BridgeUSA Exchange Visitor Program

J-1 Visa Program

BridgeUSA Exchange Visitor Program (J-1 Visa)

Led by the US Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) in partnership with designated sponsors, BridgeUSA (J-1 visa) was created to implement the Mutual Education and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 to further the United States' foreign policy objective of increasing mutual understanding between people of other countries and the United States by means of mutual educational and cultural exchanges.

IntroductionHow to applyJ-1 visaProgram categoriesInvovled government agencies

How to apply to J-1 internship

01 Confirm the program type
Use the program comparison chart to compare the different programs and confirm that J-1 intern is the one meant for you and that you meet the minimal eligibility requirements such as demonstrating sufficient financial solvency, your intent to return to your home country when your visa expires, and so on.
02 Identify a sponsor
If decided to proceed with J-1 internship, contact a designated sponsor of the intern category and your occupational category. The sponsor will charge a fee which vary by sponsors and based on the condition. Eligibility criterion and operational guidelines also vary by sponsors. Study carefully before committing to a program.
03 Identify a host
Some programs come with the host placement, some don't. If the latter, find a qualified host that will work with the sponsor to provide you with the exchange experience. To save time, ensure that the host meets the minimal eligibility requirements. Reference the federal regulations (22 CFR Part 62) that government exchange visitor programs.
04 Preliminary screening
Once decided which sponsor and program to go for, submit an application with the required documents such as a valid passport copy, postsecondary transcripts, proof for sufficient funds, and so on. As English proficiency is an important factor in the screening process, an interview with the sponsor is generally required to ensure that the intern is proficient enough in English.