J-1 Student Internships

Students must first contact their sponsoring academic department to see 1) if they qualify for an internship and 2) if their department is willing to sponsor them.

Potential students should check the Eligibility Requirements to make sure they qualify for an internship.

Departments should check the Guidelines for Internship to make sure their internship qualifies under these guidelines.

The University Department sponsoring the student intern must make a recommendation to the International Student & Scholar Services office and request the DS-2019 be issued so the student intern may obtain their J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa. For complete Departmental Instructions, check the Student Intern page in Resources.

Eligibility Requirements for Students as set down by the U.S. Department of State

  • The student must be currently enrolled in and pursuing a degree at an accredited postsecondary academic institution outside the U.S.
  • The internship must fulfill the educational objectives for his/her current degree program at his/her home institution.
  • The student must have verifiable English language skills sufficient to function on a day-to-day basis in the internship environment.
  • The student must be engaged in a student internship program rather than engaging in employment or providing services to an employer.
  • The student must be in good academic standing at his/her home institution outside the U.S.
  • The student must return to his/her academic program outside the U.S. and fulfill and obtain a degree from said academic institution after completion of the student internship program.
  • The student must have sufficient finances to support themselves and dependents for their entire stay in the U.S., including housing and living expenses. May receive wages or other compensation.

Guidelines for Internship as set down by the U.S. Department of State

  • Internships must be full-time and consist of a minimum of 32 hours of work a week.
  • Internships must consist of no more than 20 percent clerical work.
  • All tasks assigned must be necessary for the completion of the student internship program.
  • Internships must not displace an American worker including full or part-time, temporary or permanent.
  • Internships must not serve to fill a labor need.
  • Internships must exist solely to assist the student intern in achieving the objectives of his/her participation in a student internship program.
  • Internships must expose the participant to American techniques, methodologies and technology, expand the participant’s existing knowledge and skills and not duplicate the student intern’s prior experience.
  • Internships must not engage student interns in clinical positions or in any other kind of work that involves patient care or contact, including any work that would require student interns to provide therapy, medication, or other clinical or medical care.