International Participant
Career Training USA
Intern & Trainee
Career Training USA

How it works

Experience American culture and add international skills to
your resume.


Review the steps below to be one step closer to interning or training in the U.S.!

To intern or train in the United States, you will need to be sponsored for a J-1 Intern/Trainee Visa. If you are approved for J-1 Intern/Trainee Visa sponsorship through InterExchange, you will then need to obtain a J-1 Visa from the U.S. Embassy/Consulate in your home country so that you may enter the United States.

Step 1: Find an Internship

Attain your ideal position using our resources for finding a U.S. internship.

NOTE: InterExchange does not provide placement services for internships or training programs.

  • Use our applicant checklist to ensure you submit a complete application.
  • Click on the Invite Host Employer button to invite your host employer.
    • IMPORTANT: Invite your supervisor early on to allow him/her plenty of time to apply.
  • Upload all of the required supporting documents.
  • Check the Host Employer Application section of your dashboard. Once your employer’s application is complete, it will say “Submitted.”
  • Submit the full program fees within your application.
    • If your host employer is paying the program fees on your behalf, they can make the payment here.
    • Full payment must be submitted in order to submit your application for review.
IMPORTANT: Your application and your host employer’s application (including the signed Training Plan and submission of program fees) must be completed before you can submit your application for review.
  • Click “Submit Application” to send your application to InterExchange for “Initial Review.”
  • Incomplete applications will moved back into “Participant Review” for the required additions/revisions.
    • You and/or your employer must complete the required updates to your application.
    • Submit your application back into “Initial Review” once all updates have been made (this must be done in order for your reviewer to see your changes).
NOTE: You may need to repeat this process until your application is complete and ready to be reviewed. Initial Review is NOT a detailed review. It is to collect the documents/information needed to conduct a formal review.
  • Once your application is complete, it will be placed “In Queue” for formal review.
  • The review process will take 10 days from the day that your application has been marked complete and moved into the queue.
NOTE: The best way to check the status of your application is by logging into your online application. Once your application goes into formal review, the reviewer will contact you with any questions or to schedule your interview.
  • After approximately 5-6 days, a Career Training team member will change your status to “Under Review.”
  • The formal review will take 1-2 business days to complete.
  • For 3-day review, expedited service is available for an additional fee.
  • Once the formal review has been completed, your application status will be changed to “Pending Interview.”
  • The reviewer will then contact you via email to schedule a video interview (Interviews can often be done within 1-2 days, depending on your scheduling flexibility).
  • If your interview is successful, but your host employer requires a site visit, your status will be changed to “Pending Site Visit.”
    • We will contact your employer to conduct a site visit.
    • The site visit can occur within approximately 1-2 weeks, but may take longer if your employer cannot meet with us sooner.
  • After the interview and site visit (if applicable), you will receive our final decision via email within 1-2 business days.
Complete your DS-160 form and schedule your visa appointment at the embassy or consulate on the embassy website.
  • If approved, you will receive a confirmation email with important pre-departure information, your SEVIS ID number, and instructions on accessing and printing your DS-2019 and DS-7002.
  • Be sure to check for visa appointment and processing wait times.
  • Collect all documents, including your DS-2019 and DS-7002 (Training Plan) Forms, required by the U.S. embassy or consulate where you will apply.
  • Review our tips regarding your embassy visit. You’ll also find more information on the Department of State website.
  • Attend your visa interview and receive your visa.
  • Complete the mandatory InterExchange Career Training USA online orientation.
  • Review your participant resources, insurance information, and other pre-departure materials provided in the acceptance packet.
  • Finalize your travel arrangements.
  • Depart for the USA!

If you have any questions, check our Frequently Asked Questions or email us at [email protected].


