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A look inside the J-1 Visa program

The U.S. Department of State

The J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program was introduced by the U.S. Department of State 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 Visa, valid 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. Learn more.
  • Oversees the program; sets and enforces rules to guarantee that visa holders are supported and benefit from cultural exchange
  • Requires an approved training plan – called Form DS-7002 – to ensure proper professional development. Learn more.

Host organizations

Host organizations include American businesses, nonprofits, government offices, and educational institutions. The host organization:

  • Offers positions 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 Visa 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 rules, CIEE goes farther by offering a higher level of service and value to participants and host organizations.

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