Resources > Application Packet > J-1 program types
J-1 Intern & InternshipPDFReturn
BridgeUSA (J-1 visa) offers 14 different program categories (or “program types”) for a wide-range of purposes. These programs enable foreign nationals to come to the US to study, teach, conduct research, or demonstrate special skills for periods ranging from a few weeks to several years.
BridgeUSA (J-1 visa) Internship programs 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 related to their specific academic field at approved internship sites as well as engage in cultural activities to learn about American society and culture.
• Foreign nationals” who are either (1) undergraduates or postgraduates (currently enrolled fulltime and pursuing studies at a foreign degree- or certificate-granting post-secondary academic institution outside the US) or (2) recent graduates (graduated from such an institution no more than 12 months prior the exchange program start date)
• Have verifiable English language skills sufficient to function on a day-to-day basis in their training environment

• Participants are put in structured and guided work-based internship programs which are intended to improve participants’ knowledge of American techniques, methodologies, and technology, increase their understanding of American culture and society, and enhance Americans’ knowledge of foreign cultures and skills through an open interchange of ideas between participants and their American associates
• After the program, participants are expected to return home and share their experiences with their countrymen

• Maximum 12 months (3 weeks minimum)

• Bridge the gap between formal education and practical work experience and enable participants to gain practical experience
• Gain exposure to US culture and receive hands-on experience in US business practices in the participants’ chosen occupational field

Limitations and remarks
• No unskilled or casual labor positions
• No positions that require more than 20% clerical or office support work
• No positions that require or involve child care or elder care
• No positions that involve patient care or contact

Allowed occupational categories
• Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
• Arts and Culture
• Construction and Building Trades
• Education, Social Sciences, Library Science, Counseling and Social Services
• Health Related Occupations
• Hospitality and Tourism
• Information Media and Communications
• Management, Business, Commerce and Finance
• Public Administration and Law
• The Sciences, Engineering, Architecture, Mathematics, and Industrial Occupations
What’s the program duration for J-1 internships?
The J-1 intern program lasts a minimum of 3 weeks and a maximum of 12 months. Check out program duration.

Is there a difference between “J-1 intern” and “J-1 student intern”?
Do not confuse between a “J-1 intern” and “J-1 student intern.” They are two different BridgeUSA (J-1 visa) program types.

Are foreign nationals allowed to intern in the States on B-2 or ESTA?
ESTA and B-2 visas are for visiting purposes. Foreign students seeking an internship in the United States, whether or not they are compensated, must participate in BridgeUSA J-1 Exchange Visitor Program through a State Department-designated sponsor in the J-1 intern category.

Do J-1 interns pay tax?
Yes. J-1 interns are subjected to federal, state, and local taxes. They are exempt from the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes (for Social Security and Medicare). Hosts do not have to match these taxes. J-1 interns will need to obtain a social security number for tax purposes. They also need to fill out a W-4 and I-9 form.
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