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About USA

Interning or training at a top U.S. company is one of the smartest career moves you can make. Not only will you gain real-world skills that will serve you throughout your career, but you will also get valuable firsthand insight into American culture and business practices. Along the way, you will share ideas with colleagues, make important new business connections, and build lifelong friendships.

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.

Eligibility - who can go on the programme?

In order to qualify for Internship USA you must meet the following conditions:

  • You must be over 18
  • You must be in full time study at either university or university level on a course of at least 1 year in length
  • Your Internship must be in a field directly related to your field of study at university and at least one month in duration
  • You must be studying in the UK Or a UK citizen studying abroad
  • The Internship MUST be related to your field of study or accurately reflect your future career goals *this may require additional supporting documentation from your tutor or university

Does my course qualify for Internship USA?

If you are not on a full time university course, the minimum requirement for eligibility for a J1 Intern category visa is HNC or equivalent - but only if you are already accepted and enrolled on a full time university level course to commence the following year.
The preferred minimum from the US Department of State is HND level or BTEC Professional Award Level 5.
Please note your course must be full time

Useful Information

What's Included?

  • Full Legal Sponsorship - in order to go to the US on a J1 Programme you need a "Designated Legal Sponsor". The Legal Sponsor is not only responsible for your presence in the USA but also for checking and verifying your application and your online Training Plan (DS-7002 - see below). They are also responsible for making sure you have support and a point of contact throughout your time in the USA
  • Insurance- ALL Participants are covered by insurance for the entire time they are in the USA (based on the dates given on an application)
  • Emergency support in the USA - 24/7 contact and assistance using a toll-free number from anywhere in the USA
  • Pre-departure online Orientation
  • Access to comprehensive online information and help on life in the USA
  • 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!
  • Fees do NOT include the cost of the visa interview at your local embassy or consulate (currently $160). You will pay this direct to the embassy at the time of booking your face to face interview

Important Information

Getting Started/ How to Apply

  • You complete the Registration form lower on this page
  • IST Plus will review your details and enter you into the CIEE system
  • You will then receive log in details via email from donotreply@ciee. You can then go online and invite your US Supervisor to complete the online DS-7002 (TIPP) AND complete your own part of the application
  • Once your DS-7002 Training Plan (TIPP) has been completed and signed off by your supervisor AND you, you should make sure your own part of the application is complete
  • YOU MUST EMAIL to confirm when your application is complete
  • We will then contact you for payment of your programme fees. Once these have been confirmed we will submit the applicaiton to CIEE
  • CIEE will then work with your Host Company to approve the application
  • After approval, your legal paperwork will be sent to our offices in the UK. We will then send them out to you via Royal Mail (UK and Eire Applicants) or International Courier (All other countries)
  • Once you receive these you will be able to go online and book your face to face interview at your local embassy
  • After your interview at the embassy, you can expect to wait 3-5 working days before your visa is returned to you by the embassy secure courier service
  • You are then free to travel to the USA on or after the arrival date you have given us as part of the application
Is your Passport Valid for a J1 Visa Host Company Eligibility Info for smaller Host Companies

Supporting Documents you will need to upload to your online Account

While most of the application is able to be completed online you will still need to upload into your account some supporting documents. We strongly recommend you download these at the start of the process (now's a good time!) so you are able to get these completed and signed off quickly.
All these files are in Adobe PDF format and will open in a new tab in your browser. Please then download these to your computer.

Fees - How Much does it Cost?

Remember - the fees cover the time you are actually IN the USA- not just the time you spend at your Internship. You are allowed to apply to arrive in the USA up to 30 days before your official internship start date and apply toremain in the US for up to 30 days after your internship finishes but you will need to apply for this on the application and pay for the additional time in the USA
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: Should you wish to remain in the USA for the optional tourism and travel time at the end of your Internship you MUST enter these dates on your online training plan. We will not be able to amend or extend these once you have travelled to the USA.

You do NOT automatically qualify for the tourism and travel time - you must apply for it as part of your application.

*Please note all programme fees are in UK Sterling (Pounds).
**Legal documents requiring Shipping outside the UK or Ireland will be charged accordingly. You will be able to choose between UK Royal Mail international Delivery (where available for your country) or UPS International Courier.































