A HOST SITE:
THE APPLICATION PROCESS
REVIEW OF THE APPLICATION:
When we receive a complete application (includes the application materials, supporting documents, and payment) we review it to make sure that all necessary information is there.
If anything is missing, or we need more information, we will contact the sender of the application and let them know what items we need. It is helpful if a cover letter is included with the application that has a main contact and their contact information listed.
Some applications require a Host Site Verification Visit. This is only for host sites that do not have at least 25 full time employees and $3 million in gross annual revenue and have not previously hosted an Exchange Visitor. If a visit is required, we will either send one of our staff members or one of our ambassadors to the host site. The purpose of the visit is to make sure that the host site is adequately equipped to take on a trainee or intern. Companies that require a visit are not eligible for expedited processing.
If the application passes the written review and the Host Site Visit (if required) is complete we will move on to the webcam interview portion of our process. We will contact the applicant by email to set up a Skype interview. They need to replto that email with a day and time that may work for them. Please note: ouagreement with the Department of State requires the applicant to be outside of the United States at the time of the interview.
ISSUING FORM DS-2019:
Once we complete the interview and are satisfied that the program, applicant, and host company all meet the requirements and intentions of the visa, we will issue the form DS-2019. This form, along with the I-901 SEVIS fee receipt and DS-7002 Training/Internship Placement Plan, are sent to the applicant in our orientation packet.
After the applicant has received the packet and checked the documents for accuracy they may make their appointment with the Embassy or Consulate. AIC strongly suggests that no appointments be made until the documents have been received.
UNDERSTANDING THE IEC REVIEW PROCESS:
Each J-1 sponsor has their own procedure for how they handle the review and processing of the applications. Here at the International Exchange Center, the review process ensures that each application is given the thorough attention it deserves. Immediately after submitting the application materials, the applicant will be directed to an online scheduling website to select a date and time for his or her personal webcam interview. While that is taking place, the application is given to one of our case managers for review. If the case manager has any questions or needs any additional information, they will contact the person who submitted the application before the webcam interview with the participant.
Items frequently identified during the review phase include, but are not limited to:
- Revising the DS-7002 training plan to adhere to J-1 visa regulations
- Missing information in the application
- Documents needing translation to English
- Missing a full copy of the applicant’s passport
- If required, Host Site Verification Visits may add 1-3 weeks to the processing time of the application
In the case of a successful interview, the application will be approved and the packet containing the DS-2019, I-901 and DS-7002 forms will be sent out, via international courier, to the trainee/intern in his or her home country. We feel confident that with our thorough review process, each of our applicants will enter the embassy with the best possible chance of being granted the J visa.
APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS AND PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS:
The American Immigration Council is pleased to be designated by the U.S. government to sponsor international training programs under the J-1 visa. The purpose of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is to further the foreign policy interests of the United States by increasing mutual understanding between people of other countries and the United States by means of mutual educational and cultural exchanges. The J-1 Exchange Visitor is a non-immigrant who seeks to enter the United States for the purpose of enhancing career skills by participating in a structured training or internship program conducted by a Third Party (Host Company) and sponsored by the American Immigration Council.
A non-immigrant J-1 Exchange Visitor and his/her accompanying spouse and/or minor children may apply for visas to be admitted into the United States in J-1/J-2 classifications under Immigration and Nationality Act § 101(a)(15)(J) if the Exchange Visitor and his/her accompanying spouse and/or children each present American Immigration Council-issued SEVIS Form DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor [J-1] Status) to a U.S. Consular Official abroad.
