In certain circumstances, a fee payment can be transferred to another SEVIS ID. Don't miss out, availability of our visa application forms may be limited so get your name down now! (This article is being updated continuously. USIT, which oversees the J1 process in Ireland, expects to know more early next week after it speaks to US authorities. We recommend that you keep SEVIS program dates updated and document their files with the unique circumstances. If the exchange visitor does travel outside of the United States during their current exchange visitor program and after their J-1 visa has expired, they must apply for a new J-1 visa in their home country in order to re-enter the United States to continue their program. Supermarkets are working round the clock and restricting purchases as they compete with panic-buying shoppers to keep their shelves full. As that guidance states, current exchange visitors may continue on programs that, as designed, fully complied with the regulations – including with regard to the number of hours to be worked – as long as the deviation is not excessive for the circumstances. For, individuals applying for fellowship training for whom ECFMG already has SoN letters on file for the related specialty, it is not necessary to submit new SoN letters. Please review the guidance emailed to sponsors by the OPA teams for incident reporting criteria regarding COVID-19-related cases for specific categories. We are reviewing this on a daily basis. FAQ 2.10) My passport or other documents were requested following a visa interview before March 20, 2020. Many sectors rely on H1B visa, L1 visa, and J1 visa holders for employment positions, hence the latest ruling will be of great benefit for visa holders and companies, especially when coping with the pandemic. No visa fee refunds are available at this time for those applicants who have not been able to schedule or cannot attend a visa interview due to a COVID-19-related closure. Specifically, “Sponsors may also keep an exchange visitor’s SEVIS record active until the exchange visitor is able to return to the United States to continue with his or her original program objectives. 10052 does not apply to exchange visitors who were in the United States on the effective date of the Proclamation (June 24), or who had a valid J nonimmigrant visa (and plans to enter the United States on that visa). (A) Yes, you can keep the SEVIS record in “active” status while the exchange visitor is back at home. The President has issued several proclamations suspending entry of non-U.S. citizens and legal residents into the United States who have been physically present China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau), Iran, the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, or Ireland within 14 days of their entry or attempted entry into the United States. Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) sponsors are reminded to continue to follow guidance that ECA/EC has posted at. Sponsors should document all such unique circumstances. Although the Exchange Visitor Program is not specifically subject to the ECA-funded program suspension, ECA strongly recommends that all Exchange Visitor Program private sector program sponsors follow ECA COVID-19 guidance, including postponing ALL program start dates for 60 days after March 12, 2020. And, as discussed further below, sponsors must obtain criminal background check reports on all residents 18 years or older. The announcement follows US President Donald Trump's move to declare the fast-spreading coronavirus "a national emergency". President Donald Trump summed it up pretty well in one of his more lucid moments sat alongside Leo Varadkar in the Oval Office on Thursday. Exchange visitors may continue on programs that, as intended/designed, fully complied with the regulations provided that the deviation is not excessive for the circumstances, and that it occurred due to factors (like the current COVID-19 situation) outside of the sponsors’, hosts’, and exchange visitors control. As previously noted, if the exchange visitor needs the original form with signature in order to participate on the Program - perhaps due to a separate requirement for original documents for a visa interview or the DHS requirement for entry to the United States - then the sponsor needs to transmit documents to exchange visitors that meet that regulatory requirement. This fee is nonrefundable and non-transferrable. The Department is assessing the situation for both redesignation fees and management audits and will provide further guidance at a later time. Sponsors and exchange visitors must be aware of each jurisdiction’s shelter-in-place (or similar) orders; working in violation of such orders is not acceptable. (A) Please know that we are fully aware of how this situation is causing financial distress on many sponsors. Sponsors must also closely monitor the health, safety and welfare of each exchange visitor to determine if remaining on the exchange program is truly feasible. Diversity Visa (DV-2020) Update. Some agents are able to do this. The Department is aware that a significant number of exchange visitors currently in the United States are at the maximum duration of their current Exchange Visitor Program category and their exchange program cannot be extended. Second, they should consult the Office of Private Sector Exchange’s website at. Please follow the links below for the latest guidance for Exchange Visitor Program sponsors and participants. At this time, we do not have the capacity to answer all inquiries individually. Update – November 4, 2020 The Proclamation & J-1 Visa suspension. No. As previously mentioned, if you make responsible decisions that keep the exchange visitors’ health, safety and welfare, as well as U.S. national security and foreign policy implications, at the forefront of your decision-making, then you can expect the Department’s support. In addition, our visa sections worldwide routinely expedite visa interviews for students and exchange visitors upon request if there is a compelling need to expedite visa processing. The US J-1 Exchange visitor visa is a relatively quick and easy way to bring in medical workers quickly into the US. Some of the exchange visitors who are subject to the Proclamation may be able to enter the United States if they qualify for a national interest exception (NIE). There is not a one-size-fits-all answer to this question that is apparent to us at this time. Dec 14, 2020 The Department of State Meeting with the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). If your designation is up for renewal in the next couple months, please apply in SEVIS online before expiration. The Department of State is currently working with the sponsor community to protect the health, safety, and welfare of all exchange visitors to the greatest extent possible, which may involve repatriating exchange visitors if it is safe and feasible to do so. On July 16, 2020, DOS announced national interest waivers of the Schengen Area, UK, and Ireland COVID-19 proclamations for F and M students and the possibility of waivers for some J exchange visitors. (A) The Department of State has no plans to substitute video interviews for the in-person visa interview. If an NIE is approved, they may travel on either a valid visa or ESTA authorization, as appropriate. We continue to strongly recommend that private sector sponsors similarly follow the guidance for the indefinite pause. (A) The most important thing to remember is the purpose of the DS-2019. This is an option for au pairs who are in the USA, and would like to stay with their current host family. Please refer to ECA announcement (March 13, 2020) regarding the pause on ECA-funded programs for 60 days from the date of the announcement on March 12. 