J-1 Student Intern

It is possible for faculty members to host an overseas undergraduate student in an internship at Northwestern University. If all the criteria for participation are met, the International Office (IO) can issue the DS-2019 immigration document for the student intern to obtain a J1 visa in this category.

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.  Each intern must demonstrate the requirement of $1,765/month or $21,180/year

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

J-1 Intern Criteria
Supervisor Responsibility
J-1 Request Process

J-1 Intern Criteria

  1. The internship cannot be for more than 12 months for an Intern.
  2. The intern is a foreign national enrolled in and pursuing an undergraduate degree at an accredited post-secondary academic institution outside the U.S. S/he must be in good academic standing.
  3. The intern must be engaged full-time (32 hours/week) in the internship at Northwestern University that will fulfill the educational objectives for his/her current degree program at his/her home institution.
  4. The intern is maintaining satisfactory advancement towards completion of his/her internship program.
  5. The intern has verifiable English language skills to function in the internship environment.
  6. The intern is primarily in the US to engage in the intern program rather than to engage in employment or provide services to Northwestern University.
  7. The intern will return to his/her academic program and obtain a degree from their overseas academic institution after completion of the student intern program. The intern can not transfer into an academic degree program at Northwestern University while in his/her internship.
  8. The intern has adequate finances to support himself/herself and dependents for their duration of their stay in the US. The intern can be paid by the sponsoring department.
  9. The student internship exposes participants to American techniques, methodologies, and technology and expands upon the participants' existing knowledge and skills.
  10. The internship cannot duplicate the student intern's prior experience.
  11. The intern must have sufficient health insurance coverage for the entire duration of their internship program.

supervisor's responsibilities:

  • Ensure that there are sufficient resources, plant, equipment and trained personnel available to provide for the specified internship program.
  • Ensures the internship does not displace full or part-time temporary or permanent American workers or serve to fill a labor need.
  • Ensure that the intern 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.
  • Ensures that the position the intern fills exists solely to assist the intern in achieving the objectives of his/her participation in an internship program and does not involve more than 20% clerical work.
  • Complete the required evaluation of the intern's performance at the conclusion of the internship.
  • Internships lasting longer than 6 months require a mid-point evaluation.
  • Ensure the intern will be oriented with the department personnel, equipment, procedures, etc.

J-1 Student INTERN REqest Process:

  1. Department establishes internship program, conducts selection process and identifies suitable candidates.
  2. Department requests intern to complete J-1 Intern Student Application
  3. Obtain EMPL ID for the J-1 Student Intern
    1. Use the EMPL ID Request Form to request EMPL ID from Payroll office. Note: All J-1 Requests sent to the International Office must already have an EMPL ID.
  4. Obtain approved Visiting Scholar Health Insurance Application (VSHIA) through the Office of Risk Management.
    1. EV provides insurance coverage and policy to NU department
    2. NU department accesses the Office for Risk Management's website and downloads both the VSHIA and the Lab Waiver, obtains signatures from the dean, director or department head, attaches coverage information, and faxes it to the Office of Risk Management (847-467-7475)
    3. The Office of Risk Management approves the VSHIA and returns it to the NU department.
    4. NU department includes approved VSHIA  with the additional J-1 Intern Request materials.
  5. Obtain funding documentation if not already included on official university position confirmation above. When submitting bank statements, institutional letters of support or bank letters please use the following guidelines:
    1. Must have been issued within the last 3 months.
    2. Name of J-1 scholar as account holder or recipient of the letter of support
    3. Account balance with currency or statement that they have at least $1765 (not including dependents) of support per month
    4. The letter must be in English or notarized English translation
    5. If the funding information is an institutional letter of support, the dates of coverage and total amount of support must be present
  6. Department completes J-1 Intern Department Application
  7. Department submits completed forms (J-1 Intern Department Application and J-1 Student Application) to IO via  J1requests@northwestern.edu
  8. An IO advisor reviews application and will create DS-2019 and DS-7002
  9. Department picks up documents and mails to J-1 Student Intern 
  10. J-1 Student Intern will apply for J-1 visa stamp in his/her home country
  11. At completion of internship (or at 6 month midpoint) Department submits Supervisor Evaluation to IO

All forms can be found here.