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Information and Eligibility

If you are unsure if the J-1 program is right for your candidate, you can request a consultation with SHRM using the button below. 

Eligibility Requirements

Trainees are professionals who either possess a degree or certificate from a non-U.S. postsecondary academic institution and have at least 1 year of prior related work experience in their occupational field outside the U.S. OR have at least 5 years of work experience outside the United States in the occupational field in which they are seeking training. 

Interns are either students who are currently enrolled in and pursuing studies full time at a foreign degree or certificate-granting postsecondary academic institution outside the United States OR individuals who have graduated from such an institution no more than 12 months prior to their Exchange Visitor Program start date.

Occupational Categories

SHRM is currently designated by the U.S. Department of State to sponsor Exchange Visitor Program trainings and internships in the following occupational categories:

  • Management, Business, Commerce & Finance;
  • The Sciences, Engineering, Architecture, Mathematics & Industrial Occupations;
  • Hospitality and Tourism;
  • Health-related Occupations;
  • Public Administration & Law; and
  • Information Media & Communications.

Programs that fall outside of the occupational categories listed above are not eligible for sponsorship by SHRM. 

J-2 Sponsorship for Family Members

Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age are eligible to accompany a J-1 exchange visitor on a J-2 dependent visa. Each dependent must be sponsored for a J-2 Visa and must have his or her own DS-2019 form issued by SHRM. All non-Canadian citizens must also apply for a J-2 Visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. 

U.S. Host Organization Size and Responsibilities

Host organizations participating in the J-1 Visa Program have several important requirements. You can find more information in our J-1 Host Organization Orientation. Please wait a few seconds for the video to begin.

Compensation for Exchange Visitors

SHRM typically requires that host organizations provide compensation to their J-1 trainees and interns during any sponsored program. The total amount of compensation paid to trainees and interns must be determined prior to submitting the J-1 sponsorship application to SHRM. When determining the total program compensation, host organizations should include housing, transportation and other living expenses covered as part of the program. The U.S. host organization and/or the exchange visitor's foreign employer can provide the compensation for the program.

If the compensation does not appear to cover all anticipated expenses during the entire program, the trainee or intern must provide documentation confirming that he or she has sufficient financial resources (personal bank statement, parents' bank statement, letter of financial support from overseas college or university, etc.) to successfully complete the full scope of the J-1 program.

Insurance Coverage

Every individual participating in the Exchange Visitor Program must have insurance coverage that meets the criteria set forth in the U.S. federal regulations for the J-1 program. All participants must be covered by an acceptable insurance policy that includes coverage for medical care, medical evacuation and repatriation for the entire duration of their training or internship program. It is the responsibility of the U.S. host organization to provide this insurance or to verify that each of its participants is covered by such insurance coverage that meets or exceeds the following minimum coverage requirements:

  • Medical Insurance Coverage: $100,000 per accident or illness*;
  • Expatriation of Mortal Remains: $25,000;
  • Medical Evacuation: $50,000;
  • Deductible per accident or illness not to exceed $500; and
  • Co-insurance not to exceed 25 percent per accident or illness.

In addition, the insurance policy, plan or contract must also, at a minimum, be:

  • Underwritten by an insurance corporation having an A.M. Best rating of "A−" or above; a McGraw Hill Financial/Standard & Poor's Claims-paying Ability rating of "A−" or above; a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of "B+" or above; a Fitch Ratings, Inc. rating of "A−" or above; a Moody's Investor Services rating of "A3" or above; or such other rating as the Department of State may from time to time specify; or
  • Backed by the full faith and credit of the government of the exchange visitor's home country; or
  • Offered through or underwritten by a federally qualified health maintenance organization or eligible competitive medical plan as determined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Per federal regulations, failure to maintain sufficient insurance for the entire duration of the internship or training will result in an automatic termination of the J-1 program.

SHRM currently does not provide medical insurance for J-1 program participants. If a trainee or intern will not be covered under his or her host organization's or foreign employer's insurance policy, or if the provided coverage does not meet or exceed the U.S. Department of State requirements listed above, the trainee or intern must obtain his or her own insurance (as well as insurance for any dependents).

Below are several insurance options previously used to cover J-1 trainees and interns. These plans are not officially endorsed by SHRM, and host organizations and/or participants should ensure that they select a coverage option that meets the Department of State requirements listed above and that the coverage is valid in all states where the J-1 program will occur.

*Please be aware that we cannot advise on potential visa options beyond the scope of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program.

Placement Services

SHRM does not offer placement services to assist individuals in securing a U.S. host organization for training and internship programs. Only individuals who have already been pre-identified for an internship or training opportunity with a U.S. host organization are eligible for sponsorship via SHRM's program.

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Current Clients and Participants

If you already have exchange visitor application or are already sponsored by SHRM or by the former Council for Global Immigration (CFGI), please visit our current clients and participants page to learn more about exchange visitor requirements and compliance items related to your sponsored program. You will also find information about cultural activities and international travel.

Program Forms & Documents

As you prepare for your journey to the United States, please consult the following orientation materials prepared by the U.S. Department of State and by SHRM.