J-1 Academic Trainee Visa

Academic Trainee VisaIndustrial students, industrial trainees, teachers, research assistants and scholars from other countries who wish to pursue an internship in US are sponsored for a J-1 academic trainee visa. These internship programs sponsor you for this type of visa. Students who are sponsored for this kind of visa have to leave the country within 30 days as the internship ends. This kind of visa holders cannot return to US for coming 2 years after their internship experience so as to apply the skills and expertise they acquired while working in the US in their native countries.


Students who wish to work as temporary workers in US are more eligible for J-1 academic trainee visa. International organizations such as the World Bank, IMF and IDB also sponsor these interns with visas. One should go through the following process to pursue an internship program in US:




  1. Firstly, you got to find an internship program which meets your requirements. Also confirm that the organization you pursue your internship from is a reputable and certified organization or not.
  2. Apply for the internship program.
  3. Once you have been admitted in an organization you need to request a detailed explanation of the steps and documents required for your visa.
  4. Now collect all the required documents for your visa interview and also visit the US consulate or embassy in your area.

The J1 academic trainee visa is also sponsored for the following purposes including:


  • High School Exchange Programs.
  • Work and Travel Programs (WAT) for college students.
  • Camp US programs.
  • Internship or trainee programs.
  • Some government and academic programs.

It is a versatile visa especially designed for many practical purposes to serve the industrial students, industrial trainees, teachers, research assistants and scholars. The duration of a J-1 academic trainee visa is usually determined by their work period and by the time period the local US Consulate/Embassy is willing to give them along with your respective internship programs.

Officially these internship programs requires you to have a job with a US employer approved by a State Department approved sponsor organization and thus unlike the regular working visas such as H1B, E3, etc., these designated organizations that are your sponsor meet requirements on the State Department’s behalf. One can get around 71 approved sponsors listed on the State Department’s website such as CIEE, Intrax, InterExchage etc for getting a J-1 academic trainee visa. However, this requirement is loosely administered in certain nations and vigorously in others under the general unofficial guise of students.

There are a number of costs associated with being able to get a J-1 academic trainee visa, which are as follows:


  • Program Fees to your sponsor organization and/or local affiliate (generally $1,500 in accordance to the duration of your internship program) this may also include your insurance.
  • Insurance coverage if not included above.
  • Student exchange visitor information system fee.
  • US Consulate/Embassy Application costs.


It is best to opt for your sponsor organization or local affiliate as they have a list of companies willing to hire foreigners which probably making it easier to pay the program Fees. However, people avoid opting for such higher fees but still thousands of people do it each year. The J-1 academic trainee visa can also file an application for a J-2 dependent visa for their spouses to be present in the US as well.