Training in the U.S. (J-1 Visa)

Cultural exchange training programs in the U.S. are designed to allow foreign professionals to come to the United States to gain exposure to U.S. culture and to receive training in U.S. business practices in their chosen occupational field. Programs are also designed to enhance Americans' knowledge of foreign cultures and skills through an open interchange of ideas between participants and their American associates. These programs require a J-1 visa, which is a non-immigrant cultural exchange visa issued by the U.S. Department of State.


CIPUSA is a United States Department of State authorized J-1 training visa sponsoring organization. CIPUSA has the ability to issue the required documents needed to obtain a J-1 training visa and to facilitate training programs for international professionals in the United States.

What is a J-1 training visa?

A J-1 training visa is a cultural exchange visa issued by the U. S. Department of State that allows foreign professionals to train with an American organization for 3 weeks to 18 months. The J-1 training visa is intended to facilitate exchanges that allow individuals from around the world to gain an understanding of U.S. culture, work practices and institutions. To train in the United States legally you are required to have a J-1 training visa. CIPUSA is authorized by the U. S. Department of State as a J-1 training sponsor. The J-1 training visa is a non-immigrant exchange visitor’s training visa that is valid for a specific period of time, no more than eighteen months. Non-immigrant status implies that the trainee will not stay in the United States when the training program is complete and intends to return to his or her country of citizenship.

CIPUSA does not allow trainees to use the Exchange Visitors Program for ordinary employment or work purposes.

What is the purpose of cultural exchange training programs?

The purpose of cultural exchange training programs is to increase mutual understanding and provide opportunities for cultural and professional learning between citizens of the United States and citizens of other countries by means of educational cultural exchange. CIPUSA’s focus is on enhancing the exchange visitor’s skills in his or her specialty occupation through participation in a structured training program.

In what training fields can CIPUSA provide J-1 sponsorship?

CIPUSA can provide exchange-training programs in a variety of fields for up to 18 months.

Training fields include:

  • Architecture
  • Arts & Culture
  • Information Media Business
  • Law Commerce
  • Library Science Communications
  • Education*
  • Public Administration Engineering
  • Social Services
  • Finance

*CIPUSA can arrange for training for those interested in curriculum development or educational administration. CIPUSA regretfully cannot offer programs that involve direct teaching.

If you have questions about whether CIPUSA can sponsor a particular training field, please call or email our headquarters: +1-440-247-1088 or

What qualifications must an applicant have to apply for a J-1 training visa sponsorship?

Applicant must meet the following criteria:

  • You are at least 21 years old
  • You are applying from your home country
  • You have a college degree or professional certificate from a non-U.S. institution in a field related to your training and one year of relevant work experience outside the U.S. OR at least 5 years of related work experience outside of the U.S.
  • You have the ability to understand and communicate in the English language.

If I have been on a previous J-1 training visa may I apply again?

Yes, you may apply for another J-1 training visa sponsorship provided that it has been more than 2 years since the end of your last J-1 visa training or intern visa program and you meet the qualifications above.

How long can I be on a J-1 training visa?

The maximum length of a J-1 training visa is 18 months.

Can I extend my training program?

CIPUSA will consider extension if the training site can prove the need for additional training. CIPUSA cannot issue an extension beyond the 18-month program limit.

Can I bring my family with me while on a CIPUSA program?

CIPUSA will issue J-2 visas for family and spouses in certain programs.  Please contact CIPUSA directly to find out if this is an option for your program.

What is SEVIS?

SEVIS stands for “The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System”. Each exchange visitor issued a DS-2019 must pay a SEVIS I-901 fee of $220 USD. Participant may elect to go online ( to pay the SEVIS fee or have CIPUSA do it and reimburse CIPUSA.

Are there any other fees?

Yes. In addition to the CIPUSA Program Fees, the U.S. Embassy/Consulates charge an applicaiton fee to attend the visa interview.  This fee varies depending on the country and special circumstances. Other fees might also apply.  Always check with the U.S. embassy/consulate where your visa approval interview will be held to determine if additional monies are required.

