Common Misconceptions About the J-1 Program Blog - Experience Abroad

Common Misconceptions About the J-1 Program

September 28, 2023 By Experience Abroad

The J-1 program is an internship program offered to students and young professionals who are interested in having their training in the United States. However, many applicants seem to misunderstand what the program is about. With that, let us debunk five common misconceptions about the J-1 program.


Misconception #1: The J-1 visa is a work visa.

The J-1 visa is strictly not a work visa. As previously mentioned, a training and intern visa is granted to those who will have their traineeship and internship program in the United States.

Its goal is to allow students and young professionals to gain sufficient and necessary experience that can be incorporated into their careers once they return to their home countries.

The main difference between an internship and employment is an internship is a temporary experience. Interns and trainees can not fully replace employees because the program is for educational purposes.

However, the J-1 program is a paid opportunity and is usually called an “allowance” or “stipend.” 


Misconception #2: As a J-1 visa holder, I am considered an overseas worker.

Just like what was mentioned, interns and trainees are not workers, so they are not considered overseas workers. 

Here in the Philippines, all J-1 participants are classified under the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO). Contrary to popular belief, interns are not under the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) since this is for Overseas Filipino Workers only. 


Misconception #3: I can work a second job.

Interns and trainees cannot work a second job since the J-1 visa is not a work visa. 

In the case that you will be working a second job, there is a great chance that your J-1 program and contract will be terminated. Because of that, they will be forced to return to their home countries.

If you want to finish your program, make sure that you won’t apply for employment.


Common Misconceptions About the J-1 Program - I can work a second job


Misconception #4: The J-1 program is purely for professional experience only.

Although the J-1 program will help you boost your career, it is not only limited to that. Having your internship in the United States is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so make sure you make the best out of it!

We encourage our applicants to use their free time to tour the United States, partake in cultural activities, and visit famous tourist attractions.

Not only will you gain professional experience, but you will also gain memorable experiences that you can cherish even after your program.


Misconception #5: I will only get to work with Americans.

Expect that there will be many applicants coming from countries around the world.

Here at Experience Abroad, we have applicants coming from the Philippines, Indonesia, and India, so expect that you will be working with people from different cultures and backgrounds and not only with Americans.

It is important to clarify these common misconceptions about the J-1 program as early as you start your application.

Remember that during your visa interview, you have to be careful with your choice of words, so clarifying the J-1 program and its details will be helpful for you in your application. 

If you need help with your application, do not hesitate to reach out to us! Experience Abroad will be more than happy to help you.


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