Frequently Asked Questions

INTERNS

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Am I eligible?
To qualify as a J-1 intern, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be enrolled in an accredited academic institution or have graduated within 12 months of your internship start date
  • Have the English skills necessary to operate in an American workplace
  • Train in a field related to your academic or professional background

To find out if you qualify, learn about your eligibility.

How do I find an internship?
The CIEE website is just one of the many resources available to prospective interns. You can check out our Facebook page and Internship Board for up-to-date internship opportunities from host organizations.

How do I apply?
Once you have located an internship, you can reach out to the CIEE international representative in your home country. They can assist you with your application and provide guidance throughout the application process. If there is no representative in your home country, please email CIEE at contact@ciee.org for more information.

What are CIEE international representatives?
CIEE international representatives are independent, locally-owned companies from around the world that collaborate with CIEE to offer Internship USA/Professional Career Training USA opportunities. In addition to acting as your local contact throughout your application process, a CIEE representative will also assist you with:

  • Eligibility questions and application submission
  • Program payment
  • Program orientation
  • Embassy troubleshooting
  • Travel booking (in some cases)

What is CIEE’s role as the visa sponsor?
As your J-1 Visa sponsor, CIEE provides a number of services, including:

  • Friendly, comprehensive assistance with every aspect of the application process
  • Highly qualified international representatives in more than 40 countries
  • Thorough vetting of host organizations
  • In-depth participant orientation
  • Health insurance coverage
  • Robust support, including opportunities for cultural and professional networking
  • Responsive customer service and 24-hour emergency support
  • Program monitoring through evaluations
  • Help with J-2 visas for qualified participant dependents

Do you offer placements?
CIEE does not currently offer placement services. We encourage you to check out our internship board and other resources for more information on placements.

What does it cost, and what is included in the program?
Program costs vary but will include:

  • Thorough vetting of host organizations
  • In-depth participant orientation
  • Health insurance coverage
  • Robust support, including opportunities for cultural and professional networking
  • Responsive customer service and 24-hour emergency support
  • Program monitoring through evaluations
  • Help with J-2 visas for qualified participant dependents

Your CIEE international representative will be able to provide more information about specific program costs and health insurance coverage.

How long does the application process take?
CIEE advises applicants to allow at least 4-6 weeks for the application process after they have accepted an internship. Sometimes, the process can be expedited at an additional cost. Applicants should speak to their CIEE international representative if they have any questions about processing times.

How long can I intern in the United States?
J-1 intern programs can be from 3 weeks to a maximum of 12 months in duration. Depending on your field of training, you may be eligible to train in the United States for up to 18 months. Hospitality trainings are limited to a maximum duration of 12 months by the U.S. Department of State (although Hospitality Management Trainings can be longer, up to 18 months.  Please see Industry-Specific Guidelines for Hospitality for further information.

Are there any internships I can’t do?
There are certain internships that are prohibited under this visa by U.S. Department of State regulations. These occupations include:

  • Au pair, maids, or other domestic work such as babysitting or housekeeping
  • Camp counselors
  • Medical trainees (involving hands-on therapy, counseling, or positions that include making diagnoses)
  • Pharmacists
  • Veterinary trainings involving hands-on care of animals
  • Pilots or crewmembers on ships or airplanes
  • Teachers
  • Temporary or staffing agency employees

There are also limitations on internships in other fields. Please see Industry-specific guidelines.

What if my visa gets denied?
If your visa is denied, please consult with your CIEE international representative for assistance with next steps. A visa can be denied for a number of reasons and you may be able to make another appointment and try again.

Do I need to pay taxes?
If you are receiving a stipend as part of your internship, you will be subject to federal, state, and local income taxes. You will not be subject to Social Security, Medicaid, or federal unemployment taxes.

Do I need to get a Social Security number?
CIEE requires all J-1 Exchange Visitors to apply for a Social Security number, even if you are not receiving a stipend.

Can I leave the country during my program?
Yes, but you will need a CIEE signature on your DS-2019 and a Letter of Good Standing from CIEE. If you are planning to travel, you should contact CIEE at least 2 weeks prior to your trip. You cannot leave the United States for longer than 30 days and some countries may require a visa.

Can I have a second job?
J-1 interns are not allowed to have a second job during their internship.

What if I have a problem during my internship?
Our Customer Service team is here to help you navigate and resolve any problems that arise during your internship. They will work with you to address the issue and may also contact your host organization to determine their willingness or ability to resolve the problem.

You can call CIEE customer service at 1-888-268-6245 or email contact@ciee.org.

Can I find a different internship once I'm in the United States?
Requests to change host organizations are granted only in rare cases. If you think you need to change your host organization, you should contact CIEE at contact@ciee.org or 888-268-6245 as soon as possible to discuss your situation.

Can I transfer my J-1 Visa to another visa status while in the United States?
No, the J-1 Visa is a cultural exchange visa and you will be expected to return to your home country at the end of your training. CIEE does not support or assist with visa transfers.

Can I bring my spouse and/or child?
Yes, spouses and children may accompany you to the United States on a J-2 visa. You must submit a CIEE J-2 dependent application through your CIEE international representative.

Can I extend my program?
Yes, you may extend your program to up to 12 months. If you would like to extend your program, you can reach out to your CIEE international representative and they will assist you with your extension application. Please apply at least 4-6 weeks before the end of your internship.

