I start my international career with an internship in the USA!

Apply directly with us! We are a J-1 Visa Sponsor for the whole USA
Learn more


The following 3 steps are required in order to apply and join our J-1 Exchange program to the U.S.A.
  • If you have already found a host company in the USA? If YES, check out if you meet the basic requirements for an Internship or a Trainee.

  • IF NOT, you have to find a company in the USA first! Please see our Internship Placement Service.
  • For more detailed information, read our J-1 Visa FAQ.
  • If you meet the basic minimum requirements for a J-1 Visa in your category, you can submit free of charge your documents through an online account.
  • Create your free account by registering online and providing all necessary information.
  • Once you complete your online account and submit your application to our J-1 Visa Program, our role as sponsor begins. We will check all your documents and uploads. We contact your host company and take care of all necessary documentation such as your official State Department training plan form (DS-7002).
  • Your DS-2019 form will be issued if your application complies with all requirements of our program.
  • We assist you in scheduling a visit to a U.S. Consulate or Embassy that will issue you a J-1 Visa.
  • During your internship or training in the USA, we will serve as your primary contact the so-called program Sponsor
  • We also organize fun cultural activities and events for interns and trainees.

Why do I need a J-1 sponsor?

Required by law

In order to conduct an internship or training opportunity in the USA, you will need a suitable host company and a J-1 Visa.  The J-1 Visa is granted to individuals by the U.S. State Department through a form called the DS-2019.  These forms may only be obtained through designated sponsors such as GACC California.  The GACC California is an official J-1 Visa sponsor for the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program and is entitled by the U.S. State Department to sponsor interns and trainees.

As a sponsor, we support participants in our program throughout their entire stay in the US and are therefore the primary contact for the duration of their internship or training.  We ensure that participants’ internship or training follows all current rules and regulations.  Throughout the internship, we conduct evaluations on the progress and quality of the training.

What is the J-1 Visa?

The J-1 Visa is a non-immigrant visa for the purpose of cultural exchange.  This means that the aim of this program is to provide participants with further education in their field of study combined with new cultural experiences and English language immersion.

What does a J-1 Sponsor do?

We are your partner at your side during your whole stay!


  • We ensure that your application meets all current eligibility requirements.
  • We work directly with your host company to complete all necessary documents (DS-7002).
  • We provide you with detailed information in our participant manual.
  • We will prepare you for your appointment at the US Embassy or Consulate and provide you with the DS-2019 form.

During your Stay

  • After your arrival in the USA, you may officially start your internship.
  • You will get important information about what to do in the first few weeks.
  • During your internship, you must participate regularly in evaluations.
  • Once a month, you must update us on your status.
  • We organize regular events in major U.S. cities so that our program participants from all over the world and from many professional fields can meet up and connect.
  • We serve as your primary contact in all situations.

Leaving the USA

  • You will participate in a final evaluation.
  • Your company will also participate in a final evaluation.
  • You will confirm with us once you arrive back in your home country.
  • We will provide you with information on receiving a tax refund.
  • Many participants share their experiences with pictures and a short summary of their time.
  • You will have access to our extensive alumni network.


Find your J-1 visa category

With the J-1 Intern Visa, students and recent graduates may participate in a cultural exchange through an internship up to 12 months after graduation. The duration, payment, and responsibilities of your internship are coordinated with your host company.  Your internship must be clearly related to your academic studies.  An internship in the USA is an ideal way to gain international experience and skills.


  • Must be 18 years or older
  • Internship must correspond to your field of study
  • In at least the 2nd semester at university
  • Have graduated less than 12 months ago
  • Able to cover the monthly living expenses (minimum $ 1300 per month)
  • Have the necessary language skills for an internship in a company
  • Must leave the U.S. at least 30 days after completion of internship
  • Internship duration a maximum of 12 months

With the J-1 visa for trainees, graduates and professionals can complete a cultural exchange in the USA for up to 18 months as part of a training program. The duration, payment and responsibilities of your training are coordinated with your host company.  There must be a clear connection to your professional field and your previous professional experience. Training is an ideal way of deepening the career path in an international environment.

  • Must be 18 years or older
  • Completed a recognized academic program outside of the US and at least 12 months full-time work experience outside the US
  • Applicants without a university degree need at least 5 years of work experience in the field of the intended training outside the USA
  • Host company must be confirmed before the start of the application
  • Must earn at least minimum wage of the respective city or higher
  • Must leave the U.S. at least 30 days after completion of internship
  • Have the necessary language skills for an internship in a company
  • Training duration a maximum of 18 months

Read about our Participants and their stories in the USA

Mission Beach Photo Shoot

Internship placement in the U.S.

Having trouble finding a company?

For those who have yet to secure an internship with a suitable company in the USA, we offer our individual placement program. You can specify your career goals and interests here, for example, location and field of expertise. The processing time to find a placement and visa preparations is between 3 and 6 months.

Do you have any questions?

What questions do you have about the J-1 Visa for interns or trainees?
  • Please state your question here by describing your situation in more detail and your ideal outcome. We will get back to you via email.
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How to contact us

Contact us:

visa @ gaccca.org (only J-1 visa inquires)
info @ gaccca.org (all other inquires)
programs @ gaccca.org (only placement inquires)

+1 619 272 1237 (10 – 12 noon  & 2 – 4 pm ) PST

Personal appointments only after confirmed registrations.


German American Chamber of Commerce California, Inc
600 B Street, Suite 300
92101 San Diego, California, USA

About us:

The German American Chamber of Commerce California (GACC California) is an independent non-profit organization headquartered in San Diego, California. We are an official J-1 sponsor in the Intern and Trainee category. We offer programs for cultural exchange, internships and training opportunities throughout the USA.  Information about the J-1 Visa and the application process is made available through the website www.J1-Visa.com our main website is www.gaccca.org.