The first question applicants and schools ask is whether we charge fees for our J-1 Programs. The answer to this is 'Yes, we do.' But why do you need to pay these fees and what are they for? All your answers are found below!
Here is a breakdown of the typical fees that make up the majority of J-1 program fees, however please always ask your agent for a full breakdown of the Program Fees:
J-1 Sponsorship Fees: We call our US Internship/Trainee-ship programs J1 Programs as that is the visa required to be eligible to train, live and stay in the USA for your internship period ( up to 12 months). Only State Department-designated sponsors are authorized to issue the Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status (Form DS-2019), which is the basic document to support an application for an exchange visitor visa (J-1 Visa). Sponsors screen and select prospective exchange visitors based on the criteria set forth in the governing regulations (22 CFR Part 62). The visa sponsor charges sponsorship fees for issuing the DS forms.
SEVIS: SEVIS is an Internet-based system that provides tracking and monitoring functionality, with access to accurate and current information on non-immigrant students (F and M visa) and exchange visitors (J visa), and their dependents (F-2, M-2, and J-2). SEVIS enables schools and program sponsors to transmit electronic information and event notifications, via the Internet, to the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State throughout a student's or exchange visitor's stay in the United States. To maintain the system, all applicants are required to pay a fee. The fee is different per J-1 Program.* Source: https://j1visa.state.gov
J-1 Visa Application Fee: Visa applicants are required to pay a non-refundable, non-transferable visa application fee, sometimes referred to as the MRV fee, before applying for a nonimmigrant visa. The visa application fee must be paid whether a visa is issued or not. The type of visa for which you apply determines the fee amount. *Source: ustraveldocs.com
Insurance: Participants and any J-2 dependants (spouses and minor unmarried children under the age 21) accompanying them are required to carry medical insurance at the minimum benefit levels stated in the program regulations. If applicants don't maintain their insurance status the program will be terminated. Medical costs in the USA are very high so it is important you have good coverage on your insurance policy. Please refer to the regulations for details. [22 CFR 62.14]*. Your agent will always ensure you have adequate insurance before your Visa Interview. You'll also receive an insurance card and policy so you have proof that you are covered for medical emergencies.* Source: https://j1visa.state.gov
Mediation Fees: The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program provides opportunities for around 300,000 foreign visitors from 200 countries and territories per year to experience U.S. society and culture and engage with Americans*.
Due to this high demand and there only being several sponsors, vetted international mediation companies/travel agents/lawyers partner with them to act as recruitment and preparation partners.Mediation companies vary, some mediators will have multiple visa programs they work with so logically just be there to interview you and educate participants on the program and visa.
Other mediation companies (like ours) focuses solely on the J-1 program and provides an all inclusive mediation for our applicants. In addition to the items stated above, we work with our hotel partners in the USA to arrange J-1 fairs at your school doing face to face interviews, or to hire you remotely through Skype. Our hotels are all screened and provide exciting programs for you. We also guide you through your embassy appointment, advise you on the necessary forms to meet regulations, arrange housing with you and much more.
WHO PAYS THESE FEES?
As I stated earlier every sponsor/mediation company/travel agency etc will have a different way to pay the fees for the J-1 Program. Here are some examples:
Direct Payment by Applicant: The most common payment method is that the applicant pays directly once accepted into the program and you receive your paperwork.
Pre-Financed: The Hotel/Sponsor/Agency you decide to complete your J-1 internship at may offer to advance your fees (this means they loan you the money) but they most the time will ask for a part payment first for security. Please note that you always have to pay the program fees back while you are in the USA, typically through deductions on your paychecks.
School Payment: Some J-1 programs like ours have arrangements with colleges and universities. In some cases the school will then pay the agent/sponsor/hotel for the J-1 Program Fees as part of the tuition of the school.
Check out Training 4 Hospitality's Program Fees