US Exchange Visitor Sponsorship

Kristina Scheurle
External Relationship Partner

IIE is honored to be a designated sponsor of the U.S. Department of State’s J-1 visa program. Exchanges fulfill the IIE mission of building leadership skills and enhancing the capacity of individual and organizations to address local and global challenges.

Download the IIE Exchange Visitor Handbook (PDF)

What is Exchange Visitor J-1 Sponsorship?

Individuals from abroad can come to the U.S. to develop an understanding of American culture through experiencing life and work here and then return home to share their experiences. Exchange visitors have the opportunity to:

  • Engage in long and short term research collaborations
  • Teach in an accredited elementary or secondary school, or university classroom
  • Share their specialized knowledge or skill
  • Train in their occupational field while sharing their cultural experiences with Americans

IIE can provide the following J-1 related services:

  • Credential review
  • Program/training plan evaluation and/or development
  • Staff to address the needs and concerns of the host organization, the exchange visitors and their families
  • Written terms of appointment outlining the U.S. exchange activities and funding arrangements
  • Pre-arrival information, instructions and orientation materials
  • Monitoring and support throughout the exchange
  • DHS’ SEVIS registration and updates required by federal regulation
  • Coordination of health insurance coverage for large groups
  • DHS’s SEVIS fee payment instructions
  • Cross-cultural activities in New York City
  • English language fluency screening
  • Site visits

Advantages of Using IIE for Sponsorship

IIE guides a host of organizations through the Exchange Visitor process. We provide timely service and screening to determine whether the opportunity is a valid exchange and whether each prospective participant qualifies for the exchange opportunity.

IIE eases the administrative burdens of hosting an Exchange Visitor by taking responsibility for the most time-consuming aspects of the process. Our experienced staff are experts in this area and have a firm understanding of the requirements and pitfalls associated with the non-immigrant visa process.

Research Scholars, Short-term Scholars, and Specialists

IIE works with corporations, established businesses, law firms, research institutes, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited educational institutions and similar types of institutions to sponsor individuals, who conduct research, lecture, observe, or consult in programs lasting from 3 weeks to 5 years.

The primary purpose of the J-1 programs in these categories is to foster the exchange of ideas between Americans and foreign nationals, to stimulate international collaborative research efforts, and to share specialized skills.


IIE cooperates with accredited primary and secondary schools, school boards and host universities to strengthen foreign language and curricular instruction by establishing an international presence at the host site.

International teachers diversify academic institutions, bringing a different approach to teaching and new perspectives on education. Qualified teachers and professors have the opportunity to interact with colleagues, build relationships with students and parents, engage in professional development activities and share their cultural experiences. Sponsorship is available for a maximum of 3 years for teachers and 5 years for professors.

Download the J-1 teacher Fact Sheet & Fees (PDF)


Trainees may participate in pre-arranged training programs conducted at the host site in the following occupational fields:

  • Agriculture, forestry, and fishing
  • Arts and culture
  • Education, social sciences, library science counseling and social services
  • Hospitality and tourism
  • Information media and communications
  • Public administration and law
  • Management, business, commerce and finance
  • The sciences, engineering, architecture, mathematics and industrial occupations

Hosting training programs for international visitors allows organizations to develop international contacts, fill cultural and language voids and gain insight on other cultures and perspectives. In return, a foreign national receives training in a professional environment, enhances skills relating to an occupational field and becomes acquainted with new and different ways of doing business on a day-to-day basis.

Fee Structure

IIE’s fees for our services are competitive and fair. As a not-for-profit institution with a mission of building leadership skills and enhancing the capacity of individuals and organizations to address local and global challenges, we remain true to our reputation for excellence and maintain integrity in all our services. Expedited service is available.