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J1 Internship And J1 Training Program: Benefits

The J-1 Exchange Visitor category was first introduced in 1961 to try to increase understanding between citizens from the U.S. and the people from other nations through education and exchanges of culture. U.S. institutions of higher learning have tremendously benefitted from this program through attracted top researchers and faculty. The J-1 visa guarantees that students can are able to take on an international perspective on the topic of their choice. However, there is a common myth among the general public that J-1 visas are solely used for study or research, but isn’t associated with work. This is this is a myth that we’ll try to clear.

J-1 permits individuals to come into in the U.S. under the following categories:

Research Scholar
Short-Term Scholar
Alien Physician
Summer Work Travel
Student (Secondary/High School)
Students (College/University)
Au Pair
Camp Counselor
Visitor from the Government
International Visitor

The J-1 category for Interns/Training is an opportunity for mutual benefit in two ways that

Offers companies throughout the U.S. with support staff to fill international and seasonal trainee jobs.
Foreign nationals can be students and trainees, internships and seasonal staff to earn money and work while enjoying the U.S. culture

Overview of the J-1 trainee program USA

Through the J-1 program for training, “trainees” are currently permitted to remain within America for up to 18 months. U.S. for up to 18 months, which gives the chance to develop their abilities in their chosen profession through participation in international internships as well as the possibility of professional education. They are designed to enhance their understanding of American methods, techniques or skills in their area of expertise.

This course is not intended to replicate a participant’s previous training or experience. Through this program, foreign nationals have been able to train and work in some of the most prestigious companies in the U.S., gaining real practical experience in their field of interests. One industry which has made use of in the program J-1 is the hospitality and tourism industry that provides education in the areas of restaurant and hospitality management Food and beverage management finances and accounting resource and front desk operations information technology, sales and marketing.

The Department of State (DOS) is the agency that runs J-1, the J-1 program, recently amended its regulations for interns and trainees. The changes in addition eliminate any distinctions between “non-specialty jobs” and “specialty occupations. They also” introduce an internship program that is new and change the criteria used to determine eligibility in a program of training. The new regulations, which took effect on July 19, 2007 modify several elements that are part of this Intern/Training program.

Regulations that were changed in The Intern/Training Program

For J-1 Interns

The new regulations for interns permit only those foreign nationals

Are currently enrolled and are pursuing your studies at a degree or awarding post-secondary institution or
Graduating from an institution not more than 12 months prior to the start date for the exchange visitor program to take part as an intern.

Internships should be linked to the field of study.

For J-1 Trainees

The new regulations for trainees require that, in order to be a part of a programme, trainees need to one of the following:

A professional or academic degree from a postsecondary institution that is not in the United States and at least one year of previous working experience in their subject acquired outside of within the United States, or
Five years of experience in from the United States in their occupational area.

Although there’s still doubt about which regulations the changes will affect J-1 applicants and the way they’ll alter the J-1 program The Department of State explaining their decision on the nature and the scope of these new rules said that:

Regulations explicitly restrict the application of the term “trainee” to fill vacancies for normal employment, specifying that employers should not put trainees in positions that are or that would be filled by full-time or part time employees. However the Department acknowledges the fact that working is an important part of training on the job and, in many ways there are no formal and legal differences between employees and trainees. The two views are not incompatible. Although a trainee may be performing work as a part of his/her learning experience however, it is part of the training program intended to help the trainee improve their abilities in the field of their specialization by exposing them to American methods, techniques and experience.

The Department will develop internship and training programs within the following categories of work in the following categories: Agriculture, Forestry as well as Fishing; Arts and Culture; Aviation; Construction and Building Trades; Education, Social Sciences, Library Science, Counseling and Social Services; Health Related Occupations; Hospitality and Tourism; Information Media and Communications; Management, Business, Commerce and Finance; Public Administration and Law as well as the sciences, Engineering, Architecture, Mathematics and industrial occupations.

The regulations prevent the placement of trainees or interns in casual or untrained work positions, or for positions that involve elder or child care, or any position that requires patient care or contact with patients. Furthermore, sponsors cannot assign interns or trainees to positions that require more than 20 percent of clerical duties during their programs.

