We hope all your questions will be answered here, but if not, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
This program must be purchased through an official US government nominated sponsor company. In Canada, sponsors have partnered with SWAP Working Holidays to offer the USA programs (Internship, Professional Career Training, Summer) on their behalf.
The processing time is approximately 6-8 weeks from the time we receive your completed profile forms. If your profile is incomplete or your Training / Internship Placement Plan is too vague, this will slow down the processing times. Please note that extra processing time could apply if a site visit is required.
A J-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa issued by the United States Department of State to exchange visitors participating in programs that promote cultural exchange, especially to obtain business training within the US. J-1 visas have various classes and all J-1 visas must be issued by a sponsor organization in the US that is responsible for not only issuing the visa documentation, but they are also responsible for ensuring your safety, and compliance with all program regulations.
The DS-2019 (the "Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status") is the document that is issued to each intern and allows you to enter the US and participate on this J-1 internship training program.
According to the J-1 visa regulations from the US Department of State, a site visit from your US Sponsor to your host company may be required. Additional processing time will be required (approximately 7-10 business days), as well as an extra cost of $400 CAD.
Site visits are required at host companies that have never hosted a trainee with the Sponsor before. A site visit will NOT be required if:
Your official sponsor in the US is our partner organization who issues your documentation. They are the ones who interview your employer and make sure your internship experience follows the guidelines set by the US Department of State. The Sponsor will be your primary contact once you are in the US and they will require regular contact with you to ensure that you are having the most beneficial intern experience possible.
Your employer does not have to sponsor you.
Your internship can be paid or unpaid, and there is no maximum limit on how much you are allowed to earn. It's up to you to negotiate your remuneration with your employer. Please note that the J-1 intern visa is required even if your internship is unpaid.
If your salary is less than $1,000 USD per month, you will need to prove that you will have access to at least $1,000 per month in total by way of salary or letter from your bank or a guarantor letter. For personal budget planning, please keep in mind that you are not allowed to obtain any other job other than your internship.
It is possible to bring your family (spouse, children) on you to the US with a J-2 dependent visa. This will allow your family to reside in the US for the entire time of your internship, but it will NOT allow them to work. There is a separate fee for J-2 dependants, so please contact us for more details at email@example.com.
SEVIS (Student Exchange Visitor Information System) is a US government system to track foreign visitors in the US. The fee to register for SEVIS is included in your SWAP Internship USA program price and we give you instructions on how to start the SEVIS tracking in your GO SWAP Kit. Once in the US, you must register your US address within 20 days of your training start date. If you do not comply with the requirements of SEVIS at any point during your internship, your visa will be automatically terminated. All the important information will be given to you in your GO SWAP Kit.
Please confirm or book your travel arrangements only when we know that your application has been approved. Unforeseen delays in visa processing are always possible. If you are planning to enter the US on a one-way ticket, immigration officials may want to see proof that you have the funds to return to Canada.
The Internship USA program prices depend on the length of your stay in the country (not just the length of your internship) and are listed here as well as in the Profile Package. Also remember that the program price also includes everything listed here.
An additional cost may apply if a site visit to your host company is required.
Once you complete the profile forms and have submitted them to us, the SWAP Internship USA coordinator will contact you to go over your forms and take payment. We need to see your completed documents before we take payment. You can pay either by credit card, certified cheque, or money order.
Support funds are the money that the Sponsor requires you to have that proves you can support yourself throughout your stay in the US.
You will need to have access to $1,000 USD per month of stay in the US - which can be through your internship salary, personal savings, or through a guarantor (such as a parent or family member).
You can exit the US during your internship, to visit home or to visit other countries. However, you cannot be away from your internship for more than 30 days. Each time you leave the US you should advise the Sponsor and get a signature from them for re-entry to the US. The signature will be valid for 2 months, and will take approximately 2 weeks to receive.
If you had a Summer Work J-1 visa through SWAP, you will be eligible for a different type of J-1 visa. If you are unsure of the visa type that you had when you last worked in the US, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unlike other SWAP programs where original passport is needed to process your visa, the Internship USA program only requires a copy of your passport. This means you are free to travel while your application is being processed.
In your best interest, please leave us a phone number or e-mail address where you can be reached in case you are required to submit documents or we have questions for you during processing.
You must enter the US from Canada to activate your visa.
SWAP participants have had many memorable internships (there are too many to list) but here are some noteworthy ones: