Graduate Internship USA

Up to 12 months at a US Company

J1 Visa Programme

Specifically designed for those applicants who have recently finished university, Graduate Internship USA allows you to spend up to 12 months* in a US company as an intern. Each year, thousands of international students go to the US for an Internship - getting invaluable international experience, and a year living in one of the most diverse and exciting countries in the world! If you want to go to the USA it will save you (and us) lots of time if you read as much as you can below about the J1 internship Programme before you apply, so you have an understanding of the entire process.

*You can apply to arrive up to 30 days before your internship starts and remain in the US for up to 30 days after it ends. Please see you application form for details

To qualify for Graduate Internship USA:

  • You must be over 18
  • Your intended internship in the USA must start within 12 months of finishing full time study at university level or equivalent at a UK institution (this is based on the end date of your studies OR on the date of your certificate - not the date of your graduation ceremony). Alternatively if you are a UK national who is studying/ has studied at university abroad you must have a permanent UK address
  • Your Internship must be in a field directly related to your field of studies

What's Included?

  • Legal Sponsorship
    The Legal Sponsorship and documentation required to apply for the J1 visa (this is known as the DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility)
  • Insurance
    Comprehensive medical and liability insurance* for the duration of your time in the USA - for full details on this please see
    *Dental cover limited - please check your policy for details
  • 24/7 emergency support
    Our teams are available for you 24 hours a day if you have an emergency. You can call them toll free from any phone in the USA
  • Participant information and Extras
    Every participant gets a comprehensive handbook - as well as access to discounts and extras.
  • Online Orientation
    Every participant must complete an online orientation prior to their departure for the USA - this is full of useful an important information about the J1 programme, living in the USA and staying safe.
  • SEVIS Fees
    SEVIS stands for Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. It's included in your fees!
    Once your application has been approved, we send you a SEVIS receipt along with your other documentation - you then take this to the embassy interview with you!
  • FREE International Sim card for all participants (worth up to $30).
    Easy access to discounted calls and cheap data bundles

Still in University?

More than 12 months out of uni?

Common Questions

  • How long does the process take?

    We recommend allowing at least 6 weeks for your application to be processed - including the time it takes to get a face to face interview at the embassy (and to get your passport and visa returned to you!).
    These times vary though - in the busy months approaching summer the embassy can get extremely busy so wait times get much longer!
    bear this in mind when submitting an application..
    There is an expedited option for speedy processing in the USA - please contact us for details on this.

  • I don't have a DS-7002 - can I apply without it?

    In order for us to start the process for you we need both parts of your application completed. You can get started on the DS-7002 on this page.
    See below

  • My Passport will expire soon - can I still apply?

    Your passport needs to be valid for at least 6 months AFTER the date you plan on returning from the USA.
    You can start the process with your current passport but we won't be able to approve the application or issue you with your legal documentation until we have received a copy of your new one.

  • What if my Internship is UNPAID?

    You still need to apply for the J1 Visa. You'll also need to show proof of access to funds of at least $1000/month for the duration of your time in the USA.
    This can be either a bank statement OR a letter from a parent or guardian.
    There's instructions on this on the application.

  • What is the DS-2019

    The DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility is the document your legal sponsor is authorised to give you once you have been approved for the programme. You need this in order to book your interview at the embassy. It shows you have been approved to apply for a J1 Visa.

How to Apply

  1. Secure your internship with a US Host Company (employer)
  2. Download your participant application (see below)
  3. Complete the form on this page (see below) to start the DS-7002 Training Plan (you can do this at the same time as completing your own part of the application)
  4. Once we have a completed online DS-7002 AND your completed Participant Application (including all payment) we will be able to review your application and start the process for you (see Sending your Application to Us)
  5. Once your application is approved and you have received your legal documentation you will then be able to book and attend your face to face interview at the US Embassy for your J1 Visa


There are TWO parts to your application.

Please note we need both completed before we can start the process for you.
1: Please fill out the form to start the online DS-7002 (please also take a look at the video as this shows you the process)
2: Please download YOUR part of the application - you can work on this while the DS-7002 is being completed by your Host Company.

Only once we have both parts (the completed online DS-7002 AND your own completed application) can we review your application and move ahead.


The US Department of State now requires all DS-7002 Training Plans to be completed online.
This replaces the PDF version previously accepted.

Please complete the form on this page (or we will do this for you when you submit your part of the application).
Once this has been done and checked by our team, an automated email will be sent to you with a link you can send to your US supervisor to complete the DS-7002.

Please make sure you check your emails regularly as once this has been completed by your supervisor you will be asked to "review and sign off" on the form online.
ONLY once this stage has been completed will we be able to start the process for you.

YOUR part of the Application

  • Complete this application
  • Remember to include a copy of your Passport ID page - and either a copy of your Graduation Certificate - or a letter from your university on headed paper confirming your award.
  • Send to IST Plus using one of the methods below

This will open a new page in your Browser - you can save the pdf from there. Alternatively you can (on a PC) right click and "Save Target As", or (on a Mac) ctrl+click "Save Link As"


In order to enter the USA on a J1 Visa Programme you must have a passport that is valid for AT LEAST 6 months AFTER the end date of your internship or traineeship.
Please make sure your passport meets these requirements. If not your application will be subject to delays as your legal paperwork (the DS-2019) can NOT be issued without a passport that meets these criteria

DS-7002 Training Plan

Fill out my online form.

