Back to basics: eligibility requirements

In this post, we referenced the broad eligibility requirements of the J-1 Intern and Trainee category. So, what are those eligibility rules? Here they are:

English language requirement
First, the exchange visitor must possess sufficient proficiency in the English language to function on a day-to-day basis in their training environment. A sponsor must verify English language proficiency through a recognized English language test, by signed documentation from an academic institution or English language school, or through an interview conducted by the sponsor.

Education/ experience requirement for Trainees
For candidates of the training program, sponsors must verify that potential trainees are foreign nationals who have either a degree or professional certificate from a foreign post-secondary academic institution and at least one year of prior related work experience in their occupational field acquired outside the United States OR five years of work experience outside the United States in their occupational field.

Education/ experience requirement for Interns
For candidates of the internship program, sponsors must verify that all potential interns are foreign nationals who are currently enrolled in and pursuing studies at a degree-or certificate-granting post-secondary academic institution outside the United States OR graduated from such an institution no more than 12 months prior to their exchange visitor program begin date.

Program must be appropriate to candidate’s background
Finally, a sponsor must ensure that the training and internship programs expose participants to American techniques, methodologies, and technology and expand upon existing knowledge and skills. Programs must not duplicate the participants’ prior work experience or training received elsewhere and must be suitable to the exchange visitor’s background, needs, and experience.


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