UMD: A Globally Connected University

J-1 Trainee Eligibility

A training program means a structured and guided work-based learning program set forth in an individualized Trainee/Internship Placement Plan (T/IPP), Form DS-7002, that enhances both a trainee's understanding of American culture and society and his/her skills in his/her occupational field through exposure to American techniques, methodologies, and expertise. Training programs are offered to mid-level professionals who have completed a degree and have more than one year of experience in their field.

The University of Maryland is designated to offer training programs in the following fields:

Management and Business
Commerce and Finance
Science and Engineering
Architecture
Mathematics
Industrial Occupations

International visitors are eligible for the J-1 trainee category if he/she meets the following criteria:

Length of Program

The minimum length of the program is 3 weeks and the maximum length is 12 months. The training programs must be full-time with a minimum of 32 hours a week.

Repeat Participation

Trainees are eligible for additional training programs after a period of at least two years residency outside the US following the initial training program.

Use of Third Parties

U.S. Department of State regulations require sponsors to screen, vet, and enter into written agreements with third parties who assist them in recruiting, selecting, screening, orienting, placing, training, or evaluating foreign nationals who participate in training programs. Please contact ISSS before using any third parties, including third parties operating outside the U.S., for instructions on how to properly screen and vet them.

Degree Criteria

Departments must verify that a trainee:

  • Has either a degree or professional certificate from a foreign post-secondary academic institution and at least one year of prior related work experience in his/her occupational field acquired outside the U.S., or
  • Five years of work experience outside the U.S. in his/her occupational field, and
  • And enters the U.S. to participate in a structured and guided work-based training program in his/her specific occupational field.

Degree and work experience must be verified by:

  • A copy of the participant's degree certificate
  • CV or resume

English Language

The department must verify that trainees have English language skills sufficient to function on a day-to-day basis in their training environment.

English language proficiency must be verified by one of the following:

  • English language test - TOEFL with a minimum score of 80
  • English language test - IELTS with a minimum score of 5.5
  • English Proficiency Interview with hosting department

Area of Study

The programs are required to be in one of the designated academic areas and the trainee's research must be related to his/her occupational field.

Financial Support

Trainees must be able to show financial support of $1,000 per month. Personal finances can be documented with a bank letter that is signed by a bank official on bank stationery, or with a recent bank statement.