The US Department of State mandates that J-1 exchange visitors have sufficient English language skills necessary to successfully participate in their programs and to function on a day-to-day basis.
According to 22 CFR 62.10(a)(2), designated visa sponsors must screen and select prospective exchange interns to ensure that they possess sufficient English proficiency for daily communication in a US workplace setting as determined by an objective proficiency measurement.
To comply with this regulation, applicants must submit qualified documentation in conjunction with their application to the program. The English proficiency requirement can be satisfied by submitting one of the following:
(1) Documentation such as elementary school transcripts or diplomas to prove that the intern is a native English speaker born and raised in Australia, Belize, Botswana, Canada (except Quebec), Commonwealth Caribbean, Ghana, Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, Nigeria, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, or Zimbabwe. A passport or birth certificate copy is not sufficient documentation.
(2) A copy of official results from one of the following English language tests taken within the last two years and meeting the stated minimum score noted below. Official copies are preferred; unofficial transcripts can be accepted on a case-by-case basis. Transcripts must include essential information such as the test name, applicant's name, test date, and score.
- 6.0 in IELTS
- Grade D/4 (or equivalent) in HKCEE/DSE (English subject)
- 500/997 (paper-based) or 213/300 (computer-based) or 80/120 (online-based) in TOEFL- Grade C A-/O-Level (English subject)
- 550/710 in CET-4 or 520/710 in CET-6
- 120/150 in College Entrance Examination (English subject)
- Grade 4 or above in International Baccalaureate English Language
- Grade C or above in GCSE/IGCSE English
- A minimum of 1650 on SAT I or Level 8 on SAT Reasoning Test Essay
(3) English Proficiency Assessment Form completed and signed by (a) a professor of any courses taught in English, (b) an English-speaking internship administrative officer, or (c) an English-speaking academic counselor at the applicant's current post-secondary institution. The interview must be conducted in person or via videoconferencing. Alternatively, applicants can (d) bring the form to the on-campus intro interview and request that the interviewer conduct the assessment and sign the form on the spot.