The Long-Term Benefits of the J-1 Visa

There are numerous advantages that may be obtained by participating in the J-1 program, however, the benefits depend on the type of program that the foreign national is enrolled in.

Training on the job
Trainees may receive financial aid through the U.S. and foreign sources
There is no requirement for the foreign national to become an employee for an employer from another country.
Assures a productive job (to the extent permitted in the program of training)
Not required to show that the program isn’t offered in the country from which it originated (like for the program H-3)
Does not require the approval of the application by USCIS prior to when the foreign national is able to apply for an entry visa.
The foreign national can apply in person at an U.S. Consulate for the J-1 visa by submitting Form DS-2019
Benefit from U.S. tax benefits: Exempt from FICA contributions, and could be eligible for tax treaty provisions that exempt J-1’s out of U.S. taxation altogether for specific time period of time
Dependents of J-1 are qualified for employment authorization upon their entry to America. U.S. in J-2 status

Establishing A J-1 Training Program

U.S. businesses and organizations who wish to add interns and trainees as part of their normal schedules can choose between two alternatives. The first, as in the previous example involves establishing a connection with an authorized J-1 sponsor. The second is to design your the training program of your own and finish the J-1 authorization procedure. After the program’s designation is received, the business receives what is essentially the status of a “blanket application approval” for the importation of foreign nationals as they please subject to the restrictions of the program as stated in the request for designation or as determined by or by the State Department. It is essential to note that in the event of an employer-employee conflict, if one arises, an H-1B Visa could be a suitable option to take.

Change from J-1 to H-1B

In order to obtain an H-1B visa the petition must be approved from USCIS. USCIS prior to the time a foreign citizen is able to submit a request for visa or start working in the capacity. Foreign nationals in J-1 status is able to change to H-1B status once an employer has approved the petition. However, before submitting the H-1B petition , the employer must ensure they are sure that their foreign employee is does not have to meet the two-year requirement for home country (certain people who enter in the U.S. in J-1 visa status have to return to their home country or their country of last residence for two years prior to being eligible for an H-1B, an L-1 or an immigrant visa, however, a variety of exemptions are available). In the event that the national isn’t in compliance with the 2 year requirement, they are able to proceed and submit the H-1B application.

An J-1-student who has completed an academic course, as well as any practical or academic training after the end of study can be granted an additional 30 days to make arrangements for travel. A J-1 pupil is believed to be in good standing until the expiration of this 30 day period, therefore any petition filed on behalf of him is considered timely and timely.

If an H-1B petition being filed for the benefit of a J-1 nonimmigrant refused:

After 30 calendar days from the successful completion of their studies, program or training the foreign national as well as dependents (if there are any) can be able to complete their 30 day grace period prior to leaving in the U.S…
After the grace period of 30 days the status of J-1 for foreign nationals will be revoked and he/she and any dependents (if there are any) must leave the U.S.


Many issues confront U.S. employers that wish to fill seasonal or temporary internship positions with foreign nationals or would like to provide training for foreign citizens. However, there are many solutions, J-1 visa is just one of the most popular and can be obtained all year round.

Globalization has made visa options essential for a large number of U.S. employers, whether they are operating in the global market or are looking to join the international market or are simply looking for summer interns. So, anyone considering this direction needs to know how the job or training program being considered as well as the goals for the future of both the employer and the foreign nationals. The choice of the right visa category for internships or training will depend on the applicant’s qualifications and background, as well as the company’s objectives.

Since the process for petitioning specific visa categories, i.e., H-3 or J-1, could take time and require a lot of documents, the employer has to be confident about the path the applicant chooses to follow. Additionally, the options chosen can expose potential trainees as well as U.S. companies to high levels of scrutiny from USCIS, DOS, and CBP. The two options for trainee visas (H-3 as well as J-1) are not designed to escape the restrictions that are that are found in other categories of temporary work visas and must be utilized with the purpose of training in mind.