Inviting a J-1 Student-Intern

The J-1 Student Intern program is designed for international students to complete work‐based learning objectives lasting a maximum of 12 months. The U.S. internship must fulfill the educational objectives of the student's degree program at their home institution abroad. The internship must be full‐time and consist of a minimum of 32 hours per week. Wages or other compensation is optional. A student-intern program must be completed before the graduation date at the home institution.

Get Started

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Get Started

Determine Eligibility

Begin to determine eligibility three months prior to the student-intern’s expected start date.

Faculty mentors please review the UMN Faculty Mentor Responsibilities webpage.

The Student Must:

  • Be currently enrolled, in good academic standing, and pursuing a degree at an accredited post-secondary academic institution outside the United States.
  • Return to the academic program outside the U.S. to fulfill and obtain a degree after completion of the internship program.
  • Have sufficient finances for themselves and any dependents for the entire stay in the U.S., including housing, living expenses, and insurance.
  • Have sufficient English language skills to function on a day‐to‐day basis in the internship.
  • Be primarily in the U.S. for the internship program rather than to engage in employment or provide services to an employer.
  • Not have participated in a student internship program for more than 12 months for each degree/major.

The Internship Must:

  • Be supervised by a UMN faculty or professional staff member
  • Take place on UMN premises with no more than 40% remote work
  • Be a minimum of 32 hours/week; no more than 20% clerical work.
  • Assist the intern in achieving the objectives of their academic program.
  • Consist of work‐based learning, rather than ordinary employment or unskilled labor.
  • Expose the intern to American techniques, methodologies, and technology, expand upon the intern's existing knowledge and skills, and not duplicate the intern's prior experience.
  • Not involve in any way a staffing/employment agency.
  • Not be a position that involves child care, elder care, aviation, clinical work or work that provides patient care such as therapy, medicine, psychological counseling, nursing, dentistry, or social work.

If your department is ready to begin a J-1 Student Intern Application request please do so through MyISSS (see below).

Step 1: UMN Department Submits the J-1 Student-Intern Eligibility Screening on MyISSS

At least two months prior to the student intern’s expected start date, the UMN host department can submit the eligibility screening e-form in MyISSS.

Departments will need the following information to complete this screening:

  • Program Description (Student-Intern Activities and Objectives)
  • Location(s) of Internship Activities
  • Supervisor Information
  • Prospective Student-Intern’s Name and Email

Step 2: Upon ISSS confirmation of eligibility, UMN Department writes letter of invitation

The hosting department must provide the prospective J-1 student-intern with an invitation or offer letter. View the guidelines for writing a letter here.

Step 3: UMN Department completes the Remaining J-1 Student Intern Application on MyISSS

Choose a start date at least two months out to allow for U.S. consulate visa processing, which ISSS cannot expedite. 

Departments will be required to provide a budget chart string for the student intern application fee of $550.

Step 4: Final Preparation of Visa Documentation

ISSS will prepare a series of two forms: First, the DS-7002, also called the Training/Internship Placement Plan, which must be signed by ISSS, the supervisor, and the student-intern. Then, ISSS completes the DS-2019 visa document, which is needed for the J visa application process. These documents will be shared with the host department via email as digitally signed pdf documents.


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Student-Intern Applies for J-1 Visa Abroad

The Student-Intern receives Forms DS-2019 and DS-7002 by email from their host department. Student-Intern pays the SEVIS Fee and applies to the U.S. Consulate/Embassy in their home country to apply for the J-1 entry visa.

The US Consulate may advise the Student-Intern to provide the following:

  • DS-2019
  • DS-7002 (must have all three signatures)
  • Passport
  • UMN Department Letter of Invitation and (optional) Funding
  • Proof of other Funding (e.g. bank statement)
  • Receipt of payment of SEVIS Fee (SEVIS I-901 Fee)

Please note: Consular wait times can range anywhere between 1 day to 3 months or more.

Travel to the U.S.

The Student-Intern receives a J-1 entry visa in their passport and travels to the U.S. At the U.S. border or port of entry, the Student-Intern may be asked to show the customs officer:

  • Passport with J-1 visa
  • DS-2019
  • DS-7002
  • Proof of funding/support
  • Letter of invitation / offer letter from UMN hosting department


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Complete MyISSS Check-In

Immigration regulations require Student-Interns to report to ISSS within 25 days of the start date shown on their DS-2019 form to complete their mandatory Student-Intern Check-In in MyISSS.

Note: If a Student-Intern is delayed and cannot meet the reporting requirement, the UMN hosting department should request new DS-2019 dates by submitting a DS-2019 Amendment through MyISSS. ISSS also recommends that student-interns attend an orientation to learn about J-1 visa requirements, ISSS services, campus resources, and more.

Purchase Health Insurance

All Student-Interns are required to have University of Minnesota health insurance coverage for the duration of their internship. They must contact Office of Student Health Benefits to purchase the mandatory insurance for themselves and their eligible J-2 dependents. Learn more about health insurance for J-2 dependents. Do not plan to purchase other coverage.

Apply for a Social Security Number

If the Student-Intern will be paid by the UMN, they should apply for a Social Security Number after their ISSS Student-Intern Check-In.

Last updated: July 1, 2024