J-1 Student Visa for working in the United States

USA-bound students commencing a co-op work term require a J-1 Visa to legally work in the USA. The company that assists Canadian co-op programs with the J-1 Visa procurement process is Cultural Vistas. Cultural Vistas is a non-profit organization, providing international exchange opportunities that strengthen global networks, enhance professional skills, and advance mutual understanding in an interconnected world.

Steps for Securing a J-1 Visa

A student must commence his or her J-1 Application Process by first visiting the online student application request link and providing:

  • A scanned copy of the valid passport photo page and name/issuance page
  • Proof of English language ability (review Application Checklist for more information)
  • A passport-sized photo of the student (recommended)
  • An up-to-date resume in English
  • Copies of any other previous non-tourist visas to the United States
  • A Letter of Studentship provided by the Co-op Office
  • An official copy of the student’s most recent transcript in English

The UBC Engineering Co-op Program receives discounted rates for J-1 visas through Cultural Vistas (see table)

IMPORTANT: In order to take advantage of these discounted rates the student must:

  • Inform the Co-op Office prior to application completion
  • Under the “how have you heard..” field use code: UBC/CAFCE
Work Term Duration Reduced Partner Fees
3 weeks to 3 months $750 USD
3 months to 12 months $800 USD
*Expedited 5 Day Application Processing +$1000 USD


Additional Fees & Services:

  • Insurance: $68 per month
  • SEVIS I-901: $180
  • New Company: $300
  • Travel Validation: $30
  • DS-2019: $100 (for dependents only)
  • J-2 Fee: $750 (for dependents only)

A full explanation and outline of all additional fees and services is available on the Cultural Vistas website.


Pre Departure Session

For any student pursuing a work term abroad (USA included), the student MUST attend a UBC pre-departure session (an email with be sent out as a reminder prior to the session).
Students should be prepared to:

  1. Complete the UBC Student Safety Abroad Registry and Safety Modules (MANDITORY)
  2. Complete an International Waiver of Liability and load into EngCORE (MANDITORY )
  3. Completed the Registrations of Canadian Abroad profile (for Citizens of Canada only)



a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

Faculty of Applied Science
5000-2332 Main Mall,
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada
UBC Engineering Co-op Program
2385 East Mall,
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada
Tel: 604-822-3022
Fax: 604-822-3449

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