Exchange Visitor Visa
for Training Programs in the United States

Exchange Visitor Visa <br>for Training Programs in the United States

The Spain-U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization, officially authorized and designated by the U.S. Department of State to issue the DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility to interns/trainees. With the issuance of the DS-2019, the Chamber operates as the legal sponsor of the participants during their entire stay in the United States.

The Chamber offers its J-1 Exchange Visitor Program in the categories of “Intern” and “Trainee.” The Exchange Visitor Visa is used to bridge formal education and work-based training and is only granted for temporary stays (maximum 12 months for interns and 18 months for trainees).

We can assist companies, as well as interns and trainees who have independently secured training programs in the United States and need sponsorship in obtaining the J-1 Visa. The application process requires the participation of both the training entity and the trainee or intern.

General Requirements for Applicants

Intern Eligibility

Internship programs are designed to allow foreign college and university students or recent graduates to come to the United States to gain exposure to U.S. culture and to receive hands-on experience in U.S. business practices in their chosen occupational field.

This category applies to foreign nationals:

  • Who are currently enrolled in and pursuing studies at a foreign degree-or certificate-granting post-secondary academic institution as a full-time student; must have completed at least the second semester of studies,
  • Who have graduated from such an institution no more than 12 months prior to their internship start date.

All applicants must have a good command of the English language.

The internship must also have a clear relation to the applicant’s academic education and must be highly relevant to the future career development of the applicant.

Trainee Eligibility

Training programs 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.

This category applies to foreign nationals:

  • Who have a degree or professional certificate from a foreign post-secondary academic institution and at least one year of related work experience in the applicant’s occupational field outside the United States,
  • Who have (if no degree) five years of work experience outside the United States in the occupational field in which applicant seeks training.

All applicants must have a good command of the English language.

The traineeship must have a clear relation to the applicant’s academic and professional background and must be highly relevant to the future career development of the applicant.

Requirements for Host Companies

Host Companies Eligibility
  • To determine eligibility, the Chamber needs to receive the application form and agreement from the host company.
  • The J-1 Visa Program will consider the number of employees, incorporation date, company history, current business activities, and company financials in determining whether the host organization meets the minimum requirements to host a J-1 Exchange Visitor.
  • The host must be an established business in operation for at least one year and provide their Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN).
  • The host must not use the intern/trainee program for ordinary employment or staffing and must not displace American workers with interns/trainees.
  • The host company must have at least three full-time employees.

Processing Fees

J-1 Visa (Up to 6 months) $1,500
J-1 Visa (More than 6 months) $2,000
J-2 Visa $800
Extension $500
Travel Validation (shipping not included) $75
Reprinting $300
Site Visits

Host organizations with fewer than 25 employees or less than $3 million in gross annual revenue are subject to a site visit before they may host an exchange visitor for the first time.

Site visits within New York City will be free of charge. Costs for visits in other locations will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

J-1 Visa Extension

The J-1 Visa can be extended at the host company, provided the program duration remains within 12 months for internships or 18 months for traineeships. It is important to note that an extension is not merely a continuation of ongoing activities and tasks. Approval for an extension hinges on the intern or trainee engaging in fresh, more demanding responsibilities within their current training scope or embarking on a new project.This new position must build upon the practical skills the intern/trainee has learned in his/her present position.

For additional information, please contact us.

Travel Validation

If you plan to travel abroad while holding a J-1 Visa in the United States and seek re-entry after visiting another country, it’s essential to have the Responsible Officer or Alternate Responsible Officer at the Spain-U.S. Chamber of Commerce confirm your ongoing good standing by endorsing the ‘Travel Validation by Responsible Officer’ section of Form DS-2019.

To initiate this process, the Exchange Visitor should send us the DS-2019 Form and an email detailing the travel plans to the Chamber at least three weeks before the trip. Omission of any required information will cause delays in processing your travel validation.

Two-Year Home-Country Physical Presence Requirement

Some exchange visitors with J-1 visas are subject to a two-year home-country physical presence requirement. This means you must return to your home country for at least two years after completing your exchange visitor program. This requirement is mandated by U.S. law under Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. If you are unable to fulfill this requirement, you must apply for a waiver. The Department of Homeland Security must approve your waiver before you can change your status in the United States or receive certain types of visas.

The two-year home-country physical presence requirement often applies to program participants who receive funding from a U.S. Government agency or their own government, although there are other situations where this requirement may also apply.

The Spain-U.S. Chamber of Commerce has no influence over this decision.

Contact Information
Contact Information
Ciara Gaughan Professional Exchange Program Specialist +1 (646)  868  0204 cgaughan@spainuscc.org
J-1 Visa Process

To begin the process, the Chamber must receive the following documents duly completed and signed. Once we have all correct documents from the candidate and the host company, the application will be considered complete and we will begin processing your application for a DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility.

Download documents
Host Company Documents


Applicant Documents


Health Insurance Requirements


Emergency Information


Extension Documents


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