J-1 Visa Instructions
A J-1 Exchange Visitor visa is required to engage in an internship/trainee program in the United States. We can assist any trainee candidate from Sweden with the visa application as long as he or she meets the requirements. In other words, we will assist both trainee candidates who have found a trainee position through us and those who have found one on their own. We do ask that the host company is or becomes a member of our network.
In this section you will find the instructions and forms for the J-1 visa application. At first sight, the number of forms may seem overwhelming. However, if you read the instructions carefully and go through everything systematically, you will find that it is not as overwhelming as it might have seemed at first sight.
Tip: Download our nifty step-by-step Visa Application timeline by clicking the image to the left and save it to your computer.
J-1 Visa Application Process
Anyone planning to come to the U.S. for practical training must obtain a J-1 exchange visitor visa. SACC-USA is a designated J-1 visa sponsor of the U.S. Department of State’s Exchange Visitor Program and can assist individuals from Sweden with a J-1 visa application in the categories Intern and Trainee. SACC-USA will assist candidates who have secured a training opportunity through us as well as candidates from Sweden who have found an internship or traineeship on their own.
To apply for a J-1 visa, you will need to:
• Obtain a Training/Internship Placement Plan (DS-7002) from a U.S. host company
• Obtain a Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor J-1 Status (DS-2019) issued by SACC-USA
• Present DS-2019 and DS-7002 at a personal interview at a U.S. Embassy
Once you and your host company have reached an oral agreement about a training program, please contact Cecilia Kullman at SACC-USA, firstname.lastname@example.org, or +1 202-536-1520. As soon as SACC-USA has determined that both the host company and you are eligible to participate in the Exchange Visitor Program, we can start the visa application.
In order to issue the DS-2019 document, SACC-USA must first receive all documentation from you, as described below. We must also receive the Internship/Training Placement Plan (DS-7002), Training Offer and service fee/SEVIS fee from the host company. You will not be able to book an appointment at the U.S embassy until the DS-2019 has been issued.
The waiting time for an appointment at the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm ranges from a few days to several weeks. July and August are usually the busiest months. Current waiting time is available on the U.S. Embassy website.
We have collected important and useful information for you in the following documents:
• Print and read the document “Information, Regulations & Guidelines for the Exchange Visitor Program.”
Keep for you records.
• Read the “Pre-arrival Guide”.
1. Visa Application Documents
Please complete the documentation as described under a-g below, scan and email to email@example.com.
Do not send anything by postal mail. Make copies of all documents for your records.
Print and check off items as you complete them and submit the SACC-USA check list together with the rest of the documentation.
b. Application forms
Please fill in and complete the following:
* Intern/Trainee J-1 Visa Application
* Intern/Trainee Agreement
* Insurance Verification Form
* Financial Verification(Only needed if the trainee position is unpaid or if the stipend does not fully cover living expenses.)
c. Copy of Insurance Policy or Policy Summary in English
We suggest that you purchase an insurance policy from a Swedish insurance provider since Swedish insurance policies are generally more comprehensive than American ones. However, if you prefer an American policy, we accept Axis Insurance underwritten but Sweden-based Sirius Insurance Corporation.
You may pick any insurance company, but at a minimum the policy should cover:
- $50,000 per accident/illness
- $10,000 medical evacuation
- $7,500 repatriation of remains.
You may want to request several insurance quotes and compare coverage and costs. Make sure you understand details such as exclusions, deductibles and coinsurance.
If you are a student, you may already be covered by insurance through your school free of charge to you, so please check with your school before purchasing your own policy.
Please note that you cannot use the 45 days travel insurance included in a Swedish homeowner insurance (hemförsäkring) as it generally does NOT cover internships/work/studies in the US. In most cases you need to buy a separate policy for the whole internship period.
d. Copy of Passport
Please note that your passport must be valid six months beyond the end of your training.
e. Copy of Transcript
Provide a copy of your transcript if you are a current student. If you have graduated, provide a copy of diploma/certificate. If your eligibility is based on five years work experience, please provide proof of such experience.
f. CV and Letter of Application
Resume and letter of application should be written in English. The letter of application must state the following:
• The reasons for your training in the U.S. in relation to your future career development and what you hope to gain from your traineeship.
• Your intention to leave the U.S. and return to Sweden upon completion of your training in the U.S.
The letter should be dated and signed and emailed or faxed with the rest of the documentation. Please make the letter out to:
The Swedish-American Chambers of Commerce, Inc.
Attn.: Cecilia Kullman
House of Sweden
2900 K Street N.W., Suite 403
Washington, DC 20007
g. Two letters of Reference
Letters should be on letterhead, dated and signed. They could be written by a current or former professor, a current or former employer, or an organization you have volunteered for. Ideally, the reference letters should be written recently for the specific purpose of obtaining a trainee position in the U.S. and describe you as a person and how the proposed traineeship will be a good complement to your studies and benefit you in you future career. However, we also accept letters written for other purposes such as a reference letter already in your possession from a previous employment, internship or volunteer activity. Copies of such letters are fine as long as they are dated within the last couple of years. Reference letters can be forwarded by you or they can be sent directly to SACC-USA by the person writing the letter.
2.Visa Application Fees
i. Interview Fee
A fee of approximately 1000 SEK paid to the US Embassy in Stockholm. This fee is paid by the visa applicant (you) and the embassy will require the original receipt from the payment. Note that the fee changes often so look at their website for the updated fee. For complete instructions refer to the US Embassy website.
ii. SEVIS Fee
A fee of $180 which is paid to the Department of Homeland Security. In our program the host company normally pays this fee and you receive the SEVIS receipt via TNT shipment or via e/mail from SACC-USA.
iii. SACC-USA Service Fee
A fee determined by the duration of your internship and normally paid to SACC-USA by the host company.
3. Obtaining the DS2019 Form
Once the application is complete, SACC-USA will issue the DS-2019 and send it to you along with a receipt for the $180 SEVIS fee. We will usually send the application by express delivery service (FedEx, UPS, etc.) and you should be available to receive the shipment. If this is not convenient, we can send it to your school, place of work or other address where someone is available to sign for the shipment on your behalf. Please remember to include entry security code (portkod), if applicable. Express delivery from the United States usually takes 2-3 days to most Swedish cities, but could take four days to smaller towns.
4. Visa Interview at the U.S Embassy
To schedule an appointment for a visa interview at the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm you first need to get the SEVIS number on your DS-2019 from SACC-USA. Complete instructions on how to book the interview and what you need to do prior to the interview are available at theU.S Embassy website.
Read and follow the instructions carefully.
You will not receive the visa at the interview. The Embassy will keep your passport and send it to you with the visa stamp via registered mail. This normally takes two days but may take up to one week.
Do not pay for airfare to the U.S. prior to receiving the visa.
If you have a question about your visa application that you do not find the answer to within these pages, please send an email to Cecilia Kullman: firstname.lastname@example.org.