Can I repeat my J1 internship?

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If you LOVED your J1 experience and one question keeps lingering in your mind: “Can I repeat my J1 internship?” Good news is that you actually can.

That’s right, it’s actually possible to repeat your J1 internship, and not just once but many times. Unlike some other J1’s, J1 internship and training visas are not once-in-a-lifetime visas. But, as in everything dealing with the Department of State rules and regulations, there are exceptions on when you can come back to the States on another J1 training and internship visa.

J1 interns in NY

General restrictions

The general rule is that the repeat training/internship cannot duplicate training/internship you have already received.

Interns

Interns may participate in multiple J-1 internship programs as long as the additional internship program addresses the development of more advanced skills in your professional field or if your training is focused on a different field of expertise (after you get another university degree, for example).

The Intern must either

  • (a) maintain student status or,
  • (b) if already graduated, engage in the “new” internship program within 12 months of graduation.

There is otherwise no limit to the number of times individuals may participate in a J-1 internship program.

Trainees

Individuals who do not satisfy the requirements for repeat participation as a J1 Intern might be eligible instead to visit the U.S. as a J1 Trainee, provided they have lived outside the U.S. for no less than 2 years from the end-date of their J-1 internship, as recorded on the form DS-2019 (also known as “Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status”).

DS-2019

J1 repeat scenarios

  • J-1 Intern to J-1 Intern = OK (as long as the internship plan shows that you’ll get different or higher level internship)
  • J-1 Trainee to J-1 Trainee = OK (as long as the training plan shows that you’ll get different or higher level training)
  • J-1 Intern to J-1 Trainee = OK ( as long as the training plan confirms different or higher level training)
  • J-1 Intern to J-1 Trainee = Must wait for 2 years to repeat the same kind of training
  • J-1 Trainee to J-1 Trainee = Must wait for 2 years to repeat the same kind of training

2 year rule and 2 year wait for J1 repeats – NOT the same thing

It’s important to understand that a Two-Year Home-Country Physical Presence Requirement on your J1 visa, also known as the “2 year rule”  is different from the 2 year wait time required to repeat J1 internship and training. One does not cancel out the other and there is no relationship between the two. Even though in some cases you can waive the 2 year rule, you cannot waive the 2-year wait time required to repeat your J1 internship or training.

Duration of repeat J1 training and intership programs

Maximum duration of stay for repeat program participants remains the same:

  •  12 months maximum for J1 interns
  •  18 months maximum for J1 trainees
  •  12 months maximum for J1 Hospitality and Tourism trainees
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International education will change the world! J1 visas, F1 visas, OPT - been there, done that. Worked for a J1 sponsor, owned a technology business. Trail runner. Love search engines and Soviet history. Have a question about internship programs? Let's connect!


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2 Responses
  • Mike
    Aug 18, 2014

    Hi Tanya
    Thanks for the informative article!

    I have a question: for someone who was on j1 trainee category, who completed his /her j1 and a degree course that was part of the same j1 program. can he/she apply for intern category on the repeat since technically it’s been less than 12months of graduation and academic institute is non US?

    Mike Aug 18, 2014
  • valentina
    Mar 23, 2015

    Good morning,

    There is something not clear in what I read on the various website. I was under j1 visa from May 2013 to May 2014 for a training in hospitality. To be precise on my DS2019 there is written:
    program official description trainee hospitality and tourism net 12 months
    subject field code 52.0904
    subject field code remarks Hotel Management
    If now I want to start a training always in Hospitality but in Sales & Marketing I still have to wait the 2 years or since it is a different training plan I can apply?

    Thank you in advance!!

    valentina Mar 23, 2015

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