What is J-1 visa ?

The J-1 visa, created in 1961, is required for an internship (paid or unpaid), un job d’été ou un premier emploi aux USA.

It allows students and young professionals under 38 years old to stay legally in the U.S., in a professional dimension, and perform a work experience in a business or a company in the U.S.. This visa is required by the U.S. State Department.

For more details on the specifics of the visa and the documents required, you can read the U.S. Embassy's website.

To obtain the J-1 visa from the embassy of the United States, the authorities will require from you a your DS-2019 application form delivered by a an accredited sponsor, and receipt of payment of SEVIS tax and Medical Coverage.

The J-1 visa allows you :

  • To undertake an internship of one to twelve months (eighteen months for Trainee category).
  • To obtain Social Security.
  • To pass the U.S. driver's license.
  • To enter and leave the U.S. territory several times (It is
    a multiple entry visa) provided that the participant have warned
    the sponsor.
  • To stay 30 additional days in the territory after the DS-2019 as a tourist.

The J-1 visa does not allow :

  • To change employers (except in special cases).
  • To undertake any other employment outside the plan of the initial work experience.
  • To extend the work experience higher than the limits defined by the plan of the work experience.

Which J-1 visa to choose ?

For your application Asking for the DS-2019, you need to decide which class corresponds to you using the chart below.

The J-1 visa for an internship in the United States is divided into 3 Categories : Work & Travel, Intern, and Trainee.

With the help of the chart below, you can simply find the category that suits you most, then download for free your Application DS-2019 file with America Welcome.

Status Student Graduated since Not graduated
– then 12 months + then 12 months
Professional Experience (1) 12 month minimum. After graduation (2) None 5 years minimum. After graduation – then 5 years
Internship duration 2 to 4 months 2 to 12 months 2 to 12 months 2 to 18 months 2 to 18 months
Period of internship June to September. All year All year All year
Compensation $7,25/H or
Category Work & Travel Intern Intern and Trainee and Trainee

(1) In the same field or industry then your work experience in the USA. The list of supported domains is available on our website.

(2) All professional experience (after graduation) done in the USA can not be taken into account. Only work experience outside the U.S. will be effective.

Unfortunately you may not claim a J-1 Visa for this option..