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Change of Host Employer Policy

Change of Host Employer Policy

The J-1 Intern and Trainee BridgeUSA Program is designed to facilitate cultural exchange and training at the host employer specified in the sponsorship documents, which include the training plan, SEVIS, and DS-2019. Changing your host employers during the program is viewed as an extraordinary circumstance and necessitates careful consideration, as it may be interpreted as a misuse of the J-1 visa and a departure from the program's cultural exchange objectives.


Participants need to understand the significance of upholding their initial commitment to the host organization and to acknowledge that a change in host employers should only be pursued in extraordinary circumstances. Should any concerns arise during the program, participants are required to discuss these concerns with the host organization immediately. Please inform AJ1as well, so we can monitor the resolution and ensure all parties are in agreement.


Some valid reasons to consider a change of host employer include:


  • The host employer experiencing financial difficulties (such as bankruptcy, unexpected closure, etc.).

  • The host employer's inability to provide training as outlined in the training plan.

  • The host employer's inability to offer appropriate support, supervision, and training.

  • The participant experiencing harassment, physical or emotional abuse by colleagues or management.

  • An unresolvable conflict between the participant and host employer.


If participants have concerns falling within the above categories, they are required to provide a detailed statement to both the host organization and AJ1, allowing all parties to collaborate towards an immediate satisfactory resolution.


AJ1 will not assist in securing a new host or changing host employers for reasons other than those outlined above. If a participant wishes to change their host employer for personal reasons, they may resign from their current host employer and independently seek a new host employer. AJ1 urges participants to carefully consider all potential outcomes. Specifically, securing a new employer for the training program is challenging, and it is unlawful to remain in the USA without engaging in approved J-1 activities.  Participants must understand that failure to secure a new eligible and approved employer to host the training program within the 15 days permitted will lead to an early J-1 sponsorship termination. The participant will be obligated to return home. Therefore, participants are strongly encouraged to consider these factors before deciding to resign.


Please note, to host a J-1 intern or trainee, an employer must meet certain requirements outlined by the U.S. Department of State's Exchange Visitor Program, which include but not limited to:


  • Employs at minimum 25 full-time year-round employees and minimum three million annual revenue.

  • Placements should be at full-service hotels rated 3-Diamond or higher by AAA or rated 4-Star and above.

  • The host organization is required to develop and sign a comprehensive training plan.

  • The host organization must complete AJ1 orientation, training and sign an agreement.


If the participant and AJ1 agree that resignation is the only course of action, then:


  • The participant needs to submit a written statement explaining the reasons for resignation and seeking a new host employer, providing a professional resignation to the current host employer.

  • The participant needs to review and sign the Resign and Seek document, confirming the understanding that a new host, meeting all AJ1 and regulatory requirements must be secured within a specified timeframe.

  • The participant needs to acknowledge that:

    • a failure to secure a new host within the specified timeframe will result in the end of J-1 visa sponsorship, and the participant will return home.

    • AJ1 is not responsible for securing a new host organization, and the participant must have the financial resources to support themselves during the search for a new host.

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