Frequently Asked Questions
Before applying to the program:
Q: What is a J-1 Training Visa and for how long is it valid?
A: The J-Visa is an International Exchange Visitor Visa designed to promote international exchange. The category that EDI focuses on is the "Trainee" category, which allows young internationals the opportunity to gain practical experience at American companies. The J-1 Training Visa is valid for up to 18 months.
Q: I am an agent with students interested in doing internship in the U.S. What do I need to do as an agent to apply for J-1 Visa through EDI on behalf of my clients?
A: As a new agent, you will first need to sign an agreement with EDI. You will then become responsible for correspondence with each applicant, collecting necessary documents for visa application from the applicant, and sending EDI all the paperwork and payment on time.
Q: Can a J-1 Training Visa trainee be paid?
A: Applicants on J-1 Visas can receive compensation from their host companies. Under a J-1 Visa, host companies are not obligated to pay their interns, so positions can be non-paid as well.
Q: Can a J-1 trainee extend or reapply for a J-1 Training Visa?
A: If your client initially obtained a J-1 Training Visa for less than 18 months, he/she may be able to extend it up to the maximum length of 18 months in certain situations. After training for 18 months, no extension is allowed. Current regulations do not allow applicants to apply for J-1 Training twice even if he/she does not use complete 18 months.
Q: Can one change from an F-Visa to a J-1 Training Visa without leaving the U.S.?
A: It is possible to change the status from an F-Visa to a J-Visa, but it is recommended by the State Department that the applicant return to your home country to change visa status.
Q: Is it possible for my client to switch from a J-1 Visa to an H-Visa?
A: The purpose of the J-Visa is training and not to prepare one for employment in the United States, however, it is generally possible to go from the J-Visa to an H-Visa. EDIís policy is for applicants to return to their home countries and change visa status.
Q: Can a J-1 trainee switch the host company during the J-1 visa program?
A: Usually not. Training programs are designed for a specific host and changing the program once it is started is not allowed, unless there are special circumstances such as the host company filing bankruptcy.
Q: How is the length of internship program decided or who makes the decision?
A: It is up to applicant and the host company to decide the length of the internship program. We recommend that the applicant apply for the maximum of 18-month J-1 Visa program as extensions are not generally allowed.
Q: How is desired starting date decided?
A: It usually takes about 2 months to obtain J-1 Visa once you submit all the required documents. Therefore, setting a starting date about 2 months from the time you submit documents will give you a realistic starting date.
Q: My client already has health insurance. Does he/she still need to purchase insurance through EDI?
A: The U.S. State Department requires a specific type and level of insurance for every J-1 visa trainee. Applicants are responsible for purchasing insurance before applying for the DS-2019. It is generally easiest to purchase insurance along with the visa assistance.
Q: My client already has a host company. Do I still need to submit EDI his/her resume and cover letter?
A: A resume and cover letter are documents required to apply for the DS-2019.
Q: What is the responsibility of the host company?
A: The host company is responsible for providing the training programs. The host company is not the legal visa sponsor of the trainee, though; that would be the visa sponsoring organization.
Q: My clients are not in the U.S. How can they find a host company?
A: We have a list of companies who are looking for people on our website. Please go to our Open Position List at www.edintl.com/openpos.html for details about positions that are available.
Q: Do applicants have to go to the U.S. for an interview?
A: Not usually. Most of our companies interview applicants over the phone.
Q: What happens if an applicant does not pass the first host company interview? Can he/she apply for another position?
A: Yes. The applicant may select and apply for a different position from our Open Position List without any charge.
Q: When does EDI issue the invoice?
A: We do not charge any program fee until your applicant is accepted by a host company as a trainee. We will send you an invoice once we confirm your applicantís placement.
Required documents for the DS-2019:
Q: How much money does an applicant need to show they have to take part in the program?
A: On average, an applicant is expected to have about $1,500/month to live in the U.S. during the training program. His/her compensation can be included in the $1,500, so if the stipend is $1,000/month from the host company, the applicant needs to show proof that he/she has $500 available for every month one will stay. In addition, we also strongly encourage applicants to have at least $1,000 with them when they arrive as they will probably not be paid until the end of the first month.
Q: Does the bank statement have to be applicantís own?
A: No. Applicants can submit their parentís bank statement. Also if your client will be funded by other sources, they can bring that as proof instead of a bank statement.
Q: When does an applicant have to pay the SEVIS fee?
A: Applicants are responsible to pay their SEVIS fee after they obtain their DS-2019 and before the visa interview at the U.S. embassy.