J-1 Intern Visa Program

An internship abroad – Where to Begin!?

The experience of interning and living in the U.S. is a life changing opportunity! Austrian students and recent graduates are provided with the opportunity to pursue internships anywhere in the U.S. on the J-1 Intern Visa through the support of  IAESTE Austria.

To qualify for the J-1 Visa:

  • You must be a full-time student at, or have received a degree in the last 12 months from, a ministerially recognized, post-secondary academic institution
  • You need to find an internship offer at a qualifying host company

A detailed description of the procedure can be found below.

For further information please contact us: office@iaeste.at

Step 1: Finding a suitable internship


  • The internship offers full-time, hands-on training in a field related to your academic studies 
  • Continuous on-site supervision & opportunities to learn about American culture are provided
  • Duration of 3 weeks to 12 months

With some thoughtfulness and persistence updating your resume, writing cover letters and networking, finding an internship is possible! Rely on resources easily accessible to you to get started:

  • Reach out to your university Career Center
  • Research companies online that interest you and review their ‘Career’ & ‘Job Opportunity’ pages
  • Review your network on Social Media and LinkedIn to reach out about potential opportunities – summarizing your qualifications and what you are looking for
  • Check-out U.S. job boards on-line daily – specifically Internship positions

A couple of things to keep in mind:

  1. Most companies recruit interns 4 months to 1 year in advance of a position start date
  2. Some companies will state that they do not sponsor visas, therefore they only accept American applicants. Don’t worry, yet! Try contacting the company and informing them that you do not expect them to sponsor you, as you have a third-party J-1 visa sponsor.

Step 2: Sponsorship

Once you found an internship you need to meet the legal requirements (amongst them a valid Visa like the J-1 Visa).

Most U.S. employers do not sponsor J-1 Visas, so you will need a J-1 Visa Sponsor. These are often third parties authorized by the U.S. Department of State to administer J-1 exchange programs. Your host employer may use a preferred sponsor, or you can select your own.

IAESTE Austria supports you during this process. Through our cooperating partner in the US IAESTE can act as your sponsor.

You will be required to complete a basic application to ensure that you and your internship meet federal regulation. If possible, start this process 2-3 months in advance of your internship.

Be prepared to submit:

  • Proof of your current university enrollment status or degree
  • Proof of English fluency
  • A copy of a valid Passport

You may be asked for additional information such as your resume, proof of financial stability, copies of past visas, etc. 

In addition to working with you, our cooperating partner will communicate with your host employer to gather information about their business and the internship program activities. Based on this information, and your application, your documents will be evaluated for visa eligibility.

Upon sponsorship approval, you will receive two Federal documents:

  • The DS-7002 Training/Internship Placement Plan 
  • The DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibly  

Step 3: Obtaining your Visa 

Visa issuance is determined by a U.S. Consular official. With your DS-2019 and DS-7002 in hand, along with proof of I-901 SEVIS Fee payment (consult your sponsor), you will book an appointment online (Form DS-160) at your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate. 

If you bring your sponsorship documents and passport, Visa appointments are generally quick and easy! However, the appointment and visa issuance wait time varies by location and time of year – ranging from 2 days to 6 weeks – so plan accordingly!

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