Cultural Exchange Visitor

Trainees & Interns

The American Immigration Council is designated by the U.S. Department of State to sponsor J-1 intern and trainee programs. Intern programs have a maximum duration of 12 months. Trainee programs have a maximum duration of 18 months. Potential J-1 interns must be enrolled in a post-secondary, degree-granting academic program located outside of the United States or graduated within the past 12 months from such post-secondary academic program outside of the United States. Potential J-1 trainees must hold a post-secondary degree related to the field of the training and one (1) year of related work experience, both of which were gained outside of the United States, or have five (5) years of related work experience gained outside of the United States.

The American Immigration Council is designated by the U.S. Department of State to sponsor J-1 participants in the Intern & Trainee category only.  The content of all internship and training programs sponsored by our office fit within the following instructional areas only:

  • Arts and Culture
  • Information Media and Communications
  • Management, Business, Commerce and Finance
  • Public Administration and Law 
  • Social Sciences, Library Science, Non-clinical Counseling, Social Services
  • The Sciences, Engineering, Architecture, Mathematics and Industrial Occupations
  • Tourism (restricted, management-level only)

Please note, we do not sponsor the J-1 categories of au pairs, camp counselors, college and university students, government visitors, international visitors, professors and research scholars, secondary school students, short-term scholars, specialists, teachers, or summer work travel.


The Council provides regular guidance and technical assistance to prospective exchange visitors through virtual engagement.  Our resources for prospective exchange visitors include eligibility requirements and tips on preparing a successful sponsorship application.  Applicants receive the benefit of a one-on-one pre-arrival virtual sponsorship interview and orientation with an experienced exchange program advisor.  The Council does not provide placement services, but we value our direct engagement with potential program participants already engaged with a host organization.  


You become an important part of the American Immigration Council family once sponsorship is granted.  Exchange visitors with current sponsorship are issued a participant handbook, and mailed an eligibility packet, including an official Certificate of Eligibility (DS-2019) for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status, to help support a J visa application.  Our services include providing you with an additional support system in the United States and helping you maintain status for the duration of your stay.


Our exchange visitors remain a part of the American Immigration Council family long after they move on to pursue other endeavors abroad.  The Council’s Cultural Exchange Team is continually impressed by the future potential of private sector program participants and looks forward to keeping in touch!