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The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign uses the J-1 Trainee category individuals coming to certain university departments to engage in a pre-authorized training program (they cannot pursue ordinary employment or fulfill a labor need) which does not duplicate their prior work experience or training received elsewhere.  Trainees may hold either paid or unpaid traineeships, and may or may not hold an appointment with the university.

The following documents must be included with any J-1 request for the Trainee category submitted to ISSS:

1. Evidence of educational and/or professional background in the form of:

  • A degree or professional certificate from a foreign post-secondary academic institution and at least one year of prior related work experience in their occupational field acquired outside the United States; OR
  • Five years of work experience outside the United States in their occupational field.

2. Screening and selection form (Trainee Screening and Selection Form )

  • The department will be required to conduct a documented, thorough screening of the individual by an in-person interview, videoconference, webcam or phone, if the other options are not viable.  The interview may be performed by a reputable third party acting on behalf of the department.

Also, a DS-7002 Training/Internship Placement Plan must be completed for each Trainee. The information needed to complete the DS-7002 will be collected through the DS-2019 request in iSTART. The information will be reviewed by an ISSS advisor, and then the completed DS-7002 will be provided to the department for signatures. The department must collect signatures from both the Trainee and the faculty host, and then return the signed document to ISSS. Only after receiving the fully signed DS-7002 may ISSS issue the DS-2019. The Trainee will need both the DS-2019 and the DS-7002 when applying for a visa and entering the United States.


For all trainees, a final evaluation by the department will be required.  For trainee programs of more than six months, a midpoint evaluation will also be required.  The evaluation form must be completed by the faculty host/supervisor and signed by both the host and the Trainee. Please use the following forms and submit completed evaluations to our office via email.

Training Program Duration & Repeat Participation

Trainee programs have a maximum duration of 18 months.  Trainees may participate in additional training programs only after residing outside the U.S. for at least 2 years following the last training program.  Additional programs must be for the development of more advanced skills or a different field of expertise.