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J-1 Student Interns

The United States Department of State provides the University of Maryland the ability to sponsor J-1 Student Internship programs. The program is authorized under the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 (Fulbright-Hayes Act).

As a J-1 Student Intern, you will gain practical experience in your academic field. The structured learning program gives you access to American techniques, methodologies and expertise. It also enhances your knowledge of American culture and society.

The minimum length of an intern program is three weeks; the maximum length is 12 months per degree/major. The program does not permit extensions beyond the 12 months. 

Your U.S. internship program must fulfill the educational objectives of your degree. 

  • You must be able to obtain a signed Home Institution Certification that:
    • Demonstrates you are currently seeking a degree at an institution outside of the U.S.
    • Certifies that your internship will fulfill an educational requirement of your degree.

You must be able to work at least 32 hours per week on your program and not be seeking employment.

Upon completion of your internship, you will return to your home institution at least 30 days before you complete your degree. You will not be eligible for employment at the university following your internship. If you want to do another internship at UMD, you must first complete the objectives of your degree program at your home institution.

To seek an internship, you will need to be able to provide:

To pursue an internship, contact the UMD professor, scientist or academic department where you want to work.

To apply, you will need to submit the following documents to the department contact:

  • Signed Home Institution Certification
  • Copy of your transcript
  • Your Resume or CV
  • A statement of purpose or letter of intent
  • Letters of recommendation (if required by host department)

The department contact may ask you to submit additional documentation as part of your application and to start the immigration process, such as:

  • Biographical data and education history
  • Proof of funding, if not provided by the University of Maryland
  • Proof of English language skill

The hosting Professor or Scientist will review your application and supporting documentation.

If the hosting Professor or Scientist offers you an internship, the Professor/Scientist will prepare a Training/Internship Placement Plan. The plan will be sent to you for review and signature. 

The department contact will start your J-1 Student Intern request in iTerp. The iTerp system will send you an email to notify you to log into the system to apply for your DS-2019 in order to apply for your J-1 visa.

To complete the DS-2019 checklist, you will need to scan and upload to iTerp:

  • Passport photo page
  • Proof of financial support
  • Signed Home Institution Certification
    • You will need to provide the contact information for your advisor at your home institution who will confirm the certification
  • Statement of purpose/ Letter of Intent
  • Evidence of Health insurance requirement
  • J-1 student intern attestation

Once you complete and submit your checklist, iTerp will notify our office. We will review the application packet to ensure it is complete. If it is, we will issue the J-1 DS-2019, sign the Training/Internship Placement Plan, and prepare a pre-arrival packet. ISSS will forward the packet to your department contact. The department will send the packet to you overseas. 

To apply for the J-1 visa, you must pay the U.S. Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee. You will need the information listed on your DS-2019 Form to complete payment.

We recommend you pay the fee at least three business days before your scheduled visa interview as you will need to present the receipt to the consular officer. You can pay with a credit card or by Western Union Quick Pay using Form I-901. Be sure to print the electronic receipt immediately upon payment.

J-1 Exchange Visitors pay $220. The fee is non-refundable, even if your visa application is denied.

Spouses and dependent children are not required to pay the fee.

How to apply for your visa and schedule your interview

When you arrive to the United States, you will go through customs and obtain your I-94 electronic record. 

The US Department of State requires that all J-1 visitors check in with their sponsors within 30 days of your program start date. 

You must check in with your Department, activate your J-1 program in SEVIS and attend mandatory orientation. 

The J-1 Student Internship program requires the department contact and student complete several evaluations to ensure a quality training program for the student.

If your program is longer than six months, your internship supervisor will complete a mid point evaluation (PDF) and review it with you.

When you finish your internship, you will complete the final evaluation in iTerp. If your program is 6 months or less, you will only complete the final evaluation in iTerp.

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