Host Employers

Read about expectations American companies must meet in order to host an international, including their rights and obligations.
It is no question that companies face challenges when it comes to hiring potential candidates to work in their firm. Great firms around the U.S. may be overlooked simply because the job description is not creating enough interest for candidates or it does not indicate the qualifications or even the opportunities that the company can offer clearly. So, it is not only applicants that have difficulty in finding the right opportunity, but also hiring managers in crafting the right job offer and creating enough noise for their own open positions. Which is completely understandable, the hiring process is complicated. There is also another issue at hand, and that is not creating a concise job ad which results in countless job applications from candidates that don’t really fit the requirements the employer is seeking in the first place. In order to make sure that promising candidates are sending in their applications, it is important that employers cover a few basic steps to avoid waste of the firm's time and potential mishaps that may arise. First things first, talent acquisition can be a very expensive process if not done correctly. That is why programs like Architect-US is appealing to a lot of American companies, as it presents firms with talented international candidates based on the requirements they are looking for. But, if you are a hiring manager or recruiter and you are in the process of creating a job ad, make sure that you optimize your hub where applications will come in so that the process becomes the least time consuming as possible. One valuable tool that you can use, and one which most architectural firms use is Archinect’s Application Center. It is important that you consider the use of the valuable tools out there because it will make the hiring process become more streamlined and organized. Accordingly, you want to make sure that you curate the image of your firm, meaning that you want the applicant reading the job ad feel like they are getting an insight on what the firm’s internal work process and mission is. You can also do this by rerouting the applicant to a link of your firm’s profile. Perhaps even to social media accounts like Instagram or Facebook if you have one. You also want to make sure that you evaluate the current job market and you consider the current demand of the employee. Make your qualifications strict, and that you specify the aspects which you seek out the most. Essentially meaning that crafting a quality job ad that makes your firm stand out and will get more attention of quality talents out there as well. We know its easier said than done, but what is important to take in is that the better the job ad is, the more time you will save in the overall process. [activecampaign form=260]
Once you -employer/host company- have selected the right candidate to join your firm, the Selection Committee at Architect-US will send you a few documents that need to be filled out in order to start the Visa Issuance process. The quicker we receive the documentation the better, as we can then review the information that has been filled out and then send the files to our official sponsor organization designated by the Department of State. Without the documentation, we cannot begin the process and it may cause delays on the start date. During this process, our team will be at your full disposal in case you have any questions regarding the information that needs to be entered. It is also important that you let the representative at Architect-US which you have been in contact with know how many Employees are currently under payroll in your firm beforehand. The three documents that are required from you are the following:
  • Workers Compensation Policy or Certificate of Liability Insurance
As per requirement by the State Department and the compulsory insurance coverage for employees in every State, this document need to be valid. A scanned .PDF version of this document detailing the date issued and date of expiration. This document needs to be printed and initialized by you. ONLY pages 1-2 are initialized, filled out and signed by hand. Page 3 needs to be filled out digitally. This can be done in the link that is sent with the required documentation as it is a fillable file. Please make sure that all of the fields have been entered. If you have any questions about any of the fields you can ask our team. Note: In PART 1, if you have no other J-1 interns or trainees currently in your company before the new one arrives, make sure that you enter zero "0" in that field. This document needs to be filled out digitally and not signed just yet In page 1 of the document nothing needs to be entered. Beginning with Page 2, you will need to enter the information for Section 2 and Section 3 In page 3, nothing needs to be done at this point. In page 4, we begin with Section 4. Which is the Training Placement Plan. (Example here.) In this example, you will realize that there are 8 pages, that means that this is an example of what needs to be entered in the document from pages 4-11. Accordingly, there are 4 Phases to the training placement plan and each phase will have its own name and date in which it starts and ends. For every phase there are two pages. At the top of every 1st page of each phase you will need to enter the supervisor's information. Then right below it you will begin entering the "Phase Information". Which as you can see from the example that has been provided that every field outlines the description of the intern/trainee’s role, specific goals, plans, techniques, and skills taught. You can use the example as a guide to fill these pages out. [activecampaign form=258]
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. [activecampaign form=260]
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 ParticipantHowever, there are exceptions, so be sure to contact us directly at
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.
Unlike other J1 Visa Sponsors, Architect-US 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.
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 or Trainees (click here to see the difference between an Intern and a Trainee) are adhering to the correct guidelines, the form must follow this format:
  1. Assessment
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.
  1. Objectives
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.
  1. Duties
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.
  1.  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 section. [activecampaign form=258]
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.
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.
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.
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 Agreement (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.)