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Have questions about the Intern USA program? We have answers!

Most of the common questions we get regarding the program are answered below. Browse through the list of the questions in the categories below. Of course, if your question hasn't been answered, don't hesitate to contact your nearest office.

All CCUSA's Interns can only be sponsored in the following occupational categories:
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Information Media and Communications
  • Management, Business, Commerce and Finance
  • The Sciences, Engineering, Architecture, Mathematics and Industrial Occupations

We cannot sponsor interns in any other categories and cannot accept any application that does not clearly fit into one of these categories. Your education and work experience should support the internship being offered as well as your long-term career goals. Also, you must be currently enrolled in and pursuing studies in a foreign degree or certificate-granting post-secondary academic institution, outside the US, and taking an approved gap year off (University documentation required); OR
Have graduated from such an institution no more than 12 months prior to their internship program start date (copy of a University degree or certificate is required).

An internship program will clearly involve learning and training that is structured into phases. For a 12-month internship, there should be at least three phases of training. This must be ongoing and closely supervised as well as demonstrating the achievement of specific goals that will be evaluated periodically by CCUSA. This program is NOT a work program. The host company offering you an internship must clearly define the methods of training.
The CCUSA Intern USA program is for a maximum of 12 months but all this time must be fully justified as necessary to achieving the goals set out in your host company’s proposed internship plan. CCUSA reserves the right to limit the internship to a suitable amount of time to match the goals outlined. Conversely, the program should be no less than 3 months.
All prospective interns must be from a country that has a CCUSA office or representative. When applying for the independent self-placement option, you should give us the name, address and all contact information about your host company with your application. Our Company Headquarters in the USA will contact your employer and forward the necessary application forms and training program guidelines.
Typically, we recommend ALL participants return to their home country and apply for the Intern USA program. For participants from a commonwealth country, you may choose to go to Canada to apply (or another commonwealth country), although CCUSA recommends that it is always best to return to your home country to apply for this visa.
There are several resources you can check out to find an internship in the USA. Some of them are listed below:



  • Peterson's Internships
  • The Best 106 Internships by Mark Oldham
  • The Wet Feet Insider Guide to Getting Your Ideal Internship
For the Independent Self-Placement or the Direct Placement option, a minimum of 8 weeks (although sometimes less) should be allowed from the time a COMPLETED application is submitted to the proposed start date of the internship. However, please note that there can be delays on the Host Company side while they are developing an internship plan that meets the necessary requirements. A complete application consists of the following:
Intern documents:
  • Intern application (completed online)
  • Intern USA program agreement (signed)
  • 2 PTUSA references - cannot be from the host company offering the internship
  • CV or Resume
  • Documentation that you are currently enrolled in and pursuing studies in a foreign degree or certificate-granting post-secondary academic institution, outside the US, and taking an approved gap year off OR proof that you have graduated from such an institution no more than 12 months prior to their internship program start date (copy of a University degree or certificate is required).
  • Once accepted and the internship is approved, you will be required to sign the DS 7002 Form (Internship Plan) when it is completed and approved.
  • Payment of program fees and insurance (if the host company is not paying the fees)

Host Company documents:

  • Host Company application
  • Signed Letter of Agreement from host organization
  • Internship Agreement
  • Copy of Business License or something the company renews each year
  • Proof of Workmen’s Compensation Insurance
  • Approved Internship Plan (DS 7002) signed by intern, host company and CCUSA
All fees for this program are clearly outlined in the Intern USA Program Agreement. Participants pay a US$50 fee to register for the program. The program fee is due at the time you submit your application (if the host company has not agreed to pay these fees). Upon acceptance to the program, the insurance payment is due (mandatory if the host company has agreed not to pay these fees). You will be required to prepay insurance for the number of months you will be on the training program. In addition, there is a SEVIS fee (exchange visitor tracking system) and the US Embassy will charge a fee to process your visa. Your local CCUSA office can confirm this cost. All travel costs are the responsibility of the intern. Fees cover the application process, guidance during the development and approval of the internship plan, assistance with visa processing including issuing your visa form (DS2019), insurance, pre-departure support as well as support while in the USA, and materials (handbook, social security sponsorship letter, evaluations and certificate of completion).
The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee for the J1 Intern USA Visa is a separate fee that the US Government imposes on cultural exchange agencies for each J1 sponsorship form to be processed. This is not part of your Intern USA application fee and must be paid by the intern after obtaining their DS 2019 Form and prior to their US Embassy interview (you are required to bring receipt of payment with you to your interview). Directions on how to do this will be provided at the appropriate time. This fee is currently US$180.
You will need to have 2 Intern USA reference questionnaires filled out using the forms provided. These references should be from a person who has known you in a professional capacity (i.e. past employer, teacher).
  • Form DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility) issued by your program sponsor
  • For the J-1 Intern Visa, the completed DS-7002 Form (Internship Plan) signed by you, your host company, and CCUSA
  • Other supporting documents – check the specific embassy or consulate website
  • Passport valid for travel to the United States
  • Completed Online Form DS-160, nonimmigrant visa application
  • Fee receipt showing payment of the US$140 visa application fee
  • 2×2 photograph, meeting format requirements

