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Internships: Visa Information for Foreign Nationals

Foreign Nationals participating in Wolf Park’s Internship program need a J Visa.  Please note you need to be accepted into Wolf Park’s Internship program before applying for a Visa.  Please read this entire page before applying for the Internship program.

What kind of Visa should I get?

  • Wolf Park requires all applicants that have been accepted into our Internship Program that are coming from another country to travel with a Visa.  If you do not have a Visa already, you will need a J Visa (Exchange Visitor Visa).
  • Participants may also travel with an American passport with citizenship or a Green Card. If you already have one of the above stated items, you may be able to use it to enter the country instead of a J Visa.  Wolf Park cannot assist you in obtaining either of these.

What is a J Visa?

“The exchange visitor (J) nonimmigrant visa category is provided for persons who are approved to participate in exchange visitor programs in the U.S., under provisions of U.S. immigration law. This means that before you can apply at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate for a J visa, you must first apply, meet the requirements, and be accepted for one of the Exchange Visitor Program categories through a designated sponsoring organization. If you are accepted as a participant in an exchange program, the sponsor will provide you with information and documents necessary to apply for the J visa to enter the U.S.”  –

  • Most Interns will apply for a J-1 Visa. However, please note that not all persons applying for a J-1 will receive it.  There can be restrictions.  Please read the restrictions [LINK to paragraph below] section located on this page.  It is also important to check with your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country to confirm what type of Visa should be applied for.

How do I get a J-1 Visa?

Interns that are applying for a J-1 Visa have to go through a US government approved sponsor agency.  Wolf Park is not a sponsor agency; we are considered a host facility.  Once an intern has been invited by Wolf Park to participate in our internship program, we will then connect you with the sponsor agency that we use, who will work with you in filling out all the necessary paper work and with any additional things that need to be done such as interviews with the US Embassy in your country.  The sponsor agency will instruct you what steps you will need to take.  The sponsor agency also helps Wolf Park fill out the appropriate paperwork on our end.

J Visa Restrictions

Not all applicants will receive a J-1 Visa.  You should only begin the application process for a J-1 visa after you have been accepted as an Intern.  At that time, we will provide you with further information on what the next steps that you need to take are.  Some requirements for obtaining a J-1 Visa are:

Person(s) applying for a J-1 Visa must be:

(a)  a current student, or has graduated within 12 months of the application in a field related to the facility they are attending

(b)  not a current student but has at least 5 yrs experience in a related field to the facility they wish to intern at.

You may not purchase your plane ticket until you are approved for the Visa.

Things to Consider

Visa Fees

Fees to take into account when applying for a J-1 Visa are those from the government, the sponsoring agency, and the host facility.  These fees include:

Self-Placement Fee   $650.00
SEVIS Fee                   $180.00
Visa Fee-                   $160.00
Host Fee                    $85.00/per month

Additional Expenses

Things to consider as you are budgeting your expenses are that along with the Visa fees there is the program fee of $495.00 (Internship) or $595.00 (Externship), and the cost of living expenses.  We estimate approximate $1000 for three months.  These costs may include: groceries, going out to eat, purchasing items in our gift shop and your plane ticket.  Remember, you cannot purchase your plane ticket until you receive your Visa. 

Planning your trip

Plan ahead, way ahead!  It typically takes around a month for Wolf Park to process applications, but it can be longer depending on the season.  Allow 8-12 weeks to receive your Visa after you have been accepted.  Take into account what flight costs will be once you receive it.