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J-1 Training Plan Updates: What Host Companies Should Know

The Department of State issued an updated Form DS-7002, Training/ Internship Placement Plan for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a web-based information system maintained by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  The form will now have additional and better organized information about the participant’s training, and this information will be immediately available to U.S. consular posts via the SEVIS database. Form DS-7002 officially outlines the intern/trainee’s training program in the U.S. and is signed by both the intern/ trainee and the program supervisor.

The updated Form DS-7002 should make it easier for host companies to outline a multi-phase training plan with various supervisors.  The previous DS-7002 only allowed for one supervisor to oversee and sign-off on the entire training program.  In the updated version of the form, the direct supervisor will now need to sign after each phase of the training plan. If different supervisors are responsible for different phases of training, each individual will sign following that phase of the training program.

The second big change is that J-1 program sponsors must enter ALL content on the Form DS-7002 directly into the intern/trainee’s SEVIS record. Consular officials will now be able to view all of the content directly in the SEVIS database, making this information readily available, and accessible for all stages of the adjudicatory process.

While these changes are welcomed to increase the flexibility, depth, and accuracy of the training program outlined in Form DS-7002, every stakeholder, including the trainee/ intern, host company, and sponsor must make sure that all of the information is accurate, as U.S. Consulates/ Embassies will directly check all details from the SEVIS database when adjudicating cases during the J-1 visa interview.

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Danielle Lifrieri