Want to train or intern in the U.S.?

If you are considering training and internships in the U.S. you need a visa. It is not allowed to do training or interning as a tourist, even though it is not paid and for less than three months; regardless of where you intern, or if it is paid or not – you need a visa.

  • Find a U.S. visa sponsor
  • Find an internship

FAQ Training and Internships

No. You always need a visa that is tailored to the purpose of your stay in the U.S. You cannot work or do an internship with VWP.

You need a J-1 visa for internships or traineeships in the U.S.

To get a visa for an internship, you need an American visa sponsor, which is an organization approved by the U.S. Department of State to issue the documents (DS-2019 form) you need to apply for a visa at the American embassy.

When you need a visa for internships, you should expect the following fees:

  • Fee for your visa sponsor
  • $180 for SEVIS fee
  • $160 for administration fee to the embassy related to issuing the visa in your passport

SEVIS is abbreviation of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, which is a database containing registered information on all international students and interns in the U.S. You will be registered in the database when you enter and exit the U.S.

It usually takes around 2-3 months, so it is a good idea to apply with a visa sponsor ahead of time. You should also be aware that there may be a period of waiting for an interview date at the American embassy. When you have been interviewed, it usually takes around 5 working days before you receive your passport.

You can work as an intern for up to six months unpaid and up to twelve months paid as a student or recent graduate. In rare cases, it may be possible to work as an intern for up to 18 months as a trainee.

You cannot stay and work with the visa (J-1) you have for the internship, so you will in any case need to apply for a new visa suitable for the purpose. You must also be aware that if you receive public funding, such as SU, during your internship, you will be subject to the so-called Two-Year Home-Country Physical Requirement.

NOTE: Only applicable for J-visa! If you receive public funding (such as SU) while you are in the U.S., you will be subject to the Two-Year Home- Country Physical Requirement after returning home to Denmark. This means that you must prove residence in Denmark for two years before you can apply for work visa H and L, work permit in relation to a K-visa or immigrant visa for the U.S. You will still be able to go on vacation, study on another J-1 or F-1 visa or participate in conferences in the U.S. You will also be able to apply for another work visa other than the above mentioned. Read more about this rule here.

If you do an internship during your studies or within the first 12 months after graduating, you will be an intern. If you do an internship after a minimum of one year of relevant work experience after graduating from a high-level education or if you have a minimum of five years of relevant work experience after graduating high school, you will be a trainee.

Since compensation claims in the U.S. are known to be very steep and court trials very expensive, it is not possible for the individual intern to take out policies for public liability insurance with a Danish insurance company that will cover completely during the internship. We encourage you to contact your American employer to find out if you may be covered by the workplace insurance during your internship and if so, what that coverage consists of. It is also a good idea to have an insurance that cover illness, accidents, luggage and household effects.