J-1 Visas

J-1 Visas

J-1 Visa Overview

The Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 which created the J-1 visa, enables the Government of the United States to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange. It promotes international cooperation for educational and cultural advancement and thus to assist in the development of friendly, sympathetic, and peaceful relations between the United States and the other countries of the world.

The J-1 Visa provides countless opportunities for international candidates looking to travel and gain experience in the United States. The multifaceted programs enable foreign nationals to come to the US to teach, study, conduct research, demonstrate special skills or receive on the job training for periods ranging from a few weeks to 18 months.

US Employers do not sponsor J-1 visa participants. The applicant is sponsored by accredited organizations that have been authorized by the US Department of State to sponsor a number of exchange visitor programs.

Placement International’s visa service is available to participants in the Intern and Trainee categories within the following fields:

  • Business, Management, Commerce and Finance
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Information, Media and Communications
  • Public Administration and Law
  • The Sciences, Engineering, Architecture, Mathematics

The J1 Visa allows the applicant to:

  • Participate in a training program for up to 12 or 18 months
  • Obtain a Social Security number
  • Obtain a U.S. driver's license

The J1 Visa does not allow the applicant to:

  • Change host employer unless the transfer and new Host Company has been previously approved
  • Gain employment outside of the original training program
  • Extend the training program past 18 months

Changing Host Companies

If, for any reason, you think you might need to transfer from one Host Company to another, please contact Placement International. J-1 visa regulations prohibit participants from changing host companies without their sponsor first vetting the new host company and approving the transfer before any host company change.

Understanding the J1 Visa Program

The purpose of the J-1 visa program is to provide international participants with opportunities for professional development, insight into the American know-how in the field of training and a greater understanding of the American society and culture. J-1 visa interns and trainees are expected to share the cross-cultural and professional knowledge that they have gained in the US upon return to their home country at the end of their training. The J-1 program is also intended to allow American citizens to learn about the culture and expertise of the participant's home country.


Internship Program up to 12 months
  • 18+ year old
  • Must be enrolled in a university or college outside of the U.S. or have graduated from one within 12 months prior to the start of the internship
  • Must be fluent in English
Training Program up to 18 months
  • 20+ year old
  • Must possess a degree or certificate from a post-
    secondary institution outside of the US and 1 year of professional experience or must have 5 years of professional experience
  • Must be fluent in English

Work & Travel

The Summer Work Travel program provides foreign students with an opportunity to live and work in the United States during their summer vacation from college or university to experience and to be exposed to the people and their way of life in the United States.


  • Must be 18 to 29 years old
  • Sufficiently proficient in English to successfully interact in an English speaking environment
  • Must be currently enrolled and actively pursuing a college or university degree
  • Have successfully completed at least one semester or equivalent of post-secondary academic study

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