Site Visits for J-1 Interns and Trainees

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has alerted J-1 exchange visitor sponsors of the commencement of site visits. This site visit compliance check applies only to the J-1 intern and trainee categories. This is part of an ongoing effort to ensure that this valuable program is used properly.

Background on J-1 Program

The J-1 exchange visitor program is administered by the DOS, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and is deeply rooted in the value of cross-cultural exchange. The program encompasses 14 separate categories of exchange visitors, from camp counselors and au pairs to professors and physicians. The site visits involve only the intern and trainee categories. More information on the J-1 program is available in the MurthyDotCom InfoArticle, Overview of the J-1 Visa Process.

DOS to Monitor Compliance with J-1 Program Requirements

The DOS is using these site visits to monitor compliance with the J-1 requirements. During site visits, the objective of the DOS is to ensure that the program is being conducted in a manner that substantially parallels the proposed activities as stated on the form DS-7002, which must be submitted in order for the J-1 program to be approved. DOS officials may interview all parties involved in the program, as part of the site visit, including the sponsoring host employer or company and the J-1 visitor/s.

Parties Should Understand and Explain Activities

All relevant parties, including the foreign national intern / trainee, should be prepared to explain the activities being undertaken during the program. This includes both substantive learning and the cultural exchange aspects of the program. It may be best to review the past activities, so that memories are refreshed. Naturally, it is critical that all responses to government officials be accurate and truthful.


J-1 trainee / intern hosts may wish to review their respective programs to make sure that they are carrying out all requirements and acting consistently with their stated internship / training plans. Supervisors and others involved with the J-1 visitor/s should be aware of the site visit component of this program. Attorneys at the Murthy Law Firm are available to provide guidance regarding J-1 programs and site visits.


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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.