Read about expectations American companies must meet in order to host an international, including their rights and obligations.
The 2 things you must know about overtime and bonuses
In the U.S., overtime is typically earned once you have completed, or exceeded the 40 hours per week. This pay is normally paid at a rate of 1.5 times the normal wage. Your Host Company is not required to pay the candidate overtime
, however, you must know the difference between two types of positions:1. “Exempt” vs “Non-exempt” positions
There are two types of available positions offered by the Host company. An “exempt” position will earn an established wage to perform the tasks of that position, while a “non-exempt” candidate will earn a wage for the actual time they work. This is determined by the position itself, not the individual. So, if you are considered an “exempt” candidate, the Host Company is not required to pay you for any overtime work, accordingly, if your position is considered to be a “non-exempt” position then you are eligible for overtime.2. Bonuses
As part of the J1 Visa program, the Host company is not required to offer you any bonuses, however, it can be the case. There are no regulations set forth by the Department of State which prohibit any of the candidates from earning a bonus during their j1 program. This is something that will be determined between you and your Host Company.Something that all participants must know is that under no circumstance can they work a second job
. The J-1Visa are not authorized to earn a wage at any other organization during their program. If you are unclear or you have more questions regarding this topic you can always contact any of our Architect-US
team members and they’ll be happy to assist you in the matter.
How do I know whether the American Company I have an offer from is eligible to host me?
The most basic criteria is that the company should have at least 4 full-time employees (that are on the payroll) and be able to provide a Workers Compensation Policy. If it has less than 25 full-time employees (or less than $3 Million in annual revenue), it will require a Site Visit. There is also a minimum ratio between full-time employees and number of J1 Visa participants.
For more detailed information, read our article about the Eligibility Requirements for an American Company to Host a J1 Participant.
However, there are exceptions, so be sure to contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Does my Host Company have to pay me overtime?
This entirely depends on the position you have been offered at the company and its policies. This is something to discuss directly with the Host Company.
Does a Host Company have to pay any fees?
Unlike other J1 Visa Sponsors
is a free service
for the Host Company
- so it does not have to pay any fees. This is to encourage American companies to hire internationals
. The company must only provide a stipend
(salary) for the participant as regulated by the Department of State
4 Requirements the DS-7002 asks from the Host Company
The Form DS-2019
or "Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status" is the main document that is used in the administration of the exchange visitor program. It is a requirement set forth so that every candidate which takes part in this program is assured an appropriate plan for the entire duration of their stay. The DS-2019 states who the exchange visitor is and where they will be working (details of the Host Company). Its aim is to provide a brief description of the exchange visitor’s program
, including the start and end date, category of exchange, an estimate of the cost of the exchange program, and the different phases of the program. This document will be sent to every host company and it is to be filled out by them and approved by ASSE. To make sure that Interns
to see the difference between an Intern and a Trainee) are adhering to the correct guidelines, the form must follow this format:
In this section of the form, the Host company must include the methods they will use to evaluate the performance of the Intern or Trainee during the different phases of the program. As it is an exchange program and an opportunity for the participant to learn and take the best out of their time in any given firm, we want to make sure that they are provided with the appropriate feedback so that they can learn and grow as a professional.
Depending on what the role of the participant will be, the HC must explain the different objectives of each individual phase. Detailing the length of each phase, skill areas, what type of knowledge exposure you will be presented with, and your involvement for each phase.
Detail the specific goals and objectives of each individual phase. That means, explain how the participant will execute the tasks at hand and complete each of the objectives which are set forth. Outline the involvement of the participant and how he/she will use their skills (or learn skills) to complete the task. In this area the HC can mention specific actions the participant will have to do, or perhaps the software or tools that will be used to complete the task.
- Participant and Host Company Information
In every phase of the document, there will be a clear description of the Program Supervisor and his/her qualifications. In the form you will also find information on the participant and the Host company (address, email, phone number, salary description, etc.).All of this is to ensure that every participant will take part in different roles within the office and that he/she will be given the opportunity to participate and learn from all aspects of their related field. If you have any questions regarding the form or any other requirement for the Host Company please contact us or refer to the other posts in our blog
Does the Host Company have to provide paid vacation or paid sick leave during the Program?
No, American companies approved as Host Companies (allowed to take in a J1 Visa holder) are not legally obliged to offer their J1 Interns / Trainees paid leave - including vacation and sick time. Nonetheless, many companies do it, as they offer the J1 participant the same benefits as their full-time employees.
Can a Host Company pay me a bonus?
Yes, the Host Company may pay you a bonus - there is no regulation that prohibits it - but it is not required to do so. This is something to be discussed directly with the American company.
When is a Host Company Site Visit necessary?
The J1 Visa Sponsor
must conduct a Site Visit of Host Companies
that have not previously participated successfully in the Sponsor's
program and that have less than 25 employees and/or less than $3 million in revenue. The Site Visit
is scheduled with the company once all the documents have been collected from either side (Host Company
and J1 applicant
) and aims to ensure the work environment is appropriate, the location area is safe and well-connected, that the office is equipped to take in an international, that the supervisor and/or team is able to provide adequate mentoring and training and other such important criteria to guarantee a successful and beneficial Internship
/ Training Program
for the J1 visa applicant
What documents are required for a Host Company?
The process of verifying a U.S.-based company to become a Host Company
is very simple and fast. Architect-US
communicates with the Host Company
directly to gather the documents and help with any doubts about them:1. A valid Workers Compensation Policy
/ Certificate of Liability Insurance
. 2. The Host Company Agreemen
t (that we will send them to sign). 3. The DS-7002 Internship
/ Training Placement Plan
(that we will send them to fill out). 4. Any supporting marketing material
(company portfolio, brochures, articles, etc.)