THE J-1 MANAGEMENT TRAINEE PROGRAM
The Department of State oversees the J-1 International Visitor Program which is designed to promote exposure and interchange between exchange visitors and Americans so as to increase their understanding of each other’s society, culture and institutions. J-1 visitors may enter the U.S. under several different programs including J-1 students, professors and researchers, trainees, and summer/winter work programs. This information below describes the J-1 program for trainees.
A sponsoring employer in the US may offer up to a temporary 18 month training program to a foreign national who has been selected to participate in an exchange visitor program. Selected foreign nationals must have completed a four-year degree in their field or possess a recognized professional certificate. Non-specialty training programs do not require participants to have completed a degree. However, program participants must have at least two years of education, training or experience in the field in which they are to receive training.
Training opportunities are offered through a J-1 organization designated by the Department of State which administers the training program in the following broadly-defined occupational categories:
- Arts and Culture
- Information Media and Communications
- Education, Social Sciences, Library Science, Counseling and Social Services
- Management, Business, Commerce and Finance
- Health Related Occupations
- The Sciences, Engineering, Architecture, Mathematics, and Industrial Occupations
- Construction and Building Trades
- Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Public Administration and Law Employer sponsors are directly responsible for all aspects of their program, including the selection, orientation, training, supervision, and evaluation of the trainee.
Sponsors must ensure that:
- individuals and/or entities providing the training possess and maintain the demonstrable competence to provide the offered training;
- sufficient plant, equipment, and trained personnel are available to provide the training specified;
- Prior to the start of the training program a detailed training plan that responds to defined objectives for each trainee or group of similarly-situated trainees is developed;
- skills, knowledge, and competence are imparted to the trainee through a structured program of activities which are supportive and appropriate to the training experience;
- continuous supervision and periodic evaluation is provided for each trainee.
In preparation for the arrival of the J-1 trainee, specific information must be related to the J-1 trainee as specified in 22 CFR 62.10; Sponsoring employers must also provide the following information to participants prior to their departure from their home countries.
- A written statement which clearly states the stipend, if any, to be paid to the trainee.
- The costs and fees for which the trainee will be obligated.
- An estimate of living expenses during the duration of the trainee’s stay.
- A summary of the training program which recites the training objectives and all significant components of the program.
To ensure the quality of the training program, sponsors are required to develop evaluation procedures for trainees in their program. As a minimum, evaluations must include midpoint and concluding reports, completed by the trainees and their immediate supervisors, signed by both parties. Training courses of less than three months duration require only one evaluation report at the conclusion of the training program.
Due to strict requirements in force by the Department of State which oversees the J-1 program, a US employer’s training plan must conform to a set of rigorous requirements defined by the sponsoring organization prior to issuance of an approval. Our office will assist your company in putting together the appropriate J-1 trainee program based on your company’s objectives and needs as well as prepare the application for submission to the sponsoring organization to ensure approval. Additional J-1 information is also available at