The J-1 is a visa offered through the Department of State as part of a cultural exchange program. While there are many J-1 occupational categories, employers most frequently sponsor employees in the intern and trainee categories.
- Has a degree or professional certificate from a foreign post-secondary academic institution and at least one year of prior related work experience in his or her occupational field outside the United States; or
- Has five years of work experience outside the United States in the occupational field in which they are seeking training
- Trainees cannot work in unskilled or casual labor positions, in positions that require or involve childcare or elder care, or in any kind of position that involves patient care or contact.
- Further, sponsors must not place trainees in positions that require more than 20 percent clerical or office support work. Use of the Exchange Visitor Program for ordinary employment or work purposes is strictly prohibited. Sponsors are not to place trainee participants in positions, which are filled or would be filled by full-time or part-time employees.
- Currently enrolled in and pursuing studies at a foreign degree- or certificate-granting post-secondary academic institution outside the United States; or
- Has graduated from such an institution no more than 12 months prior to their exchange visitor program start date.
- Interns cannot work in unskilled or casual labor positions, in positions that require or involve childcare or elder care or in any kind of position that involves medical patient care or contact. Nor can interns work in positions that require more than 20 percent clerical or office support work.