TRAINEES

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Am I eligible?
To qualify as a J-1 trainee, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a diploma from an accredited academic institution and have at least 1 year of work experience or, if you do not have a post-secondary degree, you must have 5 years of relevant work experience;
  • Have the English skills necessary to operate in an American workplace
  • Plan to train in a field related to your academic and/or professional background.

To find out if you qualify, learn about your eligibility.

How do I find a training?
The CIEE website is just one of the many resources available to prospective trainees. You can check out our Facebook page for up-to-date training opportunities from host organizations.

How do I apply?
Once you have located a training, you can reach out to the CIEE International Representative in your home country. They can assist you with your application and provide guidance throughout the application process. If there is no representative in your home country, please email CIEE at contact@ciee.org for more information.

What are CIEE international representatives?
CIEE international representatives are independent, locally-owned companies from around the world that collaborate with CIEE to offer Internship USA/Professional Career Training USA opportunities. In addition to acting as your local contact throughout your application process, a CIEE international representative will also assist you with:

  • Eligibility questions and application submission
  • Program payment
  • Program orientation
  • Embassy troubleshooting
  • Travel booking (in some cases)

Do you offer placements?
CIEE does not currently offer placement services. We encourage you to check out our internship board and other resources for more information on placements.

How long can I be in the United States?
Depending on your field of training, you may be eligible to train in the United States for up to 18 months. Hospitality trainings are limited to a maximum duration of 12 months by the U.S. Department of State (although Hospitality Management Trainings can be longer, up to 18 months.  Please see Industry-Specific Guidelines for Hospitality for further information).

What does it cost and what is included in the program?
Program costs vary but will include:

  • Thorough vetting of host organizations
  • In-depth participant orientation
  • Health insurance coverage
  • Robust support, including opportunities for cultural and professional networking
  • Responsive customer service and 24-hour emergency support
  • Program monitoring through evaluations
  • Help with J-2 Visas for qualified participant dependents

Your CIEE international representative will be able to provide more information about specific program costs and health insurance coverage.

What is the role of CIEE as the visa sponsor?
As your J-1 Visa sponsor, CIEE provides a number of services, including:

  • Friendly, comprehensive assistance with every aspect of the application process
  • Highly qualified CIEE international representatives in more than 40 countries
  • Thorough vetting of host organizations
  • In-depth participant orientation
  • Health insurance coverage
  • Robust support, including opportunities for cultural and professional networking
  • Responsive customer service and 24-hour emergency support
  • Program monitoring through evaluations
  • Help with J-2 Visas for qualified participant dependents

How long does the application process take?
CIEE advises applicants to allow at least 4-6 weeks for the application process after they have accepted a training. Sometimes, the process can be expedited at an additional cost. Applicants should speak to their CIEE international representative if they have any questions about processing times.

Are there any trainings I can’t do?
There are certain trainings that are prohibited under this visa by U.S. Department of State regulations. These occupations include:

  • Au pair, maids, or other domestic work such as babysitting or housekeeping
  • Camp counselors
  • Medical trainees (involving hands-on therapy, counseling, or positions that include making diagnoses)
  • Pharmacists
  • Veterinary trainings involving hands-on care of animals
  • Pilots or crewmembers on ships or airplanes
  • Teachers
  • Temporary or staffing agency employees

There are also limitations on trainings in other fields. Please see Industry-specific guidelines.

What if my visa gets denied?
If your visa is denied, please consult with your CIEE international representative for assistance with next steps. A visa can be denied for a number of reasons and you may be able to make another appointment and try again.

Do I need to pay taxes?
If you are receiving a stipend as part of your training, you will be subject to federal, state, and local income taxes. You will not be subject to Social Security, Medicaid, or federal unemployment taxes.

Do I need to get a Social Security number?
CIEE requires all J-1 Visa Exchange Visitors to apply for a Social Security number, even if you are not receiving a stipend.

Can I leave the country during my program?
Yes, but you will need a CIEE signature on your DS-2019 and a Letter of Good Standing from CIEE. If you are planning to travel, you should contact CIEE at least 2 weeks prior to your trip. You cannot leave the United States for longer than 30 days and some countries may require a visa.

Can I have a second job?
J-1 trainees are not allowed to have a second job during their training.

What if I have a problem during my training?
Our Customer Service team is here to help you navigate and resolve any problems that arise during your training. They will work with you to address the issue and may also contact your host organization to determine their willingness or ability to resolve the problem.

You can call CIEE customer service at 1-888-268-6245 or email contact@ciee.org.

Can I find a different training once I'm in the United States?
Requests to change host organizations are granted only in rare cases. If you think you need to change your host organization, you should contact CIEE at contact@ciee.org or 1-888-268-6245 as soon as possible to discuss your situation.

Can I transfer my J-1 Visa to another visa status while in the United States?
No, the J-1 Visa is a cultural exchange visa and you will be expected to return to your home country at the end of your training. CIEE does not support or assist with visa transfers.

Can I bring my spouse and/or child?
Yes, spouses and children may accompany you to the United States on a J-2 Visa. You must submit a CIEE J-2 dependent application through your CIEE International Representative.

Can I extend my program?
Yes, you may extend your program to up to 18 months in most fields. Hospitality trainings are limited to a maximum duration of 12 months by the U.S. Department of State  (although Hospitality Management Trainings can be longer, up to 18 months.  Please see Industry-Specific Guidelines for Hospitality for further information). If you would like to extend, you can reach out to your CIEE International Representative and they will assist you with your extension application. Please apply at least 4-6 weeks before the end of your training.