Eligibility Requirements

All you need to know to successfully apply for a J1 - basic eligibility factors, differing qualifications between Intern and Trainee program, and how J1 relates to other visas.
In order to stand out and be accepted into the exclusive Architect-US Pool of Candidates you should take into account the 3 different things which the Selection Committee will review to determine your eligibility in the program. By being accepted into the Job+J1 Visa Program and paying the Initiation Fee, you will form part of the Architect-US Pool of Candidates and be included in at least 3 Selection Processes (we always send you all offers that match your profile and interests) during the 12 months. The opportunities we send are exclusive and although we sometimes post opportunities on our blog we always give priority to our Pool of Candidates. If you would like to form part of our program, here are the three main things that you should take into consideration in your application:
  1. Portfolio
Perhaps the most important thing of all! We want to see strong architectural drawings, 2D&3D drawings, no more than two images per project and page. (The Portfolio and the Resumé must be in English and in separate PDF files without a photo). The portfolio must display who you are as a designer and the best of your academic and profesional experience. For improving your chances, please read through our Portfolio Recommendations
  1. CV
The Selection Committee must evaluate your CV not only to see if there are aspects of it which can be improved but, also to see the experience that you have and determine whether you classify as an Intern or a Trainee.
  1. English Level
Every applicant must complete an Interview to assess their English level once they have been accepted into the program. This short interview will be conducted by one of the members of the Selection committee. The CV will also help us determine if you’ve had previous experience with English as well. For a greater chances of being accepted into the Job + J1 Visa Program, you should be able to meet the following entry requirements: strong design portfolio; outstanding graphic skills; knowledge of the main architectural software, and high ability to communicate in English. We are also here to help you and give you tips on how to perfect your American style resume and also on different ways in which you can make your portfolio truly shine. [activecampaign form=258]
Architect-US understands the concern for J1 Visa Refund if your J1 Visa is rejected by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate! If your J1 Visa is rejected by the US Embassy, you can get the J1 Visa Refund to recover part of the visa costs, however, some restrictions and condition apply. For further information, please refer to your Visa service provider. If Architect-US sponsors your visa, then we will work together with our partner ASSE to figure out your exact refund. However, the fees for the consulate and for the SEVIS registration cannot be reimbursed under any circumstance. Contact Architect-US to get started with your J1 Visa and to know more about the J1 Visa Refund. [activecampaign form=258]
As per regulations set forth by the Department of State and by our program here at Architect-US, there are a few requirements that a company must meet in order to be accepted as a Host Company for any of our current and future program candidates. We do this so that you are assured an appropriate work environment and one that is successful and beneficial to your training program. The way that we do that is by making sure that the company meets certain requirements if they have not previously hosted any J1 participant, and if they haven’t, the J1 Visa sponsor must conduct a site visit. Here is the list of the requirements that every company has to meet in order to be accepted as an appropriate company to host a J1 participant: 1. Number of Employees Every company has to have a minimum of 4 employees on pay roll, otherwise they cannot host any of our J1 participants. If the company has less than 25, a site visit has to be conducted by one of our area representatives so that we can ascertain the eligibility of the company. There hast to be a ratio of 7:1 in order to host more than one J1 participant. Therefore, if the company wants 2, there needs to be a minimum of 14 employees, and so on. 2. Revenue If the company has less than 3 million dollars in revenue, a site visit will have to be conducted. During the site visit, several criteria will be assessed to determine eligibility. These are the two main criteria that every company has to meet so that they can avoid having to have a site visit. If they don’t meet any of the two criteria, the area rep will have to make sure to do the appropriate assessment of the company. However, it is not for any company to worry, unless something is completely out of the norm, we must conduct site visit to a large portion of the host companies we work with, and there haven’t been any problems in the past. [activecampaign form=258]
If you are considering joining the Architect-US program it is important that you understand the key differences between what makes you an intern and a trainee. This is mainly because depending on which of the two you are will determine the duration of your Visa. As an Intern you are only allowed to stay for a maximum duration of 12 months, and if you are a trainee the duration of your visa can be up to 18 months. So, it is important that you know the difference between the two and what qualifies you to be either one. Nonetheless, if you decide to take a plunge into this program, you’ll quickly realize the benefits of this learning experience and just how much you can bring back into your professional career and self-development. Don’t take it from us, take it from our participants who’ve joined our program and worked in some of the top U.S companies in the cities they’ve been dreaming about. For example, - Gunjan Sharma- one of our program Interns which started her adventure in D33 Design Planning Inc in San Juan Capistrano, California. So far, she is just loving her experience in the West Coast of the United States. She was introduced to her team in the firm and soon upon arrival she had to attest to her skills. She was guided through the ropes in the beginning, but then she was given responsibilities in the firm that she will be able to take with her throughout her entire career, and she will be able to have one of her first professional experiences in a foreign country added to her CV. Another great candidate – Ignacio Cerron- talks about the immense personal growth that he was able to take from the experience working in RVJA in Orlando as a Trainee. Everyone of our participants takes something different form their experiences, and that can range from personal growth, new perception of the world, immersion of different cultures, but everyone is going to be able to take something, and that is experiences and friendships that you will last a lifetime! [activecampaign form=258]  
Although it is a relatively straightforward process, be cautious of the following factors that often result in a denied J1 Visa!
