Any college student may apply for a J-1 visa for professional practice  (internship or specialization). Only the following fields apply: Public Administration, Agriculture, Fishing and Forestry, Architecture, Art and Culture, Libraries, Science, Social Sciences, Commerce, Communications and Journalism, Construction, Law, Education, Finance, Industry, Engineering, Mathematics, Business, Health and Social Services.


  1. First, find a sponsor.

Before applying for a visa at an American consulate, you have to find a sponsor. That is a company where you can do your internship. Not all companies are allowed to sponsor foreigners to gain work experience, it is important to do some research in advance.

  1. Then, apply for the J-1 Visa (Exchange).

Only when you have the DS-2019 in your hands, you can apply for a visa at the consulate or embassy that corresponds to you, according to your place of residence.

This is a nonimmigrant visa. Remember that in order for your visa to be approved, having a sponsor is not enough. In addition, the consular officer who processed your case must be convinced that you have no intention of staying in the U.S., and that you have strong family and economic ties in your country of origin.

As with the rest of visas, your personal record must be clean, there must be nothing that makes you ineligible or inadmissible to enter the United States, i.e. having committed certain crimes, having been in the country illegally before or not having enough resources.

To Keep in Mind

If you’ve already finished your university studies, you have to start the internship within the twelve months that follow your graduation day.

Once the visa expires, you are required to leave the United States for a period of two years in most cases.

Beltran Brito LLP has the right experience to help you apply for a work visa or Green Card. Please, contact us for more information.