The InterExchange Career Training USA program is overseen by the U.S. Department of State. To qualify for this program, host employers in our program must meet and follow InterExchange's program rules and federal program regulations. Employers must also consent to being visited during the Intern's program by the U.S. Department of State or by InterExchange staff (upon request) in order to allow us to perform the monitoring duties of these J-1 programs.
- Eligible Industries
- Company Eligibility
- Program Eligibility
- Prohibited Training
- Hospitality Requirements
InterExchange is designated to sponsor programs in a wide range of fields that fall under the following categories:
- Arts & Culture
- Information Media and Communications
- Management, Business, Commerce and Finance
- Public Administration and Law
- The Sciences, Engineering, Architecture, Mathematics and Industrial Occupations
- Hospitality and Tourism
Review our full list of fields. Please note that we cannot sponsor programs in fields such as agriculture, education or any other field not listed. If you are unsure whether the internship or training program you are offering falls under our list of fields, please contact InterExchange.
Host employers must abide by all federal, state and local labor and occupational health and safety laws, including paying all trainees, as well as any interns whose programs are longer than six months, at least minimum wage. Intern programs that are shorter than six months will be evaluated on a case by case basis to determine if they are eligible to be unpaid or paid less than minimum wage.
Hosts must also provide proof of a workers’ compensation policy or equivalent insurance that covers J-1 participants (or proof of exemption), a Federal Identification Number and either a DUNS number or copy of business registration.
Hosts must provide a professional work environment, offering no more than 20% clerical or basic work to participants in an office-type setting (home-based businesses are not permitted). To ensure adequate training and supervision is provided, there must also be at least five full-time, onsite employers per J-1 intern or trainee.
Host companies must have been in business and operational for at least six months and have an English-language website and business or company-branded email addresses.
Hosts must also interview interns or trainees via phone, webcam, or in person, consent to a site visit by InterExchange (for a one-time $250 fee) prior to program approval, if required, agree to complete mandatory program evaluations, and agree to notify InterExchange in case of an emergency or any changes to the training plan or supervision.
One of the fundamental aims of J-1 internships and training programs is to provide work-based training that will enable participants to enhance their skills and prepare for their future careers. These programs may NOT be used for ordinary employment purposes. To ensure that this distinction is upheld, host employers must offer eligible programs as follows.
Provide full-time (32-45 hrs per week), professional-level training and not displace full- or part-time, temporary, or permanent American workers. This training may not require any sort of license or certification or commission-based work.
Develop an internship program designed primarily to allow participants to obtain skills, knowledge, and competencies through structured and guided training, and create and digitally sign a Training or Internship Placement Plan (DS-7002) within the online application. This includes identifying employees who are qualified to provide training and supervision in the participants’ fields.
Ensure that Interns and Trainees have sufficient opportunity to be exposed to U.S. culture and business practices and that the host employer’s American staff is exposed to the culture and business practices of each Intern's or Trainee’s home country.
Not attempt to extend an offer of employment or change the visa status of your Interns or Trainees, as it is required that they return home after completing the program.
Not all employers are permitted to host through InterExchange. We cannot approve participants for sponsorship at the following locations:
- Bridal companies
- Camps (Consider our Camp USA program for camp positions)
- Candy stores, mall kiosks, boardwalk booths, and stands
- Convenience and grocery stores or superettes/mini-markets (consider our Work & Travel USA program for seasonal positions)
- Call center, customer service, or phone operators, including tech and help desk support
- Fast food or quick service restaurants or bakeries (consider our Work & Travel USA program for seasonal positions)
- Fitness studios, gyms, pools, dance studios, personal training, or coaching
- Gardens or parks
- Gas stations or toll plazas
- Landscaping companies
- Pool management companies
- Retail stores or locations and boutiques
- Schools and other instructional facilities
- Spas, salons, or dog grooming companies
- Staffing agencies
If you require staff at one of the locations mentioned above or would like seasonal staff to assist with tasks that are not appropriate for Career Training USA participants, our Work & Travel USA program may be able to help meet your needs.
In addition, we are not able to sponsor programs in which interns or trainees would participate in: animal care, child care, elder care, clinical work that involves any patient care or contact, sports or physical therapy, psychological counseling, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, social work, speech therapy or early childhood education.
InterExchange sponsors programs in hotel/hospitality management, hotel food and beverage management, restaurant management and culinary arts.
InterExchange does not permit business-only (finance, accounting, human resources, etc.) programs in hotels, resorts, inns, or restaurants.
Interns and Trainees wishing to work in hospitality or restaurant management positions must have hospitality or restaurant management education (interns) or work experience (trainees) in order to be able to rotate through various departments.
At least three rotations for programs six months or longer is required by the regulations. No rotation may be more than three or four months long, and each department must have sufficient, qualified staff to offer adequate training.
All Hospitality Management, Restaurant Management and Culinary programs are limited to 12 months regardless of whether the individual is an Intern or Trainee.
Hospitality Interns and Trainees may not return to properties at which they have previously worked on a Work and Travel program or other work visa.
Education or work experience only in Tourism Management does not qualify Interns or Trainees for programs in Hospitality Management, as those fields are not interchangeable.
|Should be rated 3-Diamond or higher by AAA, or rated 4-Star and above by Forbes.||Must be high-end, fine dining, sit-down restaurants OR full-service banquet halls.|
|All unrated properties will be considered on a case-by-case basis.||All properties will be considered on a case-by-case basis.|
|Motels||National chains, casual dining restaurants, pubs, pizza parlors|
|Hostels||Fast food, delivery/takeout restaurants, bakeries|
|Hotels that do not meet the above requirements||Kiosks, stands, food trucks|
Acceptable Types of Training
Remember that participants must rotate through departments and roles. Therefore, they may train in any given category for only one phase.
|Hotel/Hospitality Management||Restaurant/Food and Beverage Management||Culinary Arts|
|Front Desk||Restaurant/Food and Beverage Management||Kitchen equipment and food-handling safety training|
|Concierge||Restaurant Inventory or Management/Buying||Recipe development|
|Hotel or Restaurant Inventory/Buying||Catering/Event Planning||Recipe development|
|Back Office/Business Management||Staff Training and Development||Different stations/food styles|
|Food and Beverage Management||Restaurant Business Areas||Menu planning|
For questions about other types of tasks, please contact InterExchange.
Prohibited training tasks or positions
|Hotel/Hospitality Management||All Areas|
|Bussing Tables||Running Food|
|Night audit or any training that occurs in the overnight hours|
As part of an overall management training, participants may briefly train in hosting, waiting tables, food preparation, etc. to learn basic skills needed to pursue management-level training within a department. However, the combination of such basic tasks may NOT exceed 20% of the entire training program. For culinary participants, food preparation may constitute a larger percentage of their program but only for high-skill tasks contributing to their training.
Host employers who require wait staff, housekeepers, bellhops, short order cooks, etc., are encouraged to learn more about our InterExchange Work & Travel USA program.