UMD: A Globally Connected University

J-1 Trainee Eligibility

J-1 Trainee Eligibility

The J-1 Trainee category at UMD is exclusive to the Office of China Affairs.
For questions about J-1 category eligibility, please contact the ISSS Faculty & Scholar Team.

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
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 Tests
    • English language test - TOEFL with a minimum score of 80
    • English language test - IELTS with a minimum score of 5.5
    • TOEIC Listening and Reading Test with a minimum score of 400 on listening and 400 on reading
  • English Proficiency Interview can be conducted by one of the following:
  • Exceptions for citizens of English Speaking Countries
  • Scholars who have received a degree from a regionally accredited institution in the U.S. (with the exception of Puerto Rico) or a nationally recognized university in one of the countries on the list of English Speaking Countries do not need to submit TOEFL, IELTS or PTE scores.  This exemption also applies to scholars who are currently studying for a degree at an institution in the U.S. or one of the countries on the list of English Speaking Countries, but will receive their degree before beginning their appointment at the University of Maryland.

    We do not accept foreign-based evaluation tools as proof of English proficiency, for we are unable to determine if the level of proficiency is equivalent to the minimums of the accepted evaluations listed above. It is important that all J-1 Exchange Visitors meet the same standards of English proficiency so they can successfully participate in their program, function in the U.S. on a daily basis, follow lab safety rules, and handle any emergency that may arise.

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 $2036 per month.