J-1 Student Intern

The J-1 student intern category is used for students who are currently pursuing an undergraduate degree outside of the U.S and will come to Northwestern University to participate in an internship program.   If all the criteria for participation are met, the International Office (IO) can issue the DS-2019 and DS-7002, necessary for the student intern to obtain a J1 visa in this category. Note: the IO will not issue the student intern category to students who are pursuing graduate degrees abroad; this category is only used for those currently pursuing an undergraduate degree.

J-1 Exchange Visitors may receive a salary or stipend from various parties. They can receive funding from Northwestern, the government, private organizations, their current place of employment (outside the U.S.), or personal funds but the funding must meet the current living expense requirements.  This requirement is currently $1,765/month or $21,180/year and does not include childcard or healthcare costs.

If NU will be paying the J-1 intern, the required amount per hour must meet or exceed $8.25/hour

Compliance & Supervisor Responsibility
Requesting J-1 Student Intern Status
Arrival to the U.S.
Completion of Internship Program

COMPLIANCE & Supervisor responsibility


  • Lasts for no more than 12 months and is full-time (at least 32 hours/week).
  • Does not duplicate the student intern's prior experience and that s/he maintains satisfactory advancement towards completion of his/her internship.
  • Exposes student intern to American techniques, methodologies, and technology and expands upon his/her existing knowledge and skills.
  • Does not displace full or part-time temporary or permanent American workers or serve to fill a labor need.
  • Exists solely to assist the student intern in achieving the objectives of the internship and does not involve more than 20% clerical work.
  • Provides sufficient resources, equipment and trained personnel available to provide for the specified internship.


  • Will be oriented with the department personnel, equipment, procedures, etc.
  • Is primarily in the US to engage in the internship rather than employment or provide services to NU.
  • Is not placed in an unskilled or casual labor position, in a position that requires or involves child care or elder care, a position in the field of aviation or in clinical positions or any other kind of work that involves patient care or contact, including therapy.
  • Is in good academic standing and currently pursuing an undergraduate degree outside the U.S. and will return to his/her home insitutition to complete the degree. S/he cannot transfer to NU while pursuing the internship.

Evaluation Requirement

  • NU student intern supervisor must complete the required evaluation of the intern's performance at the conclusion of the internship and for internships lasting longer than 6 months, a mid-point evaluation as well.

Requesting J-1 Student Intern Status

All forms associated with the J-1 student intern process can be found here. If you have questions, please contact your IO advisor

Once the NU department has submitted a complete J-1 Student Intern Request to the IO, the IO advisor will review the documents and send the required questionnaire to the student intern supervisor.  We ask that the questionnaire is returned to the IO advisor in one week, so that we may issue the DS-2019 and DS-7002 within two weeks from receiving a complete request.  The EV will use the DS-2019 and DS-7002 to obtain his/her J-1 visa stamp at the U.S. embassy/consulate outside the U.S. Note: U.S. consulates and embassies will issue J-1 visa stamps no earlier than 120 days prior to the start date listed on the DS-2019.

Whether applying for a new J-1 or an extension, the following steps are required:

Step 1: Collect documents

  • Send the Exchange Visitor DS-2019 Request and the J-1 Student Intern Student Supplement to student intern for completion. The student should return the completed form and associated documents to the assigned NU Department Contact (electronic/scanned copies are accepted).
  • Obtain an approved Visiting Scholar Health Insurance Application (VSHIA) OR obtain a waiver of the Visiting Scholar Health Insurance, both through the Office of Risk Management.
  • Obtain funding documentation. When submitting bank statements, institutional letters of support or bank letters please use the following guidelines:
    • Must have been issued within the last 3 months.
    • Name of EV as account holder or recipient of the letter of support
    • Account balance with currency or statement that they have at least $1765 (not including dependents) of support per month
    • The letter must be in English or notarized English translation
    • If the funding information is an institutional letter of support, the dates of coverage and total amount of support must be present
  • Complete the DS-2019 Request and the J-1 Student Intern Department Supplement and obtain required signatures. Collect all documents on the checklist. 

Step 2: Scan/email request to IO

  • Complete requests should be emailed as one PDF to EVrequest@northwestern.edu
    • e-mail subject: "LAST NAME, New/Extension, Start Date" (e.g. WILDCAT, New, 04/01/2013)
    • file name: "DS2019Req_LAST NAME, First Name" (e.g. DS2019Req_WILDCAT, Willie)
  • The request will be forwarded to the appropriate IO advisor, who will be in contact with the Department and/or the EV with any questions or missing paperwork.

Step 3: IO Advisor sends questionnaire to NU faculty supervisor via email

  • IO advisor will review the documents and send the required questionnaire to the student intern supervisor.  We ask that the questionnaire is returned to the IO advisor in one week, so that we may issue the DS-2019 and DS-7002 within two weeks from receiving a complete request.

Step 4: IO Advisor issues DS-2019 and DS-7002

  • IO advisor will email the student intern, NU faculty supervisor and department contact. Included in the email will be the SEVIS ID number so that the student intern may make his/her J-1 visa appointment
  • The department will pick up the DS-2019 and DS-7002, obtain an original signature from the NU faculty supervisor on the DS-7002 and send the documents to the student intern. We strongly recommend that departments use FedEx, UPS, or another courier service.

Arrival to the U.S.

Step 5: Pay the SEVIS fee, obtain the J-1 visa stamp & review pre-arrival information

Step 6: Complete Immigration Check-In

  • EV's are eligible to come into the U.S. in J-1 status up to 30 days before the start date listed on his/her DS-2019
  • To ensure that the EV enters in J-1 stuent intern status, the EV should present the DS-2019, DS-7002 and J-1 visa stamp to the immigration official.
  • EV should bring Check-In Form, DS-2019 and passport to complete Immigration Check-In within 5 days of arriving to campus.

Step 7: Attend J-1 Orientation

  • After the student intern completes check-in s/he must attend mandatory J-1 Orientation. We offer J-1 orientations once per month; please check our homepage for specific details.

Completion of Internship Program

At the completion of internship (or at the 6 month midpoint) the NU Faculty Supervisor must submit a completed Supervisor Evaluation to IO

Note: Please see our J-1 Exchange Visitor page for more general information about J-1 status.