Exchange Visitor Program

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Private Sector Exchange Robin Lerner and staff of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) are traveling across the U.S. this July and August to visit international exchange participants, particularly of the Summer Work Travel (SWT) program, at their placement sites.

A recent YouTube video details the work of SWT Alumni Macedonia, the first ever Summer Work Travel Association of its kind worldwide.

The alumni association was initiated by the Department of State and its Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), and is a non-profit organization formed and run by students.

The Department of State released in today’s Federal Register a final rule that increases fees and charges for sponsor (re)designation, as well as the J-1 visa holder administrative fee.

According to the rule:

For the many Summer Work Travel (SWT) students at the Jersey Shore, working in seasonal jobs for employers like Morey’s Piers, their experience in the United States is not just a cultural exchange that allows them to meet Americans and see the real America; it is also an important opportunity to grow as a person.  

The Department of State has “dispatch[ed] two senior officials to assess the situation” in Palmyra and Hershey, PA, where J-1 Summer Work Travel students are protesting their employer and working conditions, the Harrisburg Patriot-News reports.

This week marked the celebration of two prominent milestones in citizen diplomacy and people-to-people exchanges: the 70th Anniversary of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) and the 50th Anniversary of the National Council for International Visitors (NCIV).

A final rule with regard to the Department of State Exchange Visitor Program secondary school category appeared in this morning's Federal Register. The full text of the rule is available below and online: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/2010-27200.htm.

A detailed analysis of the rule will be forthcoming later today. Provisions of particular importance to note immediately include:

The 2010 Alliance Membership Meeting kicks off on October 5 with a luncheon address by Ann Stock, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs. Assistant Secretary Stock's speech will be followed by two days of intensive engagement with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, interaction intended to further invigorate our partnership across the broad range of our shared activities and interests.

For a see our Membership Meeting page for a full agenda.

The Department of State released a proposed rule in this morning’s Federal Register to revise the fees and charges assessed for providing Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) services. Notably, the rule proposes to increase the fee for an application for designation or an application for redesignation to $2,700 (an increase of $952 from the current fee of $1,748). Regarding this fee increase, the rule notes:

On the heels of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s video message last week, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Ann Stock, followed up with her own message encouraging more Americans to “[open] their homes and hearts and personally [engage] with people from all over the world”:

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