10:49. *United States and Canada will restrict “non-essential” travel between the two countries. If the visas are not cancelled, the visa holder may become in breach of their visa conditions if required to stay for an extended period of time, outside of Australia. Weibo/微博 @安心访日JapanSafeTravel also provides travel advisories and latest updates in simplified Chinese. We will advise all sponsors by email when the suspension period for ECA-funded program ends. The Department understands that the COVID-19 situation has caused a major disruption in program participation. The recent Presidential Proclamation suspending or limiting entry for several non-immigrant visa types has impacted the cultural exchange program community, effectively preventing many 2020 CHI program participants from being able to apply for a J1 visa to join a program in the U.S. for the remainder of this year.. Please note the situation is changing daily and the information below may be out of date by the time you're reading it. To try to respond to this we in ECA have stood up a Repatriation Working Group to try to assist sponsors with this difficult situation. Current exchange visitors may continue on programs that, as intended/designed, fully complied with the regulations – including with regard to the number of hours to be worked – provided that the deviation is not excessive for the circumstances, and that it occurred due to factors (like the current COVID-19 situation) outside of the sponsors’, hosts’, and exchange visitors control. Presidential Proclamation 10052 - Frequently Asked Questions on J Visa Processing. Update on Public Charge. The Department understands that conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic may make it difficult for some sponsors to meet this minimum program size requirement. State Department Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19), Exchange Visitor Program Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19), Get Updates on Exchange Programs and the Presidential Proclamation, Visa Exceptions to Presidential Proclamations Affecting J-1 Visas,,, 07.02.2020 Communication to Sponsors Presidential Proclamation, 06.27.2020 Communications to Sponsor 60 Day Extensions to Return to Countries with Closed Borders (PDF), 06.22.2020 Communication to Student Intern Sponsors Extensions for Time Off-Program, 05.29.2020 Communication to Sponsors 60 Day Extensions for Return to Countries with Closed Borders, 05.21.2020 Communication to Intern and Trainee Sponsors Extensions for Time Off-Program, 05.21.2020 Communication to Au Pair Sponsors Six Month Extensions for Second Year Au Pairs, 05.07.2020 Communication to Teacher Sponsors: One-year teacher extensions beyond the maximum duration, 4.06.2020 Communication to Secondary School Student Sponsors Q&As, 4.29.2020 Communication to Sponsors: Vetting Summer Placements, 4.02.2020 Two-Month Extension of Certain Program End Dates, 3.31.2020 Communication to Sponsors Travel Difficulty Embassy Outreach, 3.19.2020 Communication to Sponsors: Website Updates, 3.17.2020 Communication to Academic Sponsors: Online Programs Guidance, 3.16.2020 Communication to Sponsors: COVID-19 inquiries, 3.16.2020 Communication to Sponsors: SEVIS guidance during COVID-19, 3.13.2020 Communication to Sponsors: EVP Update on Travel, 3.11.2020 Communication to Sponsors: Exchange Visitor Program Sponsor Guidance, 3.6.2020 (2:27PM) Communication to Sponsors: Update on COVID-19—Additional Information, 3.6.2020 (9:49AM) Communication to Sponsors: Update on COVID-19, 2.7.2020 Communication to Sponsors: Coronavirus Update,, National Interest Exceptions for Certain Travelers from the Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland, Exceptions to Presidential Proclamations (10014 & 10052) Suspending the Entry of Immigrants and Nonimmigrants Presenting a Risk to the United States Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak,, Common Questions for Host Families/Employers, Regulations and Compliance Administration, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Thursday, 24 December 2020 | 1.4°C Dublin, Menu A nonimmigrant visa application fee receipt is valid to make an appointment one year from the date of payment. Due to the number of exchange visitors affected by airline disruptions and border closures, individual incident reports are unnecessary. Students planning to travel Stateside this summer are currently unaffected by the 60-day temporary pause which has been placed on J-1 visa programmes in response to coronavirus concerns. (A) This question perfectly hits what needs to be accurate in SEVIS. It is also early to tell what the long-term impacts of the travel restrictions and quarantine period will have on the Program. Such letters must include written assurance, satisfactory to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, that there is a need in those countries for persons with the skills the alien physicians seek to acquire. (A) This is not within the State Department’s control, so of course we would defer to DHS for any definitive statements. Public Law 94-484, as reflected at 22 CFR 62.27(b)(6), requires that alien physician applicants provide SoN letters from the governments of the countries of their most recent legal permanent residence. Coronavirus The Department is updating FAQs this week to provide an updated link for any exchange visitor whose program has reached maximum duration and wishes to apply for change of status through the Department of Homeland Security. (A) This concern has been voiced to us by many. Sponsors should document all such unique circumstances and must continue to monitor exchange programs to ensure they meet program objectives to the fullest extent possible during this situation. (A) At the appropriate time, the Visa Office will provide guidance to our visa sections worldwide on the resumption of routine visa services. (A) First, review the regulations at 22 CFR 62.12 and the SEVIS RO/ARO Manuals for specific details on when to print a new Form DS-2019. As noted during the conference call with sponsors on March 27th, sponsors are advised to print Forms DS-2019, fully execute them with original signatures in blue ink, and transmit them in accordance with regulatory requirements if exchange visitors need Forms DS-2019 for formal processing. The Department understands that the suspension has caused a major disruption in program participation.