InterExchange Career Training USA is open to qualified applicants from countries outside of the USA. You must first find your own internship or training position at an eligible U.S. company. Our program will provide you the opportunity to gain international experience in the U.S., which will help advance your career in your home country.
EligibilityCurrently 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; 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. 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.
DurationUp to 12 months
Program FocusInternship must be directly related to academic field of study
Repeat ParticipationYes, 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)
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.
Have at least 5 years of related, full-time professional experience from outside the U.S.
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 18 months
*Hospitality programs cannot exceed 12 months regardless of your visa category.
Training program must be directly related to occupational field/work experience
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).)
- 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 involved in an internship or training program in a field that InterExchange is designated to sponsor, including: Arts & Culture; Management, Business, Commerce & Finance; Hospitality & Tourism; Information Media & Communications; Public Administration & Law; and the Sciences, Engineering, Architecture, Mathematics and Industrial Occupations. NOTE: InterExchange cannot sponsor training programs in medicine, teaching, social work, or manual labor. If you are looking to participate in a hospitality program, please be sure to review our hospitality requirements.
- 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. Candidates should contact us to discuss further if this applies.
Arts and Culture
- Arts Management
- Cinematography and Film/Video Production
- Commercial and Advertising Art
- Commercial Photography
- Costume Design
- Cultural Resource Management and Policy Analysis
- Design and Applied Arts
- Design and Visual Communications
- Digital Arts
- Directing and Theatrical Production
- Documentary Production
- Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts
- Dramatic/Theatre Arts and Stagecraft
- Fashion Apparel/Design
- Film/Cinema Studies
- Film/Video and Photographic Arts
- Game and Interactive Media Design
- Graphic Design
- Historic Preservation and Conservation
- Industrial Design
- Intercultural/Multicultural and Diversity Studies
- Interior Design
- International/Global Studies
- Museology/Museum Studies
- Music Management and Merchandising
- Music Technology
- Music Theory and Composition
- Playwriting and Screenwriting
- Technical Theatre/Theatre Design and Technology
- Theatre/Theatre Arts Management
- Visual and Performing Arts
The Sciences, Engineering, Architecture, Mathematics, and Industrial Occupations
- 3‐D Modeling and Design Technology/Technician
- Aeronautical/Aerospace Engineering Technology/Technician
- Aerospace, Aeronautical, and Astronautical/Space Engineering, Other
- Agricultural/Biological Engineering and Bioengineering
- Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD
- Architectural Conservation
- Architectural Design
- Architectural Engineering
- Architecture (BArch, BA/BS, MArch, MA/MS, PhD)
- Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology
- Audio Engineering Technology/Technician
- Biological and Biomedical Sciences
- Biological and Physical Sciences
- Biology/Biological Sciences
- Biomathematics and Bioinformatics
- Biomedical/Medical Engineering
- Botany/Plant Biology
- Building/Construction Site Management/Manager
- Business Analytics
- Chemical Engineering
- Cheminformatics/Chemistry Informatics
- Civil Drafting and Civil Engineering CAD/CADD
- Civil Engineering
- Climate Science
- Computational Mathematics
- Computer Engineering
- Computer Hardware Engineering
- Construction Engineering
- Data Analytics, General
- Data Science, General
- Data Visualization
- Drafting/Design Engineering Technologies
- Economics and Computer Science
- Electrical and Computer Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technologies
- Energy Systems Engineering, General
- Energy Systems Technologies/Technicians, Other
- Engineering Mechanics
- Engineering Physics
- Engineering Science
- Engineering Technologies
- Engineering Technology
- Environmental Biology
- Environmental Design/Architecture
- Environmental Design, Other
- Environmental Engineering Technology/Environmental Technology
- Environmental Geosciences
- Environmental Science
- Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering
- Financial Analytics
- Food Science and Technology
- Forest Sciences and Biology
- General Merchandising
- Geological and Earth Sciences/Geosciences
- Geological/Geophysical Engineering
- Geotechnical Engineering
- Geothermal Energy Technology/Technician
- Hydroelectric Energy Technology/Technician
- Industrial Design
- Industrial Engineering
- Interior Architecture
- Landscape Architecture (BS, BSLA, BLA, MSLA, MLA, PhD)
- Manufacturing Engineering
- Materials Engineering
- Materials Science
- Mathematical Economics
- Mathematics and Atmospheric/Oceanic Science
- Mathematics and Computer Science
- Mathematics and Statistics
- Mechanical Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering/Mechanical Technology/Technician
- Mechatronics, Robotics, and Automation Engineering Technology/Technician
- Metallurgical Engineering
- Microbiological Sciences and Immunology
- Mining and Mineral Engineering
- Molecular Biology