If you have a criminal record or previous arrest/ conviction you will need to provide information relating to this in addition to your application.
Please note that we will not accept any application from you if your previous conviction relates to class A drugs, Sexual offences or crimes relating to children.
If your application is approved by us you will still need to declare any previous convictions when booking your interview at the US Embassy.
This may result in a special interview process for you and may cause delays in your visa process.


Sending Your Application to Us

Via Post

You can send your application via post to:
IST Plus

Via Email

You can email your completed application to
Please make sure it is a singe PDF file no larger than 5mb or it may be rejected

Upload via our website

You can also upload your Participant application direct to our team using the Upload function on this page (remember we still need the completed online DS-7002 to move ahead!)

Fill out my online form.

Putting your application together as a SINGLE PDF

This can be confusing if you don't have expensive software - but there's a great FREE service we use called SMALLPDF.
It allows you to change jpegs into pdf and also to put together multiple PDFs into one single file!
It ALSO lets you make the file size smaller if it's too large!
We recommend using this if you're having problems!


Remember - the fees cover the time you are actually IN the USA- not just the time you spend at your Internship.

For example, if you are have a 12 month internship, but plan to fly out the week before AND stay the max 30 days after, this will mean a 14 month programme.

Please note fees include all sponsorship, legal documentation, 24/7 support in the US, medical and liability insurance for the duration of your time in the USA - as well as the US Government SEVIS fee. The fees do not include the visa interview fee (payable direct to the embassy when you book your face to face interview (currently $160 US dollars - see US Embassy Interviews).
***Should your US Host Company require a site visit there will be an additional charge of £200 for this - see "Host Company Site Visits"
















Fee (£)















*Please note the fees do NOT include the $160 dollar US Embassy interview fee - this is payable direct to the embassy at the time of booking your face to face interview.

Use our Fees calculator
Remember to choose Graduate Internship USA from the Programme dropdown menu and to put the dates you plan on leaving for the USA and coming home - not the dates you plan to be at the internship.

• You're allowed to stay in the USA 30 days after your internship ends - but you must apply for these dates at the time of application - you won't be able to get them changed once your int the USA.

Please note all fees are in UK Pounds (GPB)

Cancellation Charges

Please note: We are only able to process an application once full fees have been paid.

In case of cancellation your fees will be refunded MINUS the amounts shown below:

After application received: £200
After application received and DS-2019 printed: £385
Please note there will be no refunds if you cancel AFTER the LISTED DATE of DEPARTURE on your application or you have travelled to the USA - if you are unable to travel to the USA you MUST inform us prior to your programme start date/ listed date of departure.
In case of visa refusal at embassy participants will be refunded programme fees minus £250 (this includes the non refundable SEVIS fee).
On the rare occasion that an application is refused sponsorship there will be a non refundable application fee of £200.
If legal sponsorship is refused AFTER a Site Visit has taken place in the USA the non refundable fees will be £350.

Once you have received your DS-2019, requests for new documentation as a result of new dates (or loss of documentation): £55
All prices subject to change

US Embassy Interviews

Once you have your legal paperwork back from us you'll need to go ahead and book your face to face visa interview.

We have a dedicated page for all Embassy Interview Information.

Extending your J1 Graduate Internship - Application Materials

If you are considering an extension to your programme please read the following:

  • You are eligible to extend your internship to a max 12 months from the start date on your DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility
  • Any extension must show advancement and progression from your original training
How much does an extension cost?
The fees for an extension are the same as if you were starting a new programme - and are based on the amount of extra time you plan to be in the USA (not just the time you plan to remain at your Internship).
Please use the "Fees" section of this page to work out the cost - an extension will start the day after the end date on your DS-2019 form and finish on the day you plan to return from the USA.

You can download your Application materials here - once you and your Host Company have completed them you can scan and email them to us or upload to our system - see above for info on this.

Remember to apply for any extension AT LEAST 6 weeks before the end date as listed on your DS-2019 Certificate - NOT your J1 Visa

• You will need to complete the Application for Programme Extension
• Your Host Company will need to complete the DS-7002 for Extensions

  • How much does it Cost to Extend

    The cost of an extension is the same as for a new programme. Please see Fees above for information on this.

  • Can I extend past 12 months

    Sorry no. The maximum time the US government allows you to be at your Host Company is 12 months. You can't extend past this date for any reason.

Once you have completed this please scan all relevant documents and email to


When you apply to extend your programme you are extending your eligibility to remain in the USA. If during your extension period you leave the USA you will need to apply at your local US Embassy for a new J1 Visa before you can re-enter the US.

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IST Plus was formed in 2003. Since then we have worked with thousands of students and young people from all over the world to help and guide them on their international journeys.
We work with partners across the globe to provide the best service possible.


In the UK: 0207 788 7877
International: +44 (20) 7788 7877

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