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What is the J-1 Cultural Exchange Visa Program?
The J-1 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 for hospitality programs.
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 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?
This will be the site of training and the J-1 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 difference between an Intern and a Trainee?
J-1 Interns are either currently enrolled in or have graduated from their hospitality degree programs within the past year.
J-1 Trainees have graduated from university more than a year ago and have at least one year of hospitality experience, OR have 5 years of hospitality experience, before enrolling in the J-1 program. Trainees should have a more advanced training plan with more advanced learning objectives including an advanced final training phase.
Employment & Compensation
What positions are available?
Food and Beverage Division
This position offers your students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the field of hospitality food service. As a Food and Beverage Service Attendant, your students will be exposed to the daily operations of the food service industry, while performing practical training assignments. Practical training may include the following: Food Server, Host/Hostess, Food Service/Beverage Service, Banquet/Catering Set-up and Service, and Food Retail Sales.
Front Office Department
This position offers your students the opportunity to understand the daily operational procedures of a hotel or resort from front office. Practical training assignments may include: Front Desk, Reservations, Concierge, At Your Service, PBX and Night Audit.
This position offers your students the opportunity to learn and practice the daily essential functions of a supervisor in the housekeeping department. Practical training assignments may include quality control, inspections, scheduling of staff, organizational skills, inventory, laundry supervision and business relationship between housekeeping and the other departments of the hotel/resort.
This position offers your students the opportunity to gain valuable, “hands on” experience while being exposed to the daily culinary operations of a hotel. Practical training assignments may include: Food Preparation, Sauces, Meats, Line Cooking, Pastry, Breads, Dessert, Hot and Cold Service, Inventory and Kitchen Sanitation.
We have MANY PAID J-1 internship/traineeship positions all over USA!
Click Here for a sample of our current openings.
Is the Training Full Time?
Yes, the host employer is required to provide 32 hours or greater per week. Students can also expect to receive time and half for any overtime worked.
Does the hotel provide Accommodation?
Although students are responsible for their own accommodations for the duration of the training program, most hotels will provide at least two weeks accommodation at the hotel upon arrival. We encourage students to utilize the time before their arrival to research accommodation options on line. The host employer will also assist them in finding suitable accommodation near the location of their training.
What Hotel Brands will students train at?
We have several luxury brand hotels/ resorts in USA, interested in providing a PAID hands-on work and training platform, as a foundation for a career in hospitality. Hotels such as Hyatt Regency, Hilton, Sheraton, Marriott, Westin, The Four Seasons, Intercontinental, W Hotel, Renaissance, PLUS many more!
Will the students be paid?
Yes, the training is PAID and all students will be treated just like an American employee. They can expect to earn the following amounts:
Front Office: Between US $9.50 to US $16.10 per hour
Food and Beverage: Average US $12.00 per hour (includes gratuity)
Culinary: Between US $9.50 to US $16.10 per hour
Supervisors can expect to earn more.
Can your students Work a Second Job?
No, your students cannot work a second job and cannot transfer to another location unless under extreme situations. All transfers must be approved by the host company and the sponsor organization in advance.
Can students choose the Location of their Program?
Although we encourage students to provide us with any location preferences they may have, please remember they may be limiting their placement options if they hold out for a certain location. Please also keep in mind that the high cost of living in popular tourist locations is prohibitive to their wages. They can always visit the tourist spots on weekends, vacation time or during the 30 day grace period. We do offer options for a Specific Location request at an additional fee. Please ensure your students request Specific Location on the online HPUSA application.
Travel and Leisure
Can your students extend their Training Program?
Depending on their individual situation, we may be able to assist them with extending their training time at the hotel and securing a new training program on their behalf. Please email Hospitality Placements USA in the first instance with any inquiries.
Do your students have to pay for their Flight to USA?
Yes, your students are responsible for organizing their travel details to USA.
Can your students visit their home country during the Program?
We highly recommend your students to stay in the United States for the duration of their training program, as they are committed to the host company for the entire 12 months. If they do need to travel outside the US during their program, they MUST be granted prior written approval from their host company and will need to contact their sponsor organization. Failure to do so may jeopardize their J-1 status and training program at their host company.
Can your students Travel when in USA?
As a J-1 exchange visitor, your students will be permitted to remain in the country up to 30 days past the end date of their Form DS-2019. This time is for tourism and getting their affairs in order. They will not have work authorization during this time.
Process & Legal Information
Do the students pay taxes?
Like everyone else who works in the United States, students too will have to pay taxes however they will not have to pay the same amount of taxes as a US citizen.
When students arrive at their designated training location, their host employer will ask them to complete two important tax documents, the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form and the W-4 Employees Withholding Allowance Certificate.
Taxes Students Should Not Pay
Social Security Tax
Taxes Students Should Pay
Federal Income Tax
State Income Tax
City Income Tax
How long does the process take?
Interns and Trainees are expected to arrive in USA within 6 to 8 weeks from the time of receiving Letter of Offer and Training Plan provided by the host employer.
Do your students need Health Insurance?
Yes, your students sponsor organization will provide basic health insurance for the duration of their program and will pay for the insurance from their program fees. Your students will receive information on their insurance upon receiving their DS-2019 form from their sponsor organization.
How do your students apply for a Social Security Card?
If your students do not already have a social security number, they will need to apply for one five days after their official program start date. We will provide them with information to apply.
Will your students be guaranteed a J-1 Cultural Exchange Visa?
No, there is no guarantee that your students will be granted a J-1 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. The Embassy wants to know they will return to their home country following the training in America.
What is the DS-2019 form?
The DS-2019 Form is the document that allows a student to apply for the J-1 Visa as an Intern or Trainee in the USA. The DS-2019 form is also called “Certificate of Eligibility”. It is issued by a US Department of State-designated sponsor organization.
At Your Service
Phone Operator / PBX
Dining Room Attendant
Banquets and Events
All Levels Available
for American and Fine Dining
hotels and resorts in USA