- Motorsports Engineering Technology/Technician
- Natural Resources and Conservation
- Natural Sciences
- Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering
- Nuclear Engineering
- Nutrition Sciences
- Ocean Engineering
- Petroleum Engineering
- Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
- Physical Sciences
- Physics and Astronomy
- Polymer/Plastics Engineering
- Structural Engineering
- Surveying Engineering (NEW)
- Surveying Technology/Surveying
- Sustainable Design/Architecture
- Transportation and Highway Engineering
- Water Resources Engineering
- Wind Energy Technology/Technician
Management, Business, Commerce and Finance
- Accounting and Business/Management
- Accounting and Computer Science
- Accounting and Finance
- Actuarial Science
- Banking and Financial Support Services
- Business Administration and Management, General
- Business and Personal/Financial Services Marketing Operations
- Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services, Other
- Construction Management
- Construction Project Management
- Credit Management
- Digital Marketing
- E-Commerce/Electronic Commerce
- Engineering/Industrial Management
- Fashion Merchandising (no fashion design)
- Finance and Financial Management Services
- Financial Planning and Services
- Financial Risk Management
- Human Resources Management and Services
- Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration
- International Business/Trade/Commerce
- International Finance
- International Marketing
- Investments and Securities
- Logistics and Materials Management
- Marketing Research
- Marketing/Marketing Management
- Merchandising and Buying Operations
- Non-Profit/Public/Organizational Management
- Operations Management and Supervision
- Public Finance
- Public Relations
- Public Relations/Image Management
- Retailing and Retail Operations
- Risk Management
- Small Business Administration/Management
Hospitality and Tourism
- Culinary Arts/Chef Training
- Hospitality Administration/Management, General
- Hospitality Administration/Management, Other
- Hospitality and Recreation Marketing Operations
- Hotel/Motel Administration/Management
- Resort Management
- Restaurant/Food Services Management
- Tourism and Travel Services Management
- Tourism and Travel Services Marketing Operations (NEW)
- Tourism Promotion Operations
Public Administration and Law
- Advanced Legal Research/Studies
- Arts and Entertainment Law
- Compliance Law
- Criminal Law and Procedure
- Cybersecurity Defense Strategy/Policy
- Economics, General
- Energy and Environmental Policy
- Human Resources Law
- Insurance Law
- International Business and Law
- Labor and Industrial Relations
- Law (LL.B., J.D.)
- Legal Professions and Studies
- Patent Law
- Political Science and Government
- Public Administration
- Public Policy Analysis
- Real Estate and Land Development Law
- Transportation Law
- Urban Studies/Affairs
Information Media and Communications
- Audiovisual Communications Technologies/Technicians
- Broadcast Journalism
- Business/Corporate Communications
- Business and Economic Journalism
- Cinematography and Film/Video Production
- Cloud Computing
- Communication and Media Studies
- Communication Studies/Speech Communication and Rhetoric
- Communication Management and Strategic Communications
- Communications Technology
- Computer/Information Technology Services Administration and Management
- Computer and Information Sciences
- Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services
- Computer and Information Systems Security
- Computer Game Programming
- Computer Graphics
- Computer Programming
- Computer Programming/Programmer
- Computer Science
- Computer Software and Media Applications
- Computer Software Engineering
- Computer Software Technology/Technician
- Computer Systems Analysis/Analyst
- Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications
- Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications, Other
- Computer Technology/Computer Systems Technology
- Cultural Journalism
- Design and Visual Communications
- Digital Communication and Media/Multimedia
- Graphic Communications
- Graphic Design
- Health Communication
- Human‐Centered Technology Design
- Information Resources Management/CIO Training
- Information Science/Studies
- Information Technology
- Journalism, Other
- Management Information Systems
- Management Information Systems and Services
- Mass Communication/Media Studies
- Organizational Communication
- Photographic and Film/Video Technology/Technician and Assistant
- Political Communication
- Prepress/Desktop Publishing and Digital Imaging Design
- Radio and Television
- Radio and Television Broadcasting Technology
- Recording Arts Technology/Technician
- Science/Health/Environmental Journalism
- System Administration/Administrator
- Technical and Business Writing
- Web Page
- Web/Multimedia Management and Webmaster
Host Employer Eligibility
Host companies must meet the following requirements to be eligible:
- Abide by all federal, state and local labor and occupational health and safety laws, including compensation requirements and regulations
NOTE: Programs exceeding 6 months must be paid at least the state and local minimum wage
- Provide a professional training program in an office-type setting, with no more than 20% clerical or basic work. NOTE: Home-based businesses are not permitted
- Training provided to interns and trainees must also be primarily in-person. Intern/Trainees may participate remotely no more than 40% of their program (e.g., two out of five days per week) if the host organization has instituted partial remote policies.
