What to Do – and What to Avoid – as an Exchange Visitor in the United States

Filed in J-1 Regulation Explainers by on July 30, 2018 0 Comments

j1-journeys-dos-and-dontsWhether you’re participating in the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program as a trainee or intern, you’re required to follow a certain set of regulations that the U.S. Department of State has issued.

The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program was designed to give foreign students and recent graduates like yourself exposure to U.S. culture and hands-on training in a chosen academic or occupational field. But to get the full experience of the program, all exchange visitors must be aware of what they need to do—as well as what to avoid—during their time in the United States.

Here is a list of things you are required to do as an exchange visitor, as well as what to avoid throughout your program:

Participants are required to:

  • Report any changes in your DS-7002 Training/Internship Placement plan.
  • Report any changes about shifting host company supervisors.
  • Work only in on-the-job training that is described in your Trainee/Intern Placement Plan.
  • Not participate in work at any site outside of the site(s) described in your Trainee/Intern Placement Plan.
  • Request travel authorization from your sponsor organization for international travel two weeks prior to your travel date.
  • Report any threats to your health, safety, and welfare to your sponsor organization.
  • Contact your sponsor organization immediately should any problems arise during your stay.
  • Upload your I-94, passport with visa stamp, copy of insurance card, and CBP signed DS-2019 after arriving in the United States.

Participants must avoid:

  • Unskilled or casual labor positions.
  • Positions that require or involve child care or elder care; or in clinical or any other kind of work that involves patient care or patient contact.
  • Positions, occupations, or businesses that could bring the Exchange Visitor Program or the Department into notoriety or disrepute.
  • Positions that require more than 20 percent of clerical or office support.

For a complete list, visit the Department of State for intern requirements and trainee requirements.

These regulations are in place so you can enjoy your time in the United States to the fullest. They also ensure that you remain in good-standing with the exchange program. It’s important to remain aware of your obligations as an exchange visitor, as well as what to avoid, in order to take all you’ve learned back to your home country.