In order to obtain a SEVIS Form DS-2019 through the American Immigration Council’s Exchange Visitor Program, the proposed Host Company, training program and J-1Exchange Visitor must meet the following qualifications:
1) The prospective Host Company is required to demonstrate that:
A) The proposed training is in one of the following seven (7) categories:
Information Media and Communications; Management, Business, Commerce and Finance; Science, Engineering, Architecture, Mathematics and Industrial Occupations; Public Administration and Law; Arts & Culture Tourism Social Sciences, Library Science, Non-clinical Counseling, Social Services
B) The host company has established a bona fide training program or internship placement and a detailed training plan must be submitted demonstrating that the J-1 Exchange Visitor will not be engaging in ordinary employment;
C) The Host Company has sufficient annual revenues, qualified personnel, facility and equipment to support a trainee or internship program;
D) The Host Company has personnel qualified and available to provide the training as described on form DS-7002;
E) The Host Company has an IRS Employer Identification Number and a Workers’ Compensation
F) The Host Company has been in business at least 24 months and can demonstrate sufficient financial stability to provide qualified personnel, facility and equipment for the entire length of the training or internship program;
G) The Host Company has at least 6 permanent full-time employees working at the site where the exchange visitor will be trained; and,
H) The Host Company will agree to communicate with the American Immigration Council on J-1 program matters on an on-going basis throughout the J program.
2) The description of the Training Program must include the following:
A) A detailed description of the program on form DS-7002;
B) Host Company background information;
C) Overall program objective;
D) A description of the specific skills and knowledge the J-1 Exchange Visitor Trainee will acquire during the training program, how the skills and knowledge will be taught and how they pertain to the individual’s ultimate career goals;
E) A description of how the J-1 Exchange Visitor Trainee will be oriented to both the workplace and the local community in which he/she will be living;
F) A description of the cultural opportunities that are scheduled and the activities available in the immediate area; and,
G.) A description of the qualifications of the supervisor to provide the training.
3) A training program cannot be approved which:
A) Deals in generalities with no fixed schedule, objectives, or means of evaluation;
B) Is incompatible with the nature of the Host Company’s business or enterprise;
C) Includes training which the Exchange Visitor has already mastered;
D) Is in a field in which it is unlikely the knowledge or skill will be used outside the United States;
E) Will result in productive employment beyond that which is incidental and necessary to the training;
F) Is designed to recruit and train aliens for the staffing of operations in the United States;
G) Does not establish that the petitioner has the physical plant and sufficiently trained manpower to provide the training specified;
H) Includes unsupervised activity or requires the exchange visitor to have responsibility for activities that should be fulfilled by American employees;
I) Exceeds the maximum length of stay (18 months for trainee, 12 months for interns) allowed by the J-1 visa regulations;
J) The proposed J-1 Exchange Visitor Trainee must demonstrate the following:
a. He/she has a post-secondary degree or certificate from outside the U.S. that directly relates to the proposed training program plus at least one year of non-U.S.
work experience directly related to the proposed training by provision of the following:
i. Copy of degree/diploma and transcripts;
ii. Resume; and
iii. Reference letters covering at least one year of employment
Or he/she has at least five years of non-U.S. work experience directly related to the proposed training.
b. He/she has not previously completed work or training that would be duplicative of the proposed J-1 training;
K) The proposed J-1 Exchange Visitor Intern must demonstrate the following:
a. He/she is enrolled full-time in a non-U.S. post secondary academic degree or certificate
granting program related to the proposed internship or will be within 12 months of
graduation at the start of the internship by provision of the following:
i. Copy of degree/diploma (if graduated) and transcripts;
b. He/she and his/her spouse and/or minor children have an insurance policy with the following minimum benefits:
i. Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness;
ii. Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000;
iii. Medical evacuation to the home country in the amount of $50,000; and,
iv. A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.
c. He/she has at three conversational English-peaking skills so as to be able to fully benefit from the training and cultural opportunities in the United States, and be able to communicate unassisted with American Immigration Council staff by telephone in the event of an emergency;
d. He/she is at least eighteen years of age;
e. He/she can demonstrate how the training will be used upon return to the home country;
f. He/she can demonstrate the intent to return to the home country;
g. He/she will apply for the J-1 visa in the home country;
h. The applicant will be outside of the United States at the time of an interview with American Immigration Council staff via webcam.