- There must also be at least 5 full-time, onsite employers per J-1 intern or trainee to ensure adequate training and supervision is provided.
- Be in business and operational for at least six months
- Have an English-language website and a company-based email addresses
- Interview candidates 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
- If the host company has fewer than 25 employees and less than $3 million in revenue, InterExchange is required by the State Department to perform a site visit before approving you for the program
- Agree to complete mandatory program evaluations and to notify InterExchange in case of an emergency or any changes to the training plan or supervision
What training can your host employer offer?
J-1 internships and training programs are intended to provide work-based training in an eligible field, enabling candidates to enhance their skills and prepare for their future careers. These programs may NOT be used for ordinary employment purposes or to fill a labor need. Therefore, host employers must:
- Provide full-time (32-45 hrs per week), professional-level training and not displace full- or part-time, temporary, or permanent American workers
- Provide training that does not require any sort of license or certification or entail commission-based activities
- Develop an internship or training program, as outlined in the DS-7002 Training/Internship Placement Plan, that allows candidates to obtain skills, knowledge, and competencies through structured and guided training provided by U.S. employees who are qualified in the candidates’ fields
- Ensure Interns and Trainees have sufficient exposure to U.S. culture and business practices and that your American staff is exposed to the culture and business practices of each candidate’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
What types of training are prohibited?
Not all employers are permitted to host Interns and Trainees through InterExchange. We cannot approve participants for sponsorship at the following locations:
- Agricultural settings, such as farms or in wineries’ harvesting operations
- 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
- Real estate agencies
- Retail stores or locations and boutiques
- Schools and other instructional facilities, including teaching & coaching
- 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.
If you are unsure whether the internship or training program you are offering falls under our list of fields, please contact Career Training USA.
In addition, we are not able to sponsor programs in which Interns or Trainees would participate in:
- Animal care or any handling of animals
- Child care
- Clinical work that involves any patient care or contact
- Elder care
- Social work
- Sports or physical therapy, psychological counseling
- Veterinary medicine
U.S. Government Regulations and Requirements
- Intern/Trainee J-1 Visa Program Regulations: The federal regulations governing this program.
- U.S. Department of State Exchange Visitor Program website
- Exchange Visitor Program Participant Welcome Brochure [PDF] – An explanation of your responsibilities as an exchange visitor.
- Know Your Rights [PDF] – A summary of your rights as an exchange visitor and tips for staying safe.
- Clearing U.S. Customs and Border Protection Upon Arrival in the U.S.
- New Form I-94 Arrival and Departure Procedure
- J-2 Dependent Employment Information – Information regarding how J-2 dependents may seek employment in the U.S. during your internship/training program.
Special Requirements for Hospitality Hosts
The following requirements apply to hotel/hospitality management, hotel food and beverage management, restaurant management, and culinary arts.
- InterExchange does not permit business-only or non-hospitality programs at hotels, resorts, inns, or restaurants.
- Interns and Trainees wishing to train 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.
- NOTE: InterExchange will not be able to sponsor Hospitality programs with Housekeeping Management phases.
- Per the U.S. Department of State regulations, 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.
- Hotels should be rated 3-Diamond or higher by AAA, or rated 4-Star and above by Forbes. All unrated properties will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
- Restaurants must be high-end, fine dining, sit-down restaurants OR full-service banquet halls. All properties will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
- Hotels that do not meet the above requirements
- National chains restaurants, casual dining restaurants, pubs, pizza parlors
- Fast food, delivery/takeout restaurants, bakeries
- 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.
- Front Desk
- Hotel or Restaurant Inventory/Buying
- Back Office/Business Management
- Food and Beverage Management
Restaurant/Food and Beverage Management
- Restaurant Inventory or Management/Buying
- Catering/Event Planning
- Staff Training and Development
- Restaurant Business Areas
- Kitchen equipment and food-handling safety training
- Recipe development
- Inventory/food sourcing
- Different stations/food styles
- Menu planning
For questions about other types of tasks, please contact InterExchange.
Prohibited training tasks or positions
- Bussing Tables
- Night audit or any training that occurs in the overnight hours
- Running Food
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.