CIEE logo
  Explore All CIEE Programs

J-1 Regulations

A look inside the J-1 Visa program

The U.S. Department of State introduced the J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program more than 45 years ago to promote international exchange and cultural understanding. The U.S. Department of State:

  • Approves and issues visas through embassies in a participant’s home country. Students apply for a J-1 intern visa that is good for up to 12 months. The American Embassy also issues J-2 visas for dependents.
  • Grants a set number of eligibility certificates – called Form DS-2019 – to qualified sponsors, including CIEE
  • Oversees the program, and sets and enforces rules to guarantee that visa holders are supported and are benefiting from cultural exchange
  • Requires an approved training plan – called the DS-7002 — to ensure proper professional development
U.S. Department of State website

Host organizations

Host organizations, both for internships and professional training programs, include American businesses, nonprofits, government offices, and educational institutions. The host organization:

  • Offers full-time positions (at least 32 hours per week) that promote professional development and exchange
  • Creates the DS-7002 training plan as part of the application process
  • Supervises and trains participants during the program by executing the training plan
  • Provides opportunities for cultural exchange for participants

CIEE’s role

CIEE is a leading J-1 sponsor – in fact, one of the largest – entrusted by the U.S. government to manage the program. While every sponsor must comply with J-1 Visa rules, CIEE goes farther by offering a higher level of service and value to participants and host organizations.

Back to top of page