J1 Student Intern Information

The J-1 Student Intern is a foreign national enrolled in and pursuing a degree at an accredited post-secondary academic institution outside the United States. Internship programs are offered to graduate students involved in pre-doctoral research and undergraduate students who have a degree requirement for practical field experience. Internship programs provide unique opportunities for interns to gain practical experience on the process of conducting research in their academic field.

Length of Program: Minimum three weeks to a maximum of 12 months.  The internship program must be full-time with a minimum of 32 hours a week.

Degree Eligibility

  • Student must be currently enrolled in and pursuing a degree at a degree-or certificate-granting post-secondary academic institution outside the U.S., or
  • Student must have graduated from such an institution no more than 12 months prior to the exchange visitor program beginning date, and

The degree information must be verified by one of the following:

  • A copy of the student’s transcripts
  • A letter from his/her academic institution
  • A degree certificate showing the date the degree was awarded.

English Language: One of the following:

  • An English language test (TOEFL, IELTS)
  • The home institution may write a letter certifying the level of English in university letterhead.
  • An interview conducted by the URI sponsor, in person, video-conference, etc.

Area of Study: The program must be related to the intern’s degree program.

Financial Support: The prospective student intern must be able to show financial support in the amount of $1,200.00 per month. Personal finances can be shown with a bank letter that is signed by a bank official on bank stationery or with a recent bank statement, or use the Office of International Students & Scholars Certificate of Financial Certification.

Repeat Participation: An intern may participate in additional internship programs as long as he/she maintains student status or begins a new internship program within 12 months of graduation.

Location and Sponsor Requirements

Physical Location of the Internship: Site of Activity is expected to be at the location of the sponsor and/or at another location where a formal contract or agreement exists between the sponsoring institution (not an individual) and the alternate site activity.

Internship Sponsor Must Provide

  • Provide training and internship programs only in the occupational category or categories for which the requesting Department has been designated as sponsors
  • Provide continuous on-site supervision and mentoring of interns by experienced and knowledgeable staff in the field of the internship
  • Ensure that interns obtain skills, knowledge, and competencies through structured and guided activities such as classroom training, seminars, rotation through on-the-job training, attendance at conferences and similar learning activities, as appropriate in specific circumstances

J-1 Intern Restrictions

Class/Degree Enrollment: Interns may not enroll in classes.  If they gain admission to a degree program while at a US institution during the period of Internship, they will be expected to change to the sub-category J-1 degree student (undergraduate or graduate); or change to another appropriate visa type.

In general, the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs (U.S. Department of State) will deny a request from a Student/Intern to change visa categories.  It is highly recommended that Student/Interns that gain admission to a US college or university or desire to change to another J-1 visa category exit the U.S. before commencing their studies, obtain a new visa, and/or reenter under the new visa category and/or subcategory.  Student/Interns should be made aware that the internship opportunity is not a portal to education or employment.

Student/Interns who have been made subject to the 2 year home country residency (or 212(E) rule) will not be approved for a category change until they have obtained a waiver of the 212(E).

Required Documents

Documents Needed for the Preparation of DS-2019 and DS-7002 Forms ( All documents must be submitted by the sponsoring department)

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