For more information about J visas, please see the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ exchange visitor visa website. For detailed information about how to make a visa interview appointment at an embassy or consulate, how to pay the application processing fee and more, go to the visa information on the U.S. embassy or consulate website where you will apply for your visa.

A SEVIS-generated Form DS-2019 is required when applying for the J-1 Visa. The DS-2019 is a controlled form provided to you by your program sponsor. It documents your acceptance to an exchange program sponsored by a State Department designated Exchange Visitor Program sponsor.
When you agree to participate in an Exchange Visitor Program you will be subject to the two-year home-country foreign residency requirement if your exchange program is funded by either your government or the U.S. government, involves specialized knowledge or skills deemed necessary by your home country or you received graduate medical training. If this requirement applies, you must return to your home country for a cumulative total of two years at the end of your exchange visitor program. You are not prohibited from traveling to the United States but may not benefit from certain employment-based or family-based visas until the foreign residency requirement is satisfied.
Yes, as an exchange visitor on this visa you are required to pay the necessary federal and state taxes.  These should be deducted from your stipend.  You will also need to file the necessary federal and state tax returns each year for the previous year.  You are typically exempt from other taxes such as social security and Medicare as you are not entitled to those benefits.  For more information you can contact tax@ccusa.com
You may not arrive more than 30 days before the program start date shown on your DS-2019. Upon completion of your exchange program, you have a grace period of 30 days to depart the United States.
If you have a multiple entry visa, you can travel outside the U.S., however, prior to your departure, you must send your DS 2019 Form to the CCUSA Headquarters to sign your form and validate your travel plans, verifying that you are still in good standing with the program. This must be done each time you plan on travelling outside the U.S.
No, you can only intern in the capacity of your approved internship plan. Your visa is linked to the internship plan that was approved and to the Host Company that is offering the approved internship program. You cannot work or intern anywhere else in the U.S. while you are on this program.
Typically, your visa is tied to the internship that was originally approved by CCUSA and the consulate. If you are let go or leave voluntarily, you are typically not allowed to pursue an internship plan anywhere else and must notify CCUSA immediately to confirm your arrangements to leave the country. However, occasionally there are exceptions to this rule. If things are not going well on your internship, or the internship plan is not being followed, or the host company decides to let you go, or the host company is closing their business for whatever reason, please contact CCUSA immediately to discuss your options.
If your visa has expired and you do not plan to travel outside of the U.S., you do not need to renew the visa. Please be aware that if you travel outside of the United States during your current exchange visitor program and after your J-1 visa has expired, you must apply for a new J-1 visa in your home country in order to re-enter the United States to continue your program. Your sponsor is responsible for assisting and advising you on all matters relating to your J-1 program, including authorizing travel outside of the U.S. and ensuring that your J-1 non-immigrant documents are valid at all times.
If your sponsor terminates your participation in their exchange program for just cause, the sponsor will enter this information into SEVIS, and you will be expected to depart the United States immediately. You will not be entitled to the post-completion 30-day period because you did not successfully complete your program.
If they meet the eligibility requirements, Interns are eligible for additional training programs after a period of at least two years residency outside the United States following their initial training plan. This is different than the 212e ruling and is in fact, part of the regulations. You are not allowed to do back to back internships. The Exchange Visitor Program fosters global understanding through educational and cultural exchanges. All exchange visitors are expected to return to their home country upon completion of their program in order to share their exchange experiences. If you intend to pursue a 2nd J-1 exchange program (in a different category and with a different J-1 sponsor), you will need to apply for a new J-1 visa for your new exchange program and new J-1 sponsor, in order to reenter the U.S. for the 2nd program.
Yes, the regulations are set forth at Code of Federal Regulations, Title 22: Foreign Relations, Part 62.
The State Department has activated a helpline to ensure the health and safety of its exchange participants. Among other prohibitions, no sponsor may threaten program termination, or otherwise retaliate against a participant solely because he or she has instituted a complaint or taken action to gain assistance from an outside entity regarding a complaint. Participants can contact the State Department at any time via the hotline 1-866-283-9090 or at jvisas@state.gov.