You must first find your own internship or training position at an eligible U.S. company. Review the eligibility requirements below to determine which J-1 Visa category you are eligible for.
Currently enrolled full-time in a degree or non-vocational, professional certificate program in a college, university, or other post-secondary academic institution of higher education outside the U.S. OR;
Must hold a degree or non-vocational, professional certificate from a college, university or other post-secondary academic institution of higher education outside the U.S. and at least 1 year of related professional experience from outside the U.S. OR;
Have graduated from such an institution no more than 12 months before program start date, and submit an application more than 8 weeks before this eligibility expires.
Have at least 5 years of related, full-time professional experience from outside the U.S.
Interns must have finished at least 1 year of their degree program and have completed sufficient academic coursework in their academic field before their program start date in order to be sufficiently prepared for their U.S. internship.
All trainee applicants must also be able to document their current and previous related occupational experience from current/former employers outside the U.S, and it must be clear from recent work experience that the participant is actively pursuing their career outside of the U.S.
Up to 12 months
Up to 18 months*
Program Focus
Internship must be directly related to academic field of study
Training program must be directly related to occupational field/work experience
Repeat Participation
Yes, if previous participant is a current student or recent graduate (current students must return to school for at least one semester before reapplying for the Intern visa)
Yes, but previous participant must wait at least 2-years after the end of a previous J-1 Intern or Trainee program before reapplying. (This applies to all participants and is not related to Rule 212(e).)

*Hospitality programs cannot exceed 12 months, regardless of your visa category.

Not sure if you meet our requirements? Take our eligibility quiz!

All program participants must also:
  • Understand that the purpose of this program is not to serve as a work program but a cultural exchange opportunity for interns and trainees and the employees of the host companies.
  • Complete an internship or training program with an eligible host employer.

    IMPORTANT: Review our requirements for employers who want to host.

  • Complete and submit a full application, including full payment of program fees and all required supporting documents.
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Be interviewed in-person, over the phone, or via webcam by InterExchange or an approved InterExchange partner.
  • Have verifiable English language skills and possess comprehension of English terminology within your field.
  • Be covered by sufficient accident & sickness insurance for the length of your stay in the United States prior to your arrival, in accordance with U.S. State Department regulations. Insurance is included in your program fee and may not be declined.
  • Be able to prove access to sufficient funds to support themselves during their time in the USA (including housing and living costs). All of your sources of funding should amount to at least $1500 per month of your program. If you will not be paying for housing, the total should amount to at least $750 per month of your program.

    NOTE: InterExchange will also factor in your monthly compensation into this amount. If you are getting paid by your internship employer you must still demonstrate that you have access to funding to cover any settling in costs. This is typically enough for 2-3 months, but this may vary depending on your location and situation.

  • Be applying for the J-1 Visa from outside the USA throughout the application and review process. If you require a change of status to obtain the J-1 Visa, you will not be eligible to apply through InterExchange.
  • Have not recently completed a degree and/or optional training program (OPT) within the USA.Similarly, if you recently spent a significant amount of time in the U.S. on a visa or tourist waiver, you may not be eligible to apply at this time. Contact InterExchange to discuss your circumstances before applying.
  • Show that, if completing additional J-1 Intern/Trainee USA programs, they are learning new or more advanced skills in their new program than those learned in the prior J-1 Intern/Trainee USA program.
  • In most cases, InterExchange will not approve applicants wishing to return to the same host employer at which they completed a previous program. This includes former Work & Travel hosts as well as former Intern/Trainee host employers. Candidates should contact us to discuss further if this applies.
Program Purpose

The primary goals of InterExchange Career Training USA programs are to enhance your skills and expertise in your academic or occupational field and to improve your knowledge of American business techniques, methodologies, and technology.

Career Training USA programs cannot be used for ordinary employment or to displace American workers. Internship programs should allow you to develop practical skills in your academic field that will enhance your future career and bridge the gap between your education and practical work experience. Training programs must include bona-fide training and not simply be additional work experience.

The program will help increase your understanding of American culture, while also enhancing Americans’ knowledge of your culture, customs and practices. Through this program, you will help to promote mutual understanding and develop relationships and extended networks that will last through generations as you move into leadership roles in your home country.


As a nonprofit organization, InterExchange keeps its fees as low as possible, while delivering the superior service international interns and trainees need to have a successful experience.
Program Fees
Internship program in CNN

Sign up

To start an application, you must first find your own internship or training position at an eligible U.S. company.