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Programs:

Host Company FAQs

FOR PROSPECTIVE HOST COMPANIES:

1. Can start-up companies host J-1 exchange visitors?

2. What are the minimum qualifications of a prospective host company?

3. Does the size of the company matter?

4. Is there a limit as to how much a J-1 trainee or intern can receive in the form of remuneration?

FOR CURRENT HOST COMPANIES:

1. How do I put a J-1 trainee/intern on the company payroll?

2. Do exchange visitors need a Social Security number in order to begin their training or internship?

3. Can a trainee/intern receive remuneration without a Social Security number?

4. Can a training or internship be extended?

5. Can a trainee or intern return for a second training or internship program after the first has been completed?

 

FOR PROSPECTIVE HOST COMPANIES:

1. Can start-up companies host J-1 exchange visitors?

We require most prospective J-1 training companies to have been in operation for at least 2 years; notable exceptions are made in certain industries including emerging green technologies.

2. What are the minimum qualifications of a prospective host company?

Potential host companies must be able to document and/or demonstrate the following in order to meet basic eligibility requirements:

• qualified personnel to provide the proposed training/internship;

• the appropriate facility and equipment to provide the proposed training/internship;

• fewer than 10% of total staff members, regardless of staff compensation (from stipend, grant or direct company payroll), in a J-1 exchange visitor program;

And must further guarantee that:

• the J-1 exchange visitor will not be engaged in ordinary employment and will not be used to fill a position that is, or could be, occupied by American workers;

• the proposed training/internship is in an occupational category the International Exchange Center is designated to sponsor;

• the host company has established a bona fide training program.

3. Does the size of the company matter?

The International Exchange Center sponsors trainings and internships at host companies of all sizes, from boutique law firms to fortune 500 giants; however, size does matter. The Department of State requires that potential host companies with fewer than 25 full time employees or less than $3,000,000 in annual revenue be visited by a representative of the American Immigration Council before hosting an exchange visitor.

4. Is there a limit as to how much a J-1 trainee or intern can receive in the form of remuneration?

There is no minimum or limit to remuneration; however, exchange vistors need to be able to demonstrate financial support sufficient to fully meet anticipated expenses, and companies should be aware that very high remuneration may give the impression of employment rather than training.

 

FOR CURRENT HOST COMPANIES:

1. How do I put a J-1 trainee/intern on the company payroll?

Please refer to IRS publication 515 for instructions on filling out a w-4 form for a J-1 exchange visitor: http://www.irs.gov/publications/p515/index.html.

2. Do exchange visitors need a Social Security number in order to begin their training or internship?

Trainees and interns can begin their programs prior to receipt of a Social Security number. If the SSN is significantly delayed, please visit the SSA online for help: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/employer/hiring.htm.

3. Can a trainee/intern receive remuneration without a Social Security number?

Yes, exchange visitors can receive remuneration prior to receipt of Social Security numbers. There is no law preventing host companies from paying trainees or interns while they wait to receive Social Security numbers.

4. Can a training or internship be extended?

Training and internship programs can be extended to the maximum program length (18 months for trainee programs; 12 months for internships). In order to request an extension, please submit the following materials to the Inernational Exchange Center (we recommend that you do so by courier):

• An evaluation of the exchange visitor’s progress in the current training plan

• A letter from the training/internship supervisor explaining why an extension is being requested

• A training/internship placement plan on form DS-7002 detailing activities to take place during the extension

• Proof of insurance coverage for the exchange visitor and any J-2 dependents during the extension period

• Payment of $300 to cover extension fees.

5. Can a trainee or intern return for a second training or internship program after the first has been completed?

Yes, trainees and interns are eligible to participate in additional training and internship programs under certain conditions. Additional training and internship programs must address the development of more advanced skills. Interns may participate in additional internship programs as long as they maintain student status or begin a new internship program within 12 months of graduation. Potential trainees are eligible for additional training programs after a period of at least two years residency outside the United States following their first training or intern program. There is currently no limit to the number of J-1 training or internship programs an individual may complete.