CAP Mission Statement

Greenheart Exchange’s Career Advancement Program (CAP) promotes mutual cultural understanding and encourages personal and professional development by creating and supporting opportunities for foreign nationals to intern or train with U.S. host organizations. Our program instills the values of public diplomacy and cooperation in our participants, enabling them to become global leaders in their respective fields.

Role of the Program Sponsor

Greenheart Exchange is designated by the U.S. Department of State to sponsor the J-1 Intern and J-1 Trainee visas. As a Department of State-designated sponsor, Greenheart Exchange is responsible for all aspects of the exchange program, including screening and selecting of foreign national participants and monitoring the participants throughout their exchange visitor program in the United States.

At Greenheart Exchange, we pride ourselves on sponsoring high-quality intern and trainee placements with a focus on cultural immersion and community engagement. Participants are encouraged to take advantage of our cultural resources and volunteer with the Greenheart Club.

J-1 Intern/Trainee Program: Roles and Responsibilities

Read more about the roles and responsibilities here.

Resources Available to Your Participants

Your participant has an account with Greenheart Exchange Online (GEO): a user-friendly online application and resource center. In the Resources section of GEO, your participant has access to a wealth of information including important documents, program regulations, health insurance coverage, taxes, social security, and cultural opportunities.

Should your participant ever have questions or concerns about any aspect of the program that you cannot answer, please ask them to contact Greenheart Exchange via phone or email. We are here to help!

Social Security

All J-1 Interns/Trainees are eligible for a Social Security number. To apply, participants must complete the application located on the Resources section of their GEO account or via the SSA website and take the application in person to a local Social Security Office.

Participants should wait 10 days after validating their programs in SEVIS before applying for Social Security to ensure the Social Security Administration has their updated visa status on record.

Social Security Information for Host Organizations

Taxes and Payroll

All J-1 Interns and Trainees must be on the same payroll as their American counterparts.

J-1 Interns and Trainees are non-resident aliens and subject to federal, state, and local income taxes.  They are exempt from paying federal unemployment and Social Security & Medicare taxes.

IRS Publication 15 – (Circular E), U.S. Tax Guide for Employers

IRS Publication 515 – Withholding of Tax on Non-Resident Aliens and Foreign Entities

IRS Publication 519 – U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens

Please ensure that your Intern/Trainee leaves their address in their home country with you upon their departure from the U.S. so that you can send them their W-2 forms for filing the tax return. Participants who need help filing taxes can file through Greenheart Exchange’s partner, Information about can be found on the participant’s GEO Resources section.

Health Insurance

Your Greenheart Exchange Intern/ Trainee has health insurance coverage through HCC Insurance Services for the duration of their program (start date to end date listed on DS-2019 form). The policy number is: WT13G00055. Upon enrollment, participants will be emailed their insurance cards automatically by HCC. Please remind your participant to always carry a copy of the card in their wallet in case of emergencies.

For questions about coverage, please direct your intern/trainee to the HCC Student Zone. There, they can find a detailed policy summary, including an overview of the services covered and applicable co-pays. This site also features a tool to in-network providers, file a claim, and re-download the insurance card. They can also find links to this information on their GEO Resources page.

IMPORTANT: HCC Insurance requires a Pre-notification in certain cases: Please call U.S. Toll Free +1(866) 400-0080 or International +1(317) 221-8078 to notify HCC of the following:

  • Hospital admission
  • Inpatient and Outpatient Surgery
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation
  • Emergency Medical Reunion
  • Trip Interruption
  • Repatriation of Remains
  • CAT & MRI scans


Program evaluations are required by the U.S. Department of State for all J-1 Interns/Trainees. Both midpoint and final evaluations are required for all programs over 6 months in length. For program less than 6 months in length, only a final evaluation is required.

A Greenheart Exchange staff member will email the evaluation form to the supervisor and Intern/Trainee 4-6 weeks before it is due. Please complete all evaluations in a timely manner. If you would like to request the evaluation form in advance, please email

Supervisor Reporting Requirements

Supervisors are required to inform Greenheart Exchange in the following situations:

  • If the participant does not arrive at the placement
  • Of any concerns about, changes to, or deviations in the DS-7002 Training Plan
  • If the participant takes a second job (prohibited)
  • If the participant quits or deserts the internship
  • If the participant experiences a medical emergency
  • If the participant is arrested or caught breaking U.S. law
  • If the participant is experiencing significant performance issues
  • If the health, safety, and welfare of the participant is in jeopardy
  • If the supervisor or participant have any questions regarding the program that cannot be answered by the Resources section of the participant’s GEO account

Performance Issues

J-1 Interns/Trainees are employees-at-will. Thus, you are not legally bound to continue hosting your Intern/Trainee should serious performance issues arise. NOTE: it is not acceptable to withhold pay or reduce training hours based on performance. Should you feel it necessary to end your Intern/Trainee’s program early, you must contact Greenheart Exchange before doing so.

Keep in mind, however, there is a period of adjustment and, occasionally, culture shock associated with moving to a new country and entering a new work environment. Oftentimes performance issues are based on communication problems. Please contact Greenheart Exchange for help or advice if your Intern/Trainee is experiencing performance issues during the traineeship.

International Travel Authorization

Should your participant wish to travel outside the United States while on their program, they will need to request an International Travel Authorization from Greenheart Exchange. The Travel Authorization Request form can be found on the participants’ GEO Resources section.

Once their travel request is approved via email, the Intern/Trainee will be required to mail their original DS-2019 form along with a check or money order for $20 to cover return shipping to Greenheart Exchange’s Chicago headquarters. Our staff will sign off on the travel authorization and mail the DS-2019 form back to the participant prior to their departure.

Participants need the travel authorization signature to re-enter the U.S. on the J-1 visa, so it is imperative participants request travel authorization 2-4 weeks in advance of their travel.

Participant Housing

J-1 Intern/Trainee participants are responsible for their own housing. However, some host organizations do provide free or low-cost housing options for Interns/Trainees, especially hotels or those located in rural areas.

If your company does not provide housing, please consider reaching out to your participant prior to arrival to assist them with housing leads and suggested neighborhoods in your area.

Cultural Immersion and Participant Support

Please remember that in addition to career training, participants are learning American culture, traditions, and sometimes even the English language! Cultural immersion is one of the most important aspects of the J-1 Intern/Training program.

Think about how you can provide additional cultural opportunities to your participant. It may be inviting them to a baseball game, sending them a list of your favorite restaurants, or even just sitting down to explain American customs over lunch.

Need ideas? Greenheart Exchange provides cultural opportunities for participants through our Greenheart Club for volunteers and our cultural flyers.

It is also important to recognize that some participants may have difficulty adjusting to life outside of work. They may experience homesickness or “culture shock.” Your Intern/Trainee will appreciate your help, guidance, and support dealing with the day-to-day challenges of living in a different country.

Greenheart Exchange Contact Information

Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 9 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. Central Standard Time

Telephone: 1-312-944-2544

Toll Free: 1-866-684-9675

Fax: 312-944-0194


After-Hours Emergencies: 1-855-767-5642*

*This is a toll-free number. Please use this number for emergencies only. Administrative questions can be addressed during regular office hours.