You are strictly forbidden from working for anyone other than your host employer. If you need to change employers, InterExchange must approve all requests for a change of host before you can begin interning or training for a new employer. You are never permitted to work for more than one employer at a time. Doing so violates the terms of your visa and immigration law and places your second employer in violation of the law as well. If you cannot financially support yourself, it is better to go home early than to break the law and jeopardize your chances of obtaining a U.S. visa in the future.
Participation in our Career Training USA program is optional for both you and your employer. If at any time you or your employer feel that the program is not working out, it is possible to end the program. If you are not performing at a level that was expected by the employer, they may terminate your employment with them. Similarly, if you do not feel that your employer is able to provide the type of program you were expecting, you may quit your internship/training program. In both cases, be sure to have a thorough discussion with your supervisor regarding any issues before making the decision to end your internship. Your employer should also provide advice and points for improvement before terminating your employment with them, but this may not always happen. If your employer does address any concerns with you, be sure to take steps to make improvements.
Since your employment status is recorded in SEVIS, you must notify us immediately if you are terminated or if you decide to leave your host employer.
If you are terminated by your employer or if you quit, you have two options available to you:
Early Withdrawal: If you would like to return home, please contact InterExchange. You must leave the U.S. within 30 days of your non-SEVIS termination or voluntary withdrawal. If you are not interning/training with your designated host employer, you are not permitted to remain in the U.S., so please be sure you contact us immediately to discuss your required departure date and ensure you are complying with program regulations. If you were terminated with cause (such as legal or disciplinary action), it is unlikely you will find a replacement position and you should return home immediately. You must contact InterExchange prior to departing permanently from the U.S.
Change of Host Company: If you wish to remain in the U.S., you may be able to apply for a change of host company. Contact us to discuss your situation and obtain the application required for changing your employer. Please note that you must change your host employer within 30 days of leaving your initial host company, so it is essential that you contact us immediately to begin the process. If your Change of Host Application is approved, you will be given a new DS-2019 Form, which will show your new host company’s address as the Primary Site of Activity Address.
It is possible to do additional internship programs as long as you are still a current student or within one year of graduation. However, we require that you return to your home country to complete a semester of school before applying for another internship. In most cases, you are not permitted to return to the same host employer. Additional internships and training programs must expose you to new skills, tasks and responsibilities, while still providing you with a training opportunity. Returning to the same host employer usually does not provide the opportunity for additional training and instead tends to result in an ordinary employment situation, which is not permitted on a J-1 Visa.
You may also repeat the Trainee program. However, if you have previously completed a J-1 internship or training program, you must leave the U.S. for a period of two years before applying for another training program in the U.S. This is required of all participants, and it applies specifically to doing an additional Trainee visa - not other visa types or categories. Training programs build on your occupational experience, so the U.S. Department of State would like you to return home to apply your U.S. knowledge and build more advanced skills in your occupational field before you will be eligible to train in the U.S. again.
Whenever you have any changes in your contact information or training plan, you must alert InterExchange immediately so we can keep your SEVIS record up-to-date. Changes in your contact information can include a new email or residential address or phone number. Changes in your training plan can include a new supervisor, additional responsibilities and tasks, or a new salary or stipend amount.
Every month of your program, you will receive an email from us to verify your program is going well and that your contact information is still the same. You must respond to these monthly check-in emails in order to remain active on the program.
Although you are not permitted to intern or train past the program end date on your DS-2019 Form, you are permitted to stay a maximum of 30 days past the end date to travel within the U.S. and prepare for your departure. This is referred to as the grace period. For ideas on where to travel in the U.S., check out the InterExchange Blog.
You may also be subject to Section 212(e), a two-year foreign residency requirement, which requires you to return to your home country for a period of two years to apply the knowledge and skills you have gained in the U.S. Participants subject to 212(e) may not apply for an H, L, or K visa or lawful permanent residency upon completing their J-1 Intern/Trainee program until they have returned to their home country for a period of two years.
You may be subject to this requirement for one or more of the following reasons:
- Your participation in the InterExchange Career Training USA program was funded by the United States government, your own government, or an international organization.
- The training and skills you are pursuing in InterExchange Career Training USA’s program appears on the Exchange Visitor Skills list for your country.
- The requirement is applied at the discretion of U.S. consular officials. Your visa will indicate whether you are subject to the two-year residency requirement. If you are subject, your visa will have the following note: ‘BEARER IS SUBJECT TO SEC 212(E). TWO YEAR RULE DOES APPLY.’
- The two-year foreign residency requirement also applies to your dependents in the U.S. on the J-2 Visa.
For more important program information, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions for current participants.
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