Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible?

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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 qualify as a J-1 trainee, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a diploma from an accredited academic institution and at least 1 year of related professional work experience (or 5 years of relevant professional work experience if you do not have a post-secondary degree)
  • 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 qualify for the 1-Year Graduate USA Visa Program, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be enrolled full-time in an accredited academic institution in Ireland or have graduated within 12 months of your arrival date in the U.S.
  • Be a citizen of Ireland
  • Intern in a field directly related to your academic background

Do you offer placements?

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Yes! At CIEE, we are pleased to offer Placement Plus – a unique program that can place you in an internship with an industry-leading host organization. (Not available for participants of the 1-Year Graduate USA Visa Program.)

What are CIEE international representatives?

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CIEE international representatives are independent, locally-owned companies from around the world that collaborate with CIEE to offer internship and training opportunities to participants like you. In addition to acting as your local contact throughout your application process, your CIEE international representative can also assist with:

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

How long can I intern in the United States?

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J-1 intern programs can last from 3 weeks to a maximum of 12 months. The minimum J-1 trainee programs can last 3 weeks, and depending on your field of training, you may be eligible to train in the United States for up to 18 months.

Additional notes:

  • Internships for participants of the 1-Year Graduate USA Visa Program must be a minimum of 4 weeks and may last up to the end date listed on your DS-2019.
  • Hospitality training is limited to a maximum of 12 months by the U.S. Department of State, although Hospitality Management Trainings can be longer – up to 18 months.  Please see our Industry-Specific Guidelines for Hospitality for more information.

What is CIEE’s role as the visa sponsor?

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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

*Participants of some programs, such as the 1-Year Graduate USA Visa Program, will not have health insurance through CIEE; their insurance will be provided by a third party.

What does the program cost and what is included?

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Program costs vary, but will include:

  • Thorough vetting of host organizations
  •  In-depth participant orientation
  • Health insurance coverage (not applicable to participants of the 1-Year Graduate USA Visa Program)
  • 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 (not applicable to participants of the 1-Year Graduate USA Visa Program)

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

Are there any internships, training positions or activities that are not allowed?

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There are certain internships and training positions that are prohibited under the J-1 visa by U.S. Department of State regulations. These 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 certain activities that cannot be part of an internship or training:

  • Unskilled casual labor positions
  • Child care or elder care
  • Any work involving direct patient care or contact including work that would require participants to provide therapy, medication, sports or physical therapy, counseling, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, social work, speech therapy, early childhood education, or other clinical or medical care
  • A position that requires more than 10% clerical or menial work
  • Activities that CIEE may deem as harmful to the applicant or the program 

There are also limitations on internships and trainings in other fields. Please see our industry-specific guidelines.

What if my visa gets denied?

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As part of the application process, you must apply for a J-1 intern or trainee visa at the U.S. Embassy or consulate in your home country. If your visa is denied, please contact 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.

Can I extend my program?

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Yes! You can extend both internships and training positions. However, restriction apply. For more information, please read our guide to extending, changing, or ending your program.

Please note: Unlike our other programs, the 1-Year Graduate USA Visa Program may not be extended.