J-1 Exchange Programs provide an opportunity to study, intern or train in the United States and develop lasting links with Americans. The duration of educational and cultural exchange programs under the J-1 category ranges from a few weeks to several years.

General SEVP-certified Exchange Visitor programs include:

  • Secondary student 
  • College/university student
  • Intern
  • Trainee 
  • The Student Work and Travel Pilot Program is a new addition to the J visa category and has been designed specifically for post-secondary students and recent graduates of certain designated countries (including Australia). This is a reciprocal exchange initiative which allows Australian participants to combine work and travel in the US for up to 12 months. Participants typically work in non-skilled service positions at resorts, hotels, restaurants and amusement parks.
  • The Summer Work and Travel Program is also available to Australian students (but not exclusively). Here, program participants are invited to work and travel the US over their Summer vacation, returning home in time for the academic school year to begin. Again, participants typically work in non-skilled service positions at resorts, hotels, restaurants and amusement parks. 
  • Au Pair 
  • Camp Counselor

All Exchange Visitor visa applicants must obtain sponsorship from an exchange visitor program approved by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. For more information on designated sponsors and J-1 programs, visit  the DOS website. Only once you have obtained approval from a designated US program sponsor by being issued a Form DS-2019, can you then apply for a J-1 visa.

Cammisa Markel has established working relationships with designated sponsors and can help you to navigate the process of obtaining a J-1 Trainee or Intern visa, including obtaining relevant documentation and developing a training program. For more information, contact Cammisa Markel. 

NOTE: Once you arrive in the US and commence an exchange program, it is important to register with the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVIS)—this is how the US authorities keep track of your exchange. Ask your sponsor for information on timely SEVIS registration or visit the SEVIS website

This information is provided as a guide only. Although every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is correct at the time of writing, please consult the relevant authorities to verify the accuracy of the information provided and contact a qualified immigration attorney for legal advice about your specific situation.


Back to US Immigration homepage