Unpaid externship, not for academic credit, with organisation who is not a designated sponsor - B1/B2 visa or J-1?
Update: my embassy got back to me and said I should apply for a H-3 visa as a trainee. This would involve my org filing a I-129H on my behalf and submitting it to the USCIS directly.
Hi all, I posted here yesterday but seemed to get downvoted for being confused lol just to be clear, I really do not want to do anything illegal, I am just very confused about the US visa system as my situation may be somewhat unique and I am trying to figure out how to do all this correctly.
I recently graduated from a masters programme and therefore am no longer a student. I have been offered a 6 month unpaid externship in the States. It's part time, 20 - 32 hours a week and there is no financial or academic compensation. The organisation is a nonprofit civil rights organisation and the purpose of the externship would be to gain work experience and professional development.
My question: I have applied for a B1/B2 visa under the advice of someone who has done the same thing for the same organisation successfully and am awaiting the visa interview. I've been told I actually need a J-1 visa (by people on Reddit). However, the organisation is not a designated sponsor of the J-1 visa programme and it is not for academic credit. I am also not currently enrolled in any academic programme. I think this rules out the F and M visas also. Would then the B1/B2 visa be appropriate?
I completed an inquiry form through my local embassy to try and get some advice but due to Covid, there is a huge backlog and responses times are long - so if anyone has any insight, it would be much appreciated! I'm just trying to work out how to do this the right way!