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J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Internship and Training Programs

The J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Internship and Training Programs are designed to allow foreign college and university students, recent graduates, and professionals to come to the United States to gain exposure to U.S. culture and to receive hands-on experience in U.S. business practices in their chosen occupational field.

The primary objectives of the programs are to enhance the skills and expertise of exchange visitors in their academic or occupational fields through participation in structured and guided work-based training and internship programs and to improve participants' knowledge of American techniques, methodologies, and technology.

Such training and internship programs are also intended to increase participants' understanding of American culture and society and to enhance Americans' knowledge of foreign cultures and skills through an open interchange of ideas between participants and their American associates. All J-1 Exchange Visitors are expected to take part in American cultural activities on a regular basis in order to successfully complete their intern and trainee programs.

To Qualify

To qualify, you must have already secured a training or internship opportunity in the following fields: Information Management, Finance, Architecture, Public Administration, Media, Business, Science, Mathematics, Law, Communications, Commerce, Engineering, Industrial Occupations, and Education.

You must also be proficient in English, have the means to support yourself in the U.S., and fit the definition of an Intern or Trainee:


Interns must be foreign nationals who

  • are currently enrolled in and pursuing studies at a foreign degree- or certificate-granting post-secondary academic institution outside the United States; or
  • have graduated from such an institution no more than 12 months prior to their exchange visitor program start date. Those graduates with degrees from U.S. Institutions are not eligible for the internship category.


Trainees must be foreign nationals who

  • have a degree or professional certificate from a foreign post-secondary academic institution and at least one year of prior related work experience in his or her occupational field outside the United States; or
  • have five years of work experience outside the United States in the occupational field in which they are seeking training.

Length of Stay

The maximum program duration for interns is 12 months. The maximum program duration for trainees is 18 months. Both interns and trainees are allowed a grace period to stay in the U.S. for up to one month after the end date of their program to allow them time to travel and close out their affairs. They are not allowed to work during this time.


When planning an internship or training program, please be aware of the following fees and associated costs, which can be paid either by the host organizations or by the interns/trainees.

Amideast's Role

Amideast has been designated by the U.S. Department of State as a J-1 visa sponsor for the  J-1 Exchange Visitor Internship and Training Program. Amideast does not provide placement services for interns or trainees, but will sponsor visas for applicants from the Middle East and North Africa who meet the program requirements and have already secured training or internship opportunities with suitable organizations. 

For more information, please click here.