Exchange Visitor Program

Join the Alliance, Global Ties U.S., and our collaborating partners at our January 27 Exchanges Matter event – a high-level discussion of the critical role international exchange programs play in advancing peace and security.

Sessions will examine issues including the impact exchanges have across the U.S., how to harness the private sector to advance America’s public engagement objectives, and the role exchanges play in building mutual understanding and advancing U.S. foreign policy priorities.

Nearly 300 au pairs participating in the State Department exchange program traveled to Washington, D.C. last month as part of a course on U.S. culture and history, according to a recent article in PBS.

Exchanges will play “a unique and critical role” in the normalization of U.S.-Cuban relations, Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs Evan Ryan said in her opening remarks for a symposium at George Washington University on Wednesday.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump called for the termination of the J-1 visa program in an immigration policy proposal recently published on his campaign website, Bloomberg Politics reports.

In response to political unrest in Yemen and concerns for their safety, a group of Yemeni exchange students have received a waiver to complete an additional year of studies in the U.S., according to a listing in the Federal Register last week. The students were participants in the Department of State’s Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program during the 2014-2015 academic year.

A recent White House report reaffirmed the “rich cultural experience” provided by the Exchange Visitor Program and commended the State Department for its “comprehensive approach” to the program. The report was created in response to a Presidential Memorandum issued by President Obama to examine ways of improving the U.S. legal immigration system.

More than two dozen Yemeni exchange students will be allowed to stay in the United States through December, reports The Washington Post. The students were participants in the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program, sponsored by the State Department, when civil war broke out in their home country of Yemen, preventing their return.

Each year, thousands of international students and professionals visits the United States on J-1 exchange visitor visas. During their stay in the U.S., these international visitors greatly enrich the American homes, schools, businesses, and communities in which they live, study, and work.

J Day is a nationwide celebration of the power of these international exchange programs and a great opportunity to raise awareness of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program (EVP).

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A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the Summer Work Travel (SWT) program, released this afternoon, commends the Department of State on its strengthened oversight of SWT, while acknowledging the public diplomacy value of this exchange program that brings up-and-coming leaders to the U.S. for summer cultural experiences.

(Update 10/8/14: An additional significant change not included in our original analysis has been added below [see bullet #7, and further comment on that bullet in the section titled “Significant changes to sponsor representations and disclosures: section 62.9(d)(3)”].)

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