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Total Articles: 5

Administration Considers Major Reductions in J-1 Cultural Exchange Program

The Trump administration is reportedly reviewing the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program, a popular cultural exchange program run by the U.S. Department of State, with the intention of making major reductions in the visa program. Following President Donald Trump’s “Buy American and Hire American” executive order, issued April 18, 2017, the administration has been reviewing U.S. immigration laws and policy with a view towards protecting American workers from foreign competition.

Changes to Insurance Requirements for J-1 Visa Exchange Programs

In October of 2014, the U.S. Department of State revised Subpart A of the exchange visitor regulations. Changes to the reporting and English language proficiency requirements for exchange programs went into effect on January 5, 2015. Another major change that will take effect on May 15, 2015, involves increases to the required health insurance levels for all exchange visitors coming in on J-1 or J-2 visas. For programs beginning on or after May 15, the following insurance levels will be required

State Department to Resume J-1 Visa Program Sponsor Site Visits

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has informed the sponsors of J-1 intern and trainee programs that it will perform site visits to many J-1 Intern and Trainee host organizations in 2015. Some employers have reported that such visits have occurred as early as February. Program participants and host organizations have received emails from the J-1 sponsors regarding these visits. The State Department performed similar visits last spring, which involved gathering information and observing the exchange programs. Generally speaking, last year these visits were reported to have successfully demonstrated the value of these cultural exchange programs.

J-1 Meet and Greets—A Precursor to Site Visits?

In recent weeks, the U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) Office of Private Sector Exchange (OPSE), which designates, monitors, and partners with U.S. organizations to administer the Exchange Visitor Program, has been notifying sponsors within the Intern and Trainee categories about J-1 “discussion group events” and requesting contact information for exchange visitors.

The Benefits Of J-1 Workers – And The Costs

Many hospitality employers use the Exchange Visitor Program which is intended to promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by educational and cultural exchanges. Under the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, foreign students are allowed to enter the United States under J-1 visas as part of a specific training and internship program or as part of a college exchange program.
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