Third quarter 2007 “WISE® Support- it makes the difference”
WISE® has already officially received its designation to sponsor the new J-1 Internship category, as well as to continue to sponsor J-1 Training programs in the categories of Hospitality & Tourism and Management; Business, Finance and Commerce.
Below are a few quotes from training program evaluations:
“[Through the training program] we have learned about professionalism with guests and associates and how to solve guest issues and complaints.”
“This program has helped us to maintain our objective of providing a culturally diverse environment for both staff and guests. The quality of trainees has also pushed us to provide a more challenging environment for our employees.”
“Not only I improved my language skills, obtain more knowledge and skills of hospitality & tourism
management, but also I learned how to communicate with our
members, my co-workers, how to adapt myself into a new environment. And I did well, in four months and half I got promotion from service to office, I had a chance to work
at different positions, F&B service, Administrative
office, Front desk, Fitness centre....”
The Foundation for Worldwide International Student Exchange (WISE®) is a non-profit organization providing international exchange opportunities to students, youth and adults.
For more information about the WISE® Internship and Training program or other programs, contact WISE® at:
We’re on the Web!
On July 19, the new regulations for the J-1 Training visa and the introduction of the J-1 Internship visa went into effect. This special edition of WISE® Training and Internship News brings you up to date on the latest changes.
To download a copy of this newsletter in .pdf format, click here.
have any questions about the new regulations, or would like to make comments
or contribute to this newsletter, please contact
In this edition:
Specific eligibility criteria has been defined for the new internship category as follows:
Internship Applicants must:
§ Be currently enrolled in and pursuing studies at a degree- or
certificate-granting post-secondary academic institution outside of the
§ Be at least 18 years of age.
§ Have proficient English skills to perform in both social and internship activities. The goal to improve English in the course of the program is not a basis for which an intern will be selected to participate.
§ Demonstrate a career focus through educational emphasis and focus and/or progressive professional experience in the area for which an applicant is applying for internship.
§ And other requirements
Changes have been made to the eligibility criteria for training applicants, as follows:
Training Applicants must:
§ Have a degree or professional certificate from a foreign
post-secondary institution plus 1 year of experience or 5 years of relevant
experience outside the
§ Be at least 18 years of age.
§ Have proficient English skills to perform in both social and training activities. The goal to improve English in the course of the program is not a basis for which a trainee will be selected to participate.
§ Demonstrate a career focus through educational emphasis and focus and/or progressive professional experience in the area for which an applicant is applying for training.
§ And other requirements
Program Duration (for Training and Internship)
All Internship programs are limited to a maximum of 12 months. All programs in hospitality training are generally limited to 12 months maximum. In very limited cases involving very high levels of programs for highly qualified candidates, WISE® may consider 18 month programs. A general guideline for a possible 18 month program for now would be if the trainee is developing skills and participating in assignments at an Assistant Manager or similar level of professional development. Our expectation is that very few standard programs will qualify for this category.
WISE® strongly encourages supervisory and administrative components in hospitality programs that are 12 months or shorter; particularly in the training category. Programs that do not meet the 18 month criteria from the outset, cannot later be extended beyond the 12 month regulatory guidelines.
Beginning immediately, please revise standard program offer letters to reflect 12 month or shorter programs, and inform all candidates that the maximum duration of their program will be 12 months. Please contact WISE® if you have any questions about individual candidates and whether they may qualify for 18 month programs.
New participant applications for Training and Internship
WISE® has created a new application for both the training and internship programs. The application is designed to be in an easier to use format, as well as to gather information needed to satisfy the requirements set forth by the new regulations. Applications and instructions for both programs can be downloaded from our website here: http://WISE®.wisefoundation.com/index.php?sect=2
Host site eligibility form
A wide range of host sites participate in training and internship programs on behalf of sponsors. New regulations require sponsors to ensure that these host companies are legitimate, and appropriately registered or licensed to provide structured, work-based learning opportunities according to the individualized Training/ Internship Placement Plans (DS-7002). The goal of this form is to collect sufficient evidence to support a finding that participants are properly placed with host organizations that meet these standards.
WISE® must collect a copy of the host site eligibility form from every site that hosts WISE® training or internship participants. Please download and complete a copy of the Host site eligibility form here.
The DS-7002 Training/Internship Placement Plan
The Training/Internship Placement Plan (DS-7002) effectively takes the place of the current Training Plan. This form will be used for both internship and training programs, although the content and design of the programs may differ. You can view and download a copy of the DS-7002 from the Department of State’s website here:
The process for completing this form will be similar to the current process of the creation of the training plan. WISE® will generally take the lead on documenting the plan, coordinating with the site in the development process to make sure that both the needs of the site and the requirements of the visa are satisfied.
There are several important considerations to make when using this form:
1. By signing the
DS-7002 the host sites, through WISE®, are confirming that the
training/internship program is not designed to recruit and train participants
for employment in the
2. Regulations require that all internship and training programs in hospitality and tourism longer than six months include at least three departmental or functional rotations.
3. Internship and Training programs must be structured and guided, well supervised, and specifically relate to the participant’s academic field (for internship) and professional experience (for training).
4. Trainees and interns on 12 month or shorter should have a program that clearly demonstrates professional growth and progression. We believe supervisory or managerial training during their program is a key and important way to achieve this for both programs. Ideally this phase should constitute at least 1/3 of the total program but levels of education and experience may be taken into consideration particularly in the case of an intern. For the internship program, this supervisory training can take place concurrently with one or more of the departmental or functional rotations. For the training program, this should be a stand alone rotation set at a fairly high level. This should be a realistic expectation since trainees must now have at least 5 years of related work and/or education plus one year of related work experience in order to qualify for the program and this stage would typically occur after as much as 8 months in the U.S on the initial stages of the program.
New interview requirement
A new regulatory requirement is that all participants for both training and internship categories must be verified through a documented interview in person, by videoconferencing or by web camera. This interview can also be used to verify the applicant’s English language skills, which must be sufficient to function on a day-to-day basis in the training or internship environment. (Alternatively, English language skills can be verified by providing proof that the participant has taken and passed a recognized English language test, however this cannot take the place of the documented interview which is required.)
WISE® has some reason to believe that this requirement may be reconsidered by Department of State as they take into account comments from sponsors and other entities provided during the comment period. Until we receive official news about whether or not the new interview requirement has been removed from the regulations, the interview requirement will stand as it is described above.
WISE® has already updated our technology to be able to facilitate and record web-camera interviews. We will interview any candidate who has not already been verified by an in-person interview, or documented web-cam or video interview.
Participants who have been directed to your property through overseas recruitment agents or from hospitality schools may have already satisfied the new interview requirement. WISE® is able to license select partners, such as schools and recruitment agents, to facilitate and document the interviews on our behalf.
This new interview is meant for further verification of suitability of a candidate for the program, but does not necessarily need to replace the normal selection process already used by the host company. Host companies may choose to coordinate longer, more in-depth telephone interviews during the selection process
We welcome your comments. Please send all comments to
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