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: 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 I extend or reapply for a J-1 Training Visa?
A: If you initially obtained a J-1 Training Visa for less than 18 months, you may be able to extend it up to the maximum length of 18 months. After training for 18 months, you cannot extend the visa. Current regulations do not allow applicants to apply for J-1 Training twice even if you do not use your complete 18 months.
Q: Can one change from an F-Visa to a J-1 Training Visa without leaving the U.S.?
A: You can change from an F-Visa to a J-Visa, but it is recommended by the State Department that you return to your home country to change your visa status.
Q: Can I 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. EDI policy is for applicants to return to their home countries to change their visa status.
Q: Can I switch my 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 training program decided or who makes the decision?
A: It is up to applicant and the host company to decide the length of the training program. We recommend that you apply for the maximum 18-month period as extensions are not generally allowed.
Q: How can I decide my desired starting date?
A: It usually takes about 2 months to obtain a J-1 Visa once you submit all the required documents. Therefore, setting a starting date about 2 months from the time you submit all documents will give you a realistic starting date.
Q: I already have health insurance. Do I 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. Therefore, It is generally easiest to purchase insurance along with the visa assistance.
Q: I already have a host company. Do I still need to submit a resume and cover letter?
A: Yes. 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 opportunity to the trainee. The host company is not the legal visa sponsor of the trainee, though; that would be the visa sponsoring organization.
Q: I am not in the U.S. How can I find a company to host me?
A: We have a list of companies who are looking for interns on our website. Please take a look at our Open Position List at www.edintl.com/open_position_list.htm for details about positions that are available.
Q: Do I 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 I don't pass the host company interview? Can I apply for another position?
A: Yes. You 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 you are accepted by a host company as a trainee. We will send you an invoice once we confirm your placement.
Required documents for the DS-2019:
Q: How much do I need to show I have in the bank when I submit my bank statement?
A: On average, you are expected to have about $1,500/month to live in the U.S. during your training program. Your compensation can be included in the $1,500, so if you are getting paid $1,000/month from your host company, you need to show proof that you have $500 in your bank account for every month you will stay. In addition, we also strongly encourage you to have at least $1,000 with you when you arrive as you will probably not be paid until the end of your first month.
Q: Does the bank statement have to be mine?
A: No. You can submit your parent's bank statement as well. Also if you will be funded by other sources, you can bring that as proof instead of a bank statement.
Q: When do I have to pay the SEVIS fee?
A: You are responsible to pay your SEVIS fee after you obtain your DS-2019 and before the visa interview at the U.S. embassy.