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"

Change of Dates once application has been approved and documents shipped: Once you have received your DS-2019, requests for new documentation as a result of new dates (or loss of documentation): £55 +cost of any additional month new dates may require
All prices subject to change

Fees Calculator

Remember to choose 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 you're in the USA.

Please note all fees are in UK Pounds (GPB)

Important Information
Cancellation Charges - 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).
It is VITAL you inform IST Plus via email providing details of the refusal and also if possible provide a copy of the paperwork the embassy gives you showing the reason for the Visa denial.
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.

*All prices subject to change

How long does it take?

You should allow a minimum of 6 weeks from the date we are able to submit a completed application for you.
Please note if a Site Visit is required this will add to the processing time in the USA

Once we have been able to submit your application in the US the status on your online account will change to "Submitted to CIEE".
You can see a rough outline of the process on our J1 Timescales page

US Embassy Interviews

Once your application has been fully approved and processed in the USA, you will receive your legal paperwork from us (this normally happen approximately 5 working days after approval)

You'll then be able to go online and start the process of booking your face to face interview at the US Embassy.

Getting Ready to travel/ Pre-flight Check

In line with US Department of State and Embassy recommendations, we advise against making any firm travel plans until you have received your passport and visa back from the Embassy or Consulate.
Neither the US Embassy/ Consulate nor IST Plus can be held responsible for any delays or costs incurred should you book flights prior to receiving your passport and visa.

Once you have received your passport and visa (this is printed inside your passport) back from the US Embassy or Consulate, please check the details carefully.
Your Visa will normally be issued with an end date that matches the end date of your actual internship or traineeship - this is NOT necessarily the date you must depart the USA.
You will be allowed to remain in the USA until the end date as listed on your Certificate of Insurance. These details are also available to view on your online account.
If there is an error in the dates on your Visa it is VITAL you contact the US embassy direct to query this. You should not travel to the US unless your visa has been issued with the correct dates.

For UK applicants you should contact the embassy using their Visa Error Contact Form at

What to take with you on the plane (these items MUST be in your hand luggage and with you at ALL times)
  • Your Passport!
  • Your DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility
  • Your Insurance Card (this is a pull off card on your Certificate of Insurance)

Going to 2 Host Companies? Please read

If you are planning on undertaking an internship at more than one Host Company during your time in the US there is a slightly different process for your application.

  • Your 1st Host Company will need to complete the online DS-7002 - you will need to invite them to do this via your online account.
  • Your Second Host Company will need to complete and sign off on a PDF version of the DS-7002.
  • Once they have completed and signed this they must send to you so you can complete all relevant sections.
  • You must then also sign this form!
  • You'll need to upload this to the "Documents" section of your online application

It is VITAL you email our team at to let us know when you have uploaded your 2nd Training Plan. Until you do we will not be able to review your application.

Extending your Programme

You are allowed to apply to extend your internship to a maximum 12 months.
If you choose to extend you MUST apply for this at least 6 weeks in advance of the end date on your DS-2019 Certificate (this is the actual end date at your host Company- NOT the end date of your programme).

In order to extend your programme please email our team at to request we unlock your online training plan for an extension. Your Host Company will then be able to log in and complete this.

You will also need to download your own part of the Extension application - please download this below.

**Please note Application will open in a new tab in your browser. You can download it directly from there

Important information regarding extensions

An extension allows a participant to remain in the US for the purposes of continuing their training at their listed Host Company.

Please note we are unable to accept requests for extensions for the purposes of changing Host Companies.

It is important to note that should you travel outside of the US while on an extension to your original training, you will need to apply for a new visa at your local (home) embassy in order to re-enter the USA with a new J1 visa that matches your extended dates.

Please bear this in mind when making any travel plans.

How Much does an Extension Cost?

The fees for an extension are the same as if you were starting a new programme. For example, if you choose to extend for a further 6 months the fee for that extension will be the same as if you were applying for a 6 month programme.
See the Section further up this webpage marked "How Much does it Cost" for information

About Us

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.

More Info

IST Plus
Shakespeare Business Centre
245a Coldharbour Lane

Tel: +44 (0)207 788 7877

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