How to Apply

Admission Requirements

To apply for a VISIT internship, you must:

  • Be eligible for a J-1 visa
  • Be pursuing a degree at an accredited postsecondary academic institution outside the United States
  • Be primarily in the United States to engage in a student internship program rather than to engage in employment or provide services
  • Be in good academic standing at your home institution
  • Intend to return to your home institution after completion of the internship in order to finish your degree
  • Have sufficient financial resources to support yourself and any accompanying dependents for the duration of your visit to the United States
  • Have not previously participated in a student internship program for more than 12 months (for each degree/major)
  • Agree to comply with University of Washington policies, including the Student Conduct Code and intellectual property policies

Note: Dual citizens who are enrolled at a foreign university are eligible for the VISIT program, but green card holders are not eligible. If you're already in the United States on a student visa and are interested in transferring to the VISIT program, you must contact us before starting the application process.

Proof of English Language Proficiency

Applicants must demonstrate a high level of English proficiency and have earned at least a 76 on the TOEFL iBT, or an overall band score of 6.0 on the IELTS.

You can submit a copy of your score report with your VISIT application as a placeholder until the VISIT office can verify your official score.

Please note:

  • All applicants must submit official TOEFL or IELTS scores to be eligible for admission consideration
  • Applicants from English speaking countries are not exempt from the English proficiency requirement
  • Previous ESL coursework or English composition courses, even when taken in the United States, will not satisfy the English proficiency requirement
  • An associate degree from a community college does not exempt applicants from submitting English proficiency exam scores

Application Steps

To apply to the VISIT program, follow the steps below. You should allow at least three to five months to complete this process, including the visa interview. We advise potential VISIT interns to purchase their flight only after they have received their DS-2019 immigration documents. See the VISIT Program Timeline for more details.

1. Contact the UW VISIT office for more information on the VISIT program. The VISIT office will provide resources on how to connect with the UW academic department or program where you would like to conduct research or work-based learning as an intern. The department should match the area of specialization in your degree program. (Note: Individuals who wish to enroll in coursework at the UW should not apply for an internship but instead contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office or the Graduate Admissions Office for information about applying as an international student.)

2. If you and the department agree to the general goals of the internship, you will be interviewed by your UW host supervisor.

3. Working with your UW host supervisor, choose the start and end date of your internship. You must enter the United States on or 30 days before the start date listed on the VISIT application and the Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status–Form DS-2019 (DS-2019). Keep in mind that it may take up to five months for you, your UW host department, and the UW to complete and process your VISIT application.

4. The UW host department will communicate with the VISIT office of your selection for participation in the VISIT Program. The department completes Parts A–B, H, and K of the VISIT J-Visa Request, and you complete Parts C–E, and G. Your home institution is required to complete Part F.

5. Return the form via email to your UW host department along with a copy of your passport ID page, financial documentation (English translation of bank statement and/or sponsor letter on letterhead), and official score report from TOEFL iBT (minimum score is 76) or IELTS (minimum score is 6.0). Other language proficiency test scores are not be accepted.

6. Your UW host department completes a Training/Internship Placement Plan (DS-7002) and emails it to you to review. Sign the form by hand or electronically. Leave the sponsor signature blank. Email the form back to the UW host department.

7. The host department sends all application materials to the VISIT office for review and processing. The VISIT office will express mail your DS-2019 with information regarding insurance coverage, housing, transportation, how to set-up your UW Net ID and UW email, and other resources. Some of this information will also be emailed to you.

8. Pay the SEVIS I-901 fee and apply for a J-1 visa at the nearest U.S. consulate.

9. Present the DS-2019 and DS-7002 forms at the visa appointment. Accompanying family members should bring their DS-2019s and apply for their J-2 visas at the same time.

10. Enter the United States on or within 30 days prior to the start date indicated in item #3 of the DS-2019 form. You may not enter the country after the start date listed on the DS-2019. If you cannot enter the country by the start date, contact the VISIT office immediately so that the DS-2019 can be updated and reissued.

What Happens Next

Get Health Insurance

As a VISIT student intern, you are required to purchase a LewerMark student health insurance policy before attending your required J-Visa Orientation at the UW. This insurance is required even if you have insurance from your home country. The VISIT office will provide insurance enrollment instructions when you receive your DS-2019, and at the J-Visa Orientation you will submit a Statement of Compliance with Insurance Requirements that includes your policy number.

Register for J-1 Visa Orientation

Register to attend the mandatory J-1 Visa Orientation the first Monday after you arrive. Bring the DS-2019 forms for you and any dependents along with a printout of your I-94 card, passport, Statement of Compliance, and Seattle-area residence address to the orientation. You'll receive the Statement of Compliance included with your DS-2019 after acceptance to the VISIT program.