What is the J1 Cultural Exchange Visa Program?
The J1 Cultural Exchange Visa Program is a non-immigrant cultural exchange visa, issued by the U.S. Department of State, which allows foreign nationals to enter the U.S. to participate in an internship or training program with an American company for up to 12 months.
International participants gain practical experience to help reinforce their academic studies and enhance their career through a structured training program and improve their knowledge of American business culture.
Who is Hospitality Placements USA?
Hospitality Placements USA also known as HPUSA offers a professional service as a liaison between the J1 cultural exchange participant, the sponsor organization and the host employer. HPUSA acts as a vendor to our J1 participants by facilitating the J1 Visa process and supporting our participants to successfully complete the program. HPUSA is not an employer.
Who is the sponsor organization?
HPUSA partners with State Department-designated sponsors who are authorized to issue the Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status (Form DS-2019).
Who is the host employer?
The host employer will extend an offer for 12 months cultural exchange paid work-based training program. This will be the site of training and the J1 cultural exchange participant will be paid by the host employer. HPUSA does not make any employment decisions as to how the participant will work, what their responsibilities will be, or whether the employment will be terminated, and has no authority to exercise any discretion.
What is the Form DS-2019?
The Form DS-2019 or “Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status” is issued to the participant by the sponsor organization. The participant presents this form at the US Embassy when applying for their J1 Cultural Exchange Visa.
Do they Pay Income Tax?
Like everyone else who works in the U.S., participants too have to pay taxes BUT not all of them.
When they arrive at your hotel they will complete two tax documents, the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form and the W-4 Employees Withholding Allowance Certificate.
Ensure you have recorded their permanent address in their home country to send their W-2 statement of earnings at the end of the year.
- Federal Income Tax
- State Income Tax
- City Income Tax
- Social Security Tax
- Federal Unemployment
Is the Training Full Time?
Yes, as a host company, you are required to provide 32 hours or greater per week and time and half for any overtime worked.
Is the hotel required to provide Accommodation?
The participants are responsible for their own accommodation and transportation for the duration of the training program. All hotels provide at least two weeks accommodation at the hotel upon arrival, then the participants MUST find their own suitable accommodation. Any assistance you can provide the participant in finding suitable accommodation near the hotel is expected and appreciated.
Can they leave the United States during the Program?
We highly recommend that all participants stay in the United States for the duration of the training program. They are committed to your host company for the duration of the program and will be required to contact their sponsor organization and complete travel documentation if they want to leave the US during their training.
How long does the process take?
J1 Cultural Exchange Participants are expected to arrive at their host hotel employer company within 6 to 8 weeks from the time of receiving their Letter of Offer and Training Plan provided by the host employer.
Will they have Medical Insurance?
Yes, all participants will be covered by basic medical and travel insurance for the duration of the training in the US through the sponsor organization. Host Companies have the option to offer participants additional medical coverage after a qualifying period.
Will they have a Social Security Number?
If they do not already have a social security number, participants will be instructed to apply for one after they arrive in the United States. We will provide them with a form to complete and take to the nearest social security office.
Are they guaranteed a J1 Cultural Exchange Visa?
No, there is no guarantee that the participant will be granted a J1 Cultural Exchange Visa at the US Embassy. We ensure that each participant has the necessary documents for their visa interview and assist in appealing any visa denial decisions.
Can we extend a Participant's Program after the 12 months?
All participants have 30 days grace period after their program ends to travel and prepare to leave USA. They do not have work authorization during this time.
“Thank you again Emma for your efforts and professionalism! We have been very pleased with the quality of our interns we have received through your company.”
Samara T. Johns,
One Ocean Resort & Spa