BridgeUSA Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) J-1 internship

J-1 Visa Program

The Exchange Visitor Program (EVP, J-1 Visa Program) offers cultural and educational exchange opportunities in the US to more than 300,000 foreign citizens annually through a variety of programs.

BridgeUSA is the new brand identity for the Exchange Visitor Program (EVP). FUSIA Communications is a designated sponsor in the J-1 intern category. We offer two types of J-1 visa programs - the Cross Cultural Internship Program (with host placement) and FUSIA J-1 internships (exchange visitors find their own hosts).

IntroductionHow to applyInvolved partiesFAQ

About > J-1 visa program

Introduction to J-1 visa program

Generally, a foreigner who wishes to enter the US must first obtain either a nonimmigrant or an immigrant visa. There are different nonimmigrant visas, J is for individuals approved to travel and gain experience, skills, or knowledge in the US by participating in a work and study-based exchange visitor program.

What is J-1 program Purpose of J-1 Program types How does it work DS-2019 form Internship fields DS-7002 form What is SEVIS
About > J-1 visa program

Principal parties

The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) is a cultural exchange program administered by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the US Department of State with the purpose to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchanges. Five principal parties are involved in the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program.

Exchange visitors
About > J-1 visa program

How to apply to J-1 internship

J-1 internships (one of the 15 exchange visitor programs) are designed to allow foreign college and university students or recent graduates to come to the US to gain exposure to US culture and to receive hands-on experience in US business practices in their chosen occupational field.


Confirm the program cateogry

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.



Find a program 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.

Find a sponsor


Apply for eligibility screening (intern)

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.


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.


Apply for eligibility screening (host)

The next step is for the host to submit an application with the required proof such as a copy of the workers' compensation policy, offer letters, and so on, followed by an interview. A site visit, which may add additional time to the application process, is generally required for hosts that have less than 25 staff and have less than $3 million annual revenue.


Complete DS-7002 (by the host)

A DS-7002 form is required when a J-1 intern applies for the J-1 visa. This is an important form that outlines the training objectives, syllabus, cultural activities, etc. and demonstrates that the sponsor, host, and intern have discussed, reviewed, and agreed upon a plan for the internship and educational outcomes.


Apply for a J-1 visa

If you are accepted into an exchange visitor program, your host, you, and the sponsor will sign the finalized DS-7002 form, your sponsor will issue (and mail) you a DS-2019 form, the basic document to support an application for a J-1 visa. You will then pay the SEVIS fee and complete the DS-160 form and pay the visa application fee of $160 to schedule a consular interview. On the day of your interview, attend with your original DS-2019 form and additional supporting documents.


Be approved for a J-1 visa

At the end of your interview, the interview officer will likely to let you know whether your visa is approved or denied. If approved, the officer will tell you when you should expect to receive your visa. Continue to work with your sponsor to prepare for your arrival in the US.

About > J-1 visa program

Commonly asked questions

Below you'll find answers to the questions we get asked the most from prospective J-1 interns.

Program application
Approved tourist (B) visas are used for foreign nationals to enter the US to engage in temporary tourism or business. They are not allowed to work or intern (even it is unpaid) of any kind while in the US. A violation of immigration status can result in deportation or ban on any future entry into the US.
ESTA holders are not permitted to work or intern (even it is unpaid) of any kind while in the US. According to the US Customs and Border Protection, an approved ESTA is not a visa. It does not meet the legal requirements to serve in lieu of a US visa when a visa is required. Travelers that possess a valid US visa may travel to the US on that visa for the purpose it was issued.
Bermudan and Canadian citizens can intern in the US with a J-1 visa status (which can be obtained from a designated visa sponsor in the intern category) without needing to be screened at a US embassy or consulate. You will go through the J-1 intern program application process same as everyone, but you can skip the consular interview with the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV) and Form DS-160 waived. You will enter the US with a valid Form DS-2019, passport, Form DS-7002, evidence of financial support, evidence of SEVIS fee payment (must be paid online at least 3 days before entering the US, etc.
Here are the basic requirements:
- Your internship does not exceed 12 months
- You are at least 18 years of age
- You can complete your internship either during your studies (after the second semester) or within 12 months after graduation
- You have secured an internship placement
- You have proficient English language skills
- Sufficient financial support of at least USD 2000/month
- You must account for a processing time of at least
Generally, it takes about 8 to 10 weeks to apply for a visa. However, this timeframe also depends on the cooperation from your host organization as well as how rapidly you submit all of your required documents. To avoid any delays, we advise you to start your application as soon as you can.
Visa application
Your J-1 program duration is specified on your Form DS-2019. The maximum duration of your J-1 program, however, is determined by your J-1 program type and subject to approval by your program sponsor. For example, J-1 interns may be issued J-1 visas for a maximum of 12 months.
No one can guarantee this. The success of your DS-2019 application depends exclusively on whether you and your host organization selected for a J-1 visa are appropriate and all necessary information is presented. The respective criteria are outlined by the U.S. Department of State and the task of visa sponsors, is to examine all applications strictly according to these guidelines.
Unlike many other countries, the U.S. authorities have delegated part of the visa procedure to organizations that act as a legal sponsor. These can be viewed as an extension of the U.S. Embassy and are responsible for implementing programs in accordance with all U.S. regulations. You must work with a legal sponsor without exception as the U.S. embassies or consulates only issue the J visa after presenting the DS-2019.