Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions. Have a question that is not listed here? No problem! Contact us to get your question answered.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HOSTING?

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Having people from different cultures and backgrounds increases diversity at your organization and creates a more dynamic professional environment that fosters new ideas and ways of doing business. International interns, trainees, and professionals can help your organization gain insights into countries or regions that you currently do business in. If you have international sister or parent companies, our J-1 programs can also serve as a way to develop talent and facilitate training for international employees.

WHAT IS A TRAINING PLAN?

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The training plan (or DS-7002) is a U.S. Department of State form that serves as the official outline of the proposed training. Please visit our page on training plans for more information.

Please note: Training plans are required for J-1 Intern visas and J-1 Trainee visas only; they are not required for the other visa categories.

HOW LONG DOES THE APPLICATION PROCESS TAKE?

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CIEE advises applicants to allow at least 4-6 weeks for the application process. If your international intern, trainee, or professional needs faster service, advise them to request expedited service when they submit their application; expedited service is available for an additional fee.

HOW DO WE PAY AN INTERNATIONAL PARTICIPANT?

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All participants should be onboarded and paid through payroll just like a regular employee. No participant can be paid as an independent contractor (using a MISC-1099 tax form). Participants are subject to federal, state, and local income tax, but not Social Security, Medicaid, or federal unemployment tax.

IS THERE A FEE ASSOCIATED WITH HOSTING?

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Host organizations are not subject to any CIEE fees for hosting a J-1 interns, trainees, research scholars, short-term scholars, professors, or specialists. However, participants pay fees and some host organizations provide assistance with these. For more information about program fees, please contact us.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE VISA CATEGORIES?

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Interns and Trainees:
J-1 interns should be enrolled in an academic institution or have graduated within 12 months of their internship start date. Some may have a little work experience, while others may not. J-1 trainees must have a diploma and one year of relevant work experience or, if they don’t have a degree, they must have five years of relevant work experience. Interns may train for up to 12 months while trainees may train up to 18 months.

Scholars, Professors, and Specialists:
These professionals are international innovators – researchers, scholars, professors, and specialists from almost any industry – who are looking to collaborate with tech startups, research laboratories, universities, libraries, and other institutions and businesses across the U.S. Visa validity ranges by category:

  • J-1 Short-Term Scholar: Up to 6 months
  • J-1 Specialist: Up to 6 months
  • J-1 Research Scholar: Up to 5 years
  • J-1 Professor: Up to 5 years

WILL MY ORGANIZATION NEED TO PROVIDE COVERAGE UNDER A WORKERS’ COMPENSATION POLICY?

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All paid J-1 interns and trainees must be covered by their host organization’s workers’ compensation policy (unless the organization is exempt by state law). If the intern or trainee is unpaid, CIEE may be able to accept coverage under a general liability policy. For more information, please read our page on the legal responsibilities of host organizations.

Please note: This applies only to hosts of participants using the J-1 Intern or Trainee visas; this does not apply to hosts of participants using the J-1 Research Scholar, Short-Term Scholar, Professor, or Specialist visas.

HOW DO I FIND ELIGIBLE INTERNS OR TRAINEES?

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You can find eligible interns and trainees by sharing your training opportunities on the CIEE Internship Board. Many of our international representatives also are able to assist with locating participants. We make it easy to search for international representatives by country. Each representative’s recruiting program operates differently and maintains different fees; please reach out to your selected representative to learn more and begin the recruitment process.

Please note: We do not offer recruitment services for J-1 Research Scholar, Short-Term Scholar, Professor, or Specialist visa categories.