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Qualifications and obligations

In order to qualify for a J Trainee visa, Trainees must have:​​

  • Knowledge of the English language sufficient to undertake the training program.
  • Significant experience in their occupational fields. 

A Trainee's significant experience may be demonstrated by either:

01. A degree or certificate in their occupational field from a foreign post-secondary degree institution and 1 year foreign related work experience


02. 5 years of related foreign experience in their occupational field.  All such qualifying work experience must have been gained outside of the US.

The Trainee must be coming to the US primarily to participate in a work-based training program that enhances their skills and expertise, rather than merely to work.  As such, the Trainee must not displace a US worker. Their training is required to be hands-on, in their occupational field.  And not merely additional work experience.

The maximum length of the training program (and visa) is up to 18 months.  A Trainee’s dependents may also accompany the Trainee to the US and are entitled to work in the US on a J-2 visa.

The following occupational categories are eligible to participate in the Trainee program: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing; Arts and Culture; Construction and Building Trades; Education, Social Sciences, Library Science, Counseling and Social Services; Health Related Occupations; Hospitality and Tourism; Information Media and Communications; Management, Business, Commerce, and Finance; Public Administration and Law; and The Sciences, Engineering, Architecture, Mathematics, and Industrial Occupations.

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