Changes to Exchange Visitor Program for Summer Work Travel

01.17.2017
Small Business

The U.S. Department of State proposes to amend existing regulations for the Summer Work Travel category of the Exchange Visitor Program (J-1 visa program).
The Summer Work Travel program provides foreign students with an opportunity to live and work in the United States during their summer vacation from college or university to experience and to be exposed to the people and way of life in the United States.
Current regulations stipulate that Summer Work Travel students must:

  • Be sufficiently proficient in English to successfully interact in an English speaking environment
  • Be post-secondary school students enrolled in and actively pursuing a degree or other full-time course of study at an accredited classroom based, post-secondary educational institution outside the United States
  • Have successfully completed at least one semester or equivalent of post-secondary academic study
  • Be pre-placed in a job prior to entry unless from a visa waiver country

With this proposed rulemaking, the State Department proposes to:

  • Specify and add to the program requirements for sponsors, their third parties, and hosts
  • Enhance transparency in the recruitment of exchange visitors
  • Limit exchange visitor repeat participation to a total of three visits
  • Require all exchange visitors to be placed in advance of their arrival

The State Department seeks feedback on the numbers of small entities that could be affected by this rule, the compliance costs of this rule on these small entities, and any potential regulatory alternatives that may minimize these costs.
Read and comment on the Proposed Rule by Feb. 27, 2017.
SBA Office of Advocacy contact: Janis Reyes  (202.205.6533).

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