Am I required to have health insurance coverage while on a cultural exchange training program?

Yes, J-1 sponsored trainees (and their dependents) are required to have health insurance that meets the U.S. Department of State requirements. The minimum requirements for medical insurance coverage are the following:

  • Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness
  • Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000
  • Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000
  • A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.
  • An insurance policy secured to meet the benefits requirements must be underwritten by an insurance corporation with an A.M. Best rating of "A-" or above, an Insurance Solvency International, Ltd. (ISI) rating of "A-I" or above, a Standard and Poor's Claims Paying Ability rating of "A-" or above, or a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of B+ or above.
  • Insurance policy may require a reasonable waiting period for pre-existing conditions; include a coinsurance provision that may require exchange visitor to pay up to 25% of the expenses per accident or illness.

How do I obtain health insurance?

CIPUSA can provide trainees the required U.S. Department of State J-1 training visa health insurance through GeoBlue.  Please contact CIPUSA for current prices.  CIPUSA can also provide trainees with a list of other health insurance policies that meet the U.S. State Department's minimum requirements.

Cultural Component

The J-1 training visa is one of ten visa categories under the U.S. State Department’s Exchange Visitor Program (EVP), which brings true global value to American public diplomacy.  People-to-people programs provide unlimited opportunity for exchange visitors and Americans to engage with each other, to inform exchange visitors’ thinking about the United States and its place in the global community, to break down prejudices and misunderstandings, and in the long-term expand and strengthen the relationships between Americans and the rest of the world.

In accordance with the Fulbright-Hays Act of 1961, these cultural, educational and professional exchanges are intended to build mutual understanding and help create a foundation of trust between Americans and the rest of the world.  By bringing people together to share perspectives and experiences, they strengthen our national security and promote prosperity – at home and abroad.

The EVP offers participants a unique opportunity to experience the U.S. and its diversity and to connect directly with Americans. The cross-cultural component of the EVP experience is critical to the short-term success of each individual exchange, and to the long-term effectiveness of the Program and of U.S. public diplomacy overall.

Success in advancing U.S. public diplomacy goals, as all programs in the EVP are intended to do, is best achieved through careful planning and execution of the cultural component of the exchange.

*from the U.S. Department of State's Exchange Visitor Program "Cross-Cultural Toolkit" (June 2013)

Rules & Restrictions

Trainee, Training Site and CIPUSA Responsibilities:

The participant or the placement site is responsible for arranging the training program and finances for the trainee’s stay in the U.S. including living, insurance and transportation costs. The participant and the placement site are required to create a training plan documenting the participant’s time spent training including goals and skills that will be learned. CIPUSA will assist with training plans and will provide the participant J-1 sponsorship and support to complete the process. Please see more detailed descriptions of responsibilities below.

Trainee Responsibilities:

  • Providing roundtrip airfare
  • Negotiating any compensation from the training site
  • Arranging living accommodations
  • Arranging travel to and from training site
  • Paying the CIPUSA administrative fee (this can be paid by the training site as well)
  • Arranging the required health insurance
  • Committing to learning and professional development
  • Submit all required CIPUSA paperwork (evaluations, etc.) in a timely manner.
  • Adhere to all J-1 training visa regulations during the training program

Training Site Responsibilities:

  • Creating a well-designed DS-7002 training plan for the trainee
  • Providing a supervisor for the trainee Sign a contract with CIPUSA for hosting the trainee
  • Providing the trainee with an orientation to the U.S., local city, and U.S. culture
  • Assisting the trainee with living accommodations, getting acquainted with the U.S., traveling to and from the training site, and educational/cultural opportunities.
  • Providing the trainee with an overall enriching training program  

CIPUSA or its affiliate offices will provide:

  • Support in designing a training plan
  • Sponsorship for the J-1 training visa by arranging the DS 2019 forms
  • Health insurance if needed
  • Information about the U.S.
  • Support with cultural or educational activities if desired
  • Evaluations throughout the program
  • Support throughout the program 

Searching for a Program

Our affiliate offices offer 1 to 2 month placements in a variety of fields.  Visit our U.S. Locations page for more information on each affiliate office and their program offerings.

