J-1 Student Intern Program Information & Application Process

The primary objectives of the J-1 student intern programs are to enhance the skills and expertise of exchange visitors in their academic or occupational fields through participation in structured and guided work-based training and internship programs and to improve participants' knowledge of American techniques, methodologies, and technology.

Participation as a J-1 student intern requires a foreign student to be currently enrolled and pursuing a degree at a postsecondary academic institution outside the United States, whose U.S. internship will "fulfill the educational objectives for his or her current degree program at his or her home institution." A J-1 student intern may participate in a student internship program for up to 12 months for each foreign degree/major. 

Furthermore, internships can only be offered in the following occupational categories:

  • Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing;
  • Arts and Culture;
  • Construction and Building Trades;
  • Education, Social Sciences, Library Science, Counseling and Social Services;
  • Health Related Occupations;
  • Hospitality and Tourism;
  • Information Media and Communications;
  • Management, Business, Commerce and Finance;
  • Public Administration and Law; and
  • The Sciences, Engineering, Architecture, Mathematics and Industrial Occupations.

Selection Criteria

A student intern may participate in a J-1 student intern program, if the following criteria is met:

  1. Sponsors must ensure that interns have verifiable English language skills sufficient to function on a day-to-day basis in their training environment. Sponsors must verify an applicant's English language proficiency through a recognized English language test, by signed documentation from an academic institution or English language school, or through a documented interview conducted by the sponsor either in-person or by videoconferencing, or by telephone if videoconferencing is not a viable option.
  2. Sponsors of internship programs must verify that all potential interns are foreign nationals who are currently enrolled full-time and pursuing studies in their advanced chosen career field at a degree- or certificate-granting post-secondary academic institution outside the United States or graduated from such an institution no more than 12 months prior to their exchange visitor program begin date.

General Obligations of Internship Program Sponsors 

  1. Ensure that interns are appropriately selected, placed, oriented, supervised, and evaluated.
  2. Be available to interns (and host organizations, as appropriate) to assist as facilitators, counselors, and information resources.
  3. Ensure that internship programs provide a balance between the trainees' and interns' learning opportunities and their contributions to the organizations in which they are placed.
  4. Ensure that the internship programs are full-time (minimum of 32 hours a week).
  5. Evaluations. In order to ensure the quality of training and internship programs, sponsors must develop procedures for evaluating all interns. All required evaluations must be completed prior to the conclusion of an internship program, and both the interns and their immediate supervisors must sign the evaluation forms. For programs exceeding six months' duration, at a minimum, midpoint and concluding evaluations are required. For programs of six months or less, at a minimum, concluding evaluations are required. Sponsors must retain trainee and intern evaluations (electronic or hard copy) for a period of at least three years following the completion of each training and internship program 

Procedures to apply for the J-1 Student Intern Category

  1. The sponsoring department and student intern completes the J-1 Student Intern Application packet and the Training/Internship Placement Plan (T/IPP) Form DS-7002.
  2. Submit a copy of the passport picture page. 
  3. Submit an official financial affidavit showing proof of finances to cover the cost of attendance (if not funded by UofL).
  4. Submit all documents to
  5. If approved, the DS-2019 and DS-7002 will be scanned to the email address indicated on the application. 
  6. Once the student intern receives the DS-2019 and DS-7002, sign where indicated for certifications.

  (Source: 22 CFR 62.22)