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Blandon Law Immigration

Monday, February 1, 2010

Trainees and Interns

     Many companies have placed freezes on hiring, prompting managers and executives to wonder whether there is any way that the skills of foreign nationals can be put to good use.  Fortunately, foreign nationals can obtain work experience at companies as either trainees or interns.  Trainees have experience in their field.  Interns are in the process of obtaining a degree or obtained it less than 12 months before the internship program starts.  In short, interns are learning while trainees are improving on what they know.
     There are basically two types of visas available to trainees:  J and H3.  The latter requires no knowledge of English.  The idea is that the information gained will be used by the foreigner abroad when s/he returns home.  The company also petitions the trainee directly.  By contrast, a company wishing to sponsor a J trainee must qualify through a sponsorship program (the American Immigration Lawyers Association has a great one for companies with at least 10 employees).  J1 trainees must have a working knowledge of English, a foreign degree and at least one year of full-time work experience in the field or at least 5 years of work experience.  The occupational categories for J1 trainees are limited to particular fields.
     Of course, other visa classifications may be even better options depending on the particular facts of the company and the foreign national.  That's why it is best to deal with an immigration professional on these matters.

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