For longer programs, we recommend inquiring with U.S. companies or organizations that you would like to train with directly.  Let them know that you are looking to gain experience in your field in the U.S. with the opportunity for cross-cultural exchange.

Tips for a successful inquiry:

  • Create an American-style resume
  • Thoroughly research the company or organization you would like to train with
  • Prepare to speak about how your international perspective will contribute positively to the workplace

Searching online for short-term internship opportunities is also an effective way to find training programs in the United States.

U.S. State Department Information

The J-1 training visa is one of several visas offered through The U.S. State Department's Bureau of Cultural & Educational Affairs' Exhange Visitor Program.  This program provides countless opportunities for international candidates looking to travel and gain experience in the United States. The multifaceted programs enable foreign nationals to come to the U.S. to teach, study, conduct research, demonstrate special skills or receive on the job training for periods ranging from a few weeks to several years.

Such programs are also intended to increase participants' understanding of American culture and society and to enhance Americans' knowledge of foreign cultures and skills through an open interchange of ideas between participants and their American associates. A key goal of the Fulbright-Hays Act, which authorizes these programs, is that participants will return to their home countries and share their experiences with their countrymen.

Click here to find out more about the J-1 training visa and other visas offered through the Exchange Visitor Program.


If you would like to participate in CIPUSA’s Global Partners Program, please complete our Inquiry Form to help us determine if you and the host organization (if already determined) qualify for the J-1 training visa.

Once your program has been approved then the following must be submitted via mail or email:

Required Application Materials

Program fees

All CIPUSA Program Fees must be paid before CIPUSA will send the J-1 sponsorship forms (DS 2019). Fees can be paid by check from an American based organization, money order, or credit card. Once CIPUSA has received payment for services we will send you the necessary documents.

In addition to the CIPUSA fee all J-1 trainees are now subject to a $220 USD SEVIS fee. This fee is being imposed to support the U.S. Government Student Exchange and Visitor Information System to maintain accurate and secure information on exchange visitors to the United States. This fee must be paid prior to your U.S. Embassy visit. U.S. Embassies will not issue a J-1 visa until this fee has been paid. CIPUSA will process this fee on behalf of the trainee. For further information about SEVIS please visit the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement web site at

Expedite Service

Normal processing time for CIPUSA is 6-10 business days. For an additional $600 Expedite fee, CIPUSA can process the application within 3-5 business days. This service is based on CIPUSA receiving a complete application, training plan, additional forms, and all fees paid in full.

J-2 Dependents

The applicant must complete the CIPUSA application J-2 dependent section as required and provide CIPUSA with a copy of all dependents' passports and marriage/birth certificates. The cost for J-2 sponsorship for each dependent is $750 USD. Please be aware that in order for J-2 dependents to be employed while in the U.S must apply to the USCIS. Please contact CIPUSA for more information on J-2 dependents.

After submitting an application to CIPUSA.....

Once CIPUSA receives the completed application form, signed DS-7002 training plan, host site agreement form, and administrative fees, CIPUSA will begin reviewing the application. An approved CIPUSA staff member or recruiter will interview the participant by Skype or telephone. The CIPUSA application review process is as follows:

CIPUSA will review the application and signed DS-7002 training plan. If it meets CIPUSA requirements it will be submitted for J-1 training visa sponsorship. CIPUSA processing time is generally 6-10 business days. (Should you request expedited processing, CIPUSA can review and process your application within 3-5 business days for an additional $600. Please note that a completed application, signed DS-7002 training plan and administrative fee payment are required for the expedite process) . If the application is approved CIPUSA will send all necessary documents (DS 2019 form) to the address listed on the application. CIPUSA will not send original papers to any party other than the applicant applying and application materials must be sent to the applicant's home country.

NOTE: CIPUSA cannot send out any Global Partner documents until both the administrative fees and the $220 USD SEVIS fee have been paid.

For further information about the Global Partner Program please contact CIPUSA at


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