  • Lacking Evidence of Return
  • Failing Security Check
  • Lacking Professionalism
  • Fraud or lying or telling the incomplete truth
  • Lacking appropriate insurance
  • Lacking ability to pay
  • Lacking ability to pay
To know more about J1 Visa denial / rejected.
The international candidates must be full-time university students or have graduated less than a year ago before the start of the Program. Participants applying for a J1Visa internship aren't required to have any previous work experience. Please contact us at training@architect-us.com to review your specific case if you have any doubts about your eligibility.
The international candidates must have graduated  more than a year ago (before the start of the Program) and have at least one year of relevant experience in the related field. Please contact us at training@architect-us.com to review your specific case if you have any doubts about your eligibility.
The maximum duration of a J1 Internship Program is 12 months.
It is possible to go through more than 1 J1 Visa program. However, there are minimum waiting periods that apply to anyone who would like to apply for a new J1 visa program after having previously completed a J1 Visa program
According to the J1 Exchange Visitor Regulations, you are not allowed to enter the USA more than 14 days before your Program's official start date as stated in your DS-2019.
For the J1 Intern Visa, participants must be at least 18 years old, while for the J1 Trainee Visa they must be over 20 years old. The upper age limit is set at 35 years old. However exceptions can be made, so please email us at training@architect-us.com explaining your case and we will let you know your eligibility for the J1 Exchange Visitor Visa Program.
Yes, there is a program for you if you are still a student or you have recently (within a year) graduated. In this case, you can apply for the J1 Visa as an Intern without having any work experience.
Yes, you could qualify as a J1 Trainee if you graduated more than 1 year ago and have more than 1 year of experience. Please keep in mind when calculating that according to Department of State regulations, all experience previous to the most recent graduation date counts at 50%. (So for example, 1 year of experience before graduating counts only as 6 months.)
Applying for the J1 Visa after having held any other visa in the United States of America is always reviewed case-by-case as it depends on specific details. Please email us at training@architect-us.com explaining your situation and attach an up-to-date CV that reflects the start and end dates and locations of all education and experience you have.
The participant needs to prove they are able to understand and communicate in English by providing a Certificate of English Level. However, an interview in English will be conducted through a phone or Skype call with those without evidence of it.
The J1 Exchange Visitor Visa is valid for the exact amount of time as your Training program (a maximum of 18 months). Additionally, you may enter the U.S. no more than 14 days before your training program begins and you have a grace period of 30 days after the program ends to exit the U.S definitively.
The J1 Exchange Visitor Visa is valid for the exact amount of time as your Internship program (a maximum of 12 months). Additionally, you may enter the U.S. no more than 14 days before your training program begins and you have a grace period of 30 days after the program ends to exit the U.S definitively.
The purpose of the J1 Visa program is to gain professional experience in the U.S at an American Host Company and by doing so acquire new knowledge, a specific new skill set, improve your English and get to know the American culture.
The J1 Visa process is the fastest of all U.S. visa processes. With Architect-US it takes as little as 1 month from the moment Architect-US receives all the required documents from the Intern / Trainee and the Host Company to the moment you can start your Program at the American Company. The process is very easy - you can read about the Required Documents below.
As a Trainee you have to provide Architect-US with the following documents: 1. Resume (with start and end dates for each experience/education). 2. Portfolio (required only for architects). 3. Copy of Passport (scanned). 4. Academic Transcripts. 5. Degree Diploma (in English) / Certificate of Professional Education (we can send you). 6. Two Reference Letters in English (that must prove that you have at least 1 year of professional experience). 7. Signed Rules & Regulations (which we will send you). 8. Profile Picture (Passport or LinkedIn type).
As an Intern you have to provide Architect-US with the following documents: 1. Resume (with start and end dates for each experience/education). 2. Portfolio (required only for architects). 3. Copy of Passport (scanned). 4. Academic Transcripts. 5. Degree Diploma (in English) / Certificate of Professional Education (we can send you). 6. One Reference Letter (in English). 7. Signed Rules & Regulations (which we will send you). 8. Profile Picture (Passport or LinkedIn type).
The experience you gain during your studies (before your graduation date) counts as work experience, but is valued only as half. For example, if you have worked for a year during your education, this counts as 6 months of experience according to the J1 Visa criteria.
One of the main benefits of choosing Architect-US as your J1 Visa Sponsor is that it doesn't charge the American company. Therefore, the Host Company does not have to pay any fees but must simply provide a stipend for the international participant. This is to encourage companies in the United States of America to consider adding talent from abroad on the team for a period of time with none of the hassle and costs related to sponsoring an international with a work visa. To receive full Program Fees email us at training@architect-us.com
The participant must be able to use English fluently, as communication throughout the Program will be fully in English. A Certificate of English Level is among the required documents but in the case that there is no such official proof, Architect-US will conduct a phone interview in English with the applicant to establish the level of understanding and communication skills.
No, according to the Department of State it is not permitted to do less than 37 hours per week - the Internship / Training position must be full-time.
There are few restrictions when it comes to nationalities that are eligible to apply for the J1 Visa as long as they qualify as Interns or TraineesIf you have any doubts about your nationality's eligibility, please directly email us explaining your case to training@architect-us.com.
The maximum duration of a J1 Training Program is 18 months.