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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of hosting?

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

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. The training plan should demonstrate that the trainee will be under continuous supervision, learning new skills, participating in American cultural activities and not filling a job role. The training plan should be a collaboration between you and the trainee with agreed upon tasks and objectives that will be completed during the training. Depending on the length of the training, J-1 trainee training plans should have multiple phases and show a progression or rotation through departments. The training should be correlated with the trainee’s professional background.

What are my responsibilities as the host organization?

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As a host organization, you must provide your trainee with a structured and guided training and continuous supervision and feedback. They must train for a minimum of 32 hours per week and be provided any resources they need to complete their tasks, including their own workspace with a computer, phone, and any other needed equipment. Host organizations must also actively engage their trainee in American cultural activities, preferably outside of work responsibilities.

How do we pay an international trainee?

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J-1 trainees can be either paid or unpaid. If they are receiving a stipend, they should be on-boarded and paid through payroll just like a regular employee. J-1 trainees should not be paid as an independent contractor (1099). J-1 trainees are subject to federal, state, and local income taxes. J-1 trainees are not subject to Social Security, Medicaid, or federal unemployment taxes.

What is the difference between an intern and a trainee?

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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, but for others this may be their first internship. J-1 trainees must have a diploma and 1 year of relevant work experience or, if they don’t have a degree, they have 5 years of relevant work experience. They may train for up to 18 months and their training is expected to be more advanced than an intern’s.

How long can I have a trainee for?

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All programs must be at least 3 weeks in length. The majority of trainees are allowed to train for up to 18 months, although some fields of training, such as Hospitality, are limited to 12 months. All interns are limited to 12 months in duration.

Can we extend the training? How does it work?

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Interns may extend their training up to 12 months. Trainees may extend their training up to 18 months, depending on their field. If your intern or trainee is interested in extending, they should reach out to the CIEE international representative they originally applied through to determine if they are eligible and to submit an extension application. As the host organization, you will be asked to submit a new phase of their training plan that demonstrates what new and more advanced skills the trainee will be learning during the extension. Please note that extension applications should be submitted 4-6 weeks before the last day on their training.

Can I host multiple trainees at the same time?

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Depending on the size of your organization, you may be eligible to host multiple CIEE trainees at once. CIEE looks for host organizations to have 5 full-time employees at the site of training for every intern or trainee in their office to insure each trainee receives appropriate supervision and resources.