Internship/Professional Training Programs
Q: Do I apply as an Intern or Trainee?
A: Apply as an "Intern" if you are foreign national who (1) is currently enrolled in and pursuing studies at a post-secondary academic institution outside of the United States or (2) graduated from such an institution no more than 12 months prior to the program begin date, and intend to enter the United States to participate in internship program in your specific academic field.
MAXIMUM INTERN PROGRAM DURATION: 12 MONTHS
Apply as a "Trainee" if you are a foreign national who has either: (1) A degree or professional certificate from a foreign post-secondary academic institution and at least one year of prior related work experience in your occupational field acquired outside the United States, or (2) Five years of work experience outside the United States in your occupational field, and intend to enter the United States to participate in a training program in your specific occupational field.
MAXIMUM TRAINEE PROGRAM DURATION: 18 MONTHS
Q: Why do I need a visa sponsor and the DS2019 form?
A: Only U.S. Department of State-designated sponsors are authorized to issue and send to you the Certificate of Eligibility, the DS-2019 form. You need this form in order to apply for the J-1 visa, which allows you to be a trainee/intern in the USA.
Sponsors help ensure that your prospective host company's training or internship program matches your education and experience and complies with U.S. Department of State regulations. Sponsors also check whether you are qualified for a training/internship on the J-1 Visa, monitor your program, and provide you with important orientation materials as well as contracts between you, your host company, and the sponsor.
Q: What is "SEVIS?"
A: On February 15, 2003, the Department of State introduced the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) in an effort to improve the tracking of J and F Visa holders during their stay in the U.S.
Whenever there is a change in your U.S. contact information or in your program or visa status, your SEVIS record needs to be updated. If you are terminated from the J Program, your SEVIS record will reflect this and may have a negative impact on future visa applications.
To maintain your visa status and SEVIS record, it is very important that you inform your sponsor in advance of any potential changes to your original program as well as your and your supervisor.
Q: In which subject fields Pro-Internships offers placeent positions for trainees/interns on the J-1 Visa Program?
A: Pro-Internships specializes in providing placement opportunities for individuals interning and training with American employers in a variety of fields, including: Architecture, Accounting, Advertising, Business Management, Engineering, Finance, Hospitality & Tourism, Hotel Management, Information Technology, Law & Public Administration, Marketing, Media & Communications, Sales And More.
Q: What is the duration of the training/internship program?
A: Training on the J-1 Visa Program may last between 3 weeks and 18 months.
Internships are limited to 12 months.
Q: Can I extend my training/internship?
A: If your original training program lasts less than 18 months and if your host organization supports your request for additional training, it may be possible to extend your program up to a maximum program duration of 18 months.
If your original internship program lasts less than 12 months and if your host organization supports your request for additional intern activities, it may be possible to extend your program up to a maximum program duration of 12 months.
Whether training or interning, you must be currently "in status" on your J-1 Visa and your sponsor must receive all necessary documentation and application forms at least 30 days prior to the program end date indicated on the Training/Internship Placement Plan 'TIPP' and contracts.To request an extension of training/internship, please contact us, so we can send the necessary application materials to you and your host organization.
If your spouse and/or children are with you in the U.S. on the J-2 Visa, they may request an extension of their stay at the time you submit your application. If all extensions are approved by your sponsor, your dependents may remain with you for the period you are allowed to stay in the U.S.
Travel outside the U.S. is restricted during your program extension, unless you obtain a new J-1 Visa that is valid for the appropriate dates and duration. You must contact the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to check whether your travel plans comply with current laws, and regulations.
Q: What should I do if there are problems during my training/internship?
A: Your J-1 Visa sponsor acts as your advisor and liaison between you and your host organization. You are required to notify us immediately if you encounter any problems during your program. When informed early,your sponsor is able to help participants and host organization to resolve most problems and misunderstandings.
Q: Can I work and/or accept another job outside my training/internship?
A: No. As a J-1 Trainee/Intern you are strictly prohibited from accepting any employment in the U.S outside your training/internship and/or performing any work in the U.S. If you are found to engage in unauthorized employment and/or work, you are in violation of federal regulations, subject to immediate termination from the J-1 Visa Program, and may face deportation and/or other penalties through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Q: Do I need to have health insurance for my training/internship?
A: All trainees and their dependents on the J Visa must be covered by a health insurance plan that satisfies the insurance requirements of the U.S. Department of State for the entire duration of the training program. Before Designated Sponsor can approve sponsorship, you and your dependents must show evidence of such coverage or purchase insurance through us.
To satisfy the requirements of the Department of State, your and your dependents' insurance coverage must:
- Provide medical benefits of at least $50,000 per accident or illness
- Provide, at a minimum, up to 10,000 U.S. dollars in case of medical evacuation.
- Provide, at a minimum, up to 7,500 U.S. dollars in case of repatriation of remains.
- Have a deductible that does not exceed 500 U.S. dollars per accident or sickness.
Q: How will I pay for my living expenses during my program?
A: Many host organizations provide their trainees/interns with a monthly stipend that helps them pay for rent and other living expenses. However, regardless of whether your training/internship is paid or unpaid, it will be your responsibility to have sufficient funds to cover all living expenses in the U.S., pay for round-trip air travel, and purchase adequate health insurance, both for yourself and your dependents (any spouse and/or unmarried children under the age of 21 who entered the U.S. on the J-2 Visa to stay with you).
We strongly recommend you to come to the U.S. with a minimum of 1,200 U.S. dollars (plus 600 U.S. dollars for each dependent accompanying you) in order to be able to pay for living expenses during the first month of your stay (you may not receive the first paycheck from your host organization until five or more weeks after the beginning of your training/internship). In addition, you must ensure that you have at least 900 U.S. dollars for yourself and 450 U.S. dollars per dependent per month to cover basic living expenses for the remainder of your and your dependents' stay in the U.S. Please note, however, that your actual living expenses may be significantly higher, depending on your life style, the location of your training/internship, and other factors.
When you apply for your visa, you will be required to show to the U.S. consular officer that you have available personal funds at least in the amount stated in item 5.g. on the DS-2019 Form issued by your sponsor.
Q: How long may I stay in the U.S. after I finish my program?
A: After you have successfully completed your J-1 program, you are permitted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to remain in the U.S. for another 30 days. During this 30-day period, which is often referred to as the "Grace Period," you are under the jurisdiction of the USCIS and no longer entitled to train or intern at an organization. The USCIS grants this period to allow you to settle your affairs and to prepare your return to your home country. You may neither continue nor complete your program, nor work during this 30-day period. Although you may travel inside the United States, we recommended that you do not travel beyond the borders of the U.S. as you will not be permitted re-entry on your expired J-1 Training/Internship visa. For your own safety we also suggest you purchase health insurance for this period either independently or through us.