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. However, the Department continues to permit sponsors to email copies of fully executed Forms DS-2019 to exchange visitors to reflect updated information in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (e.g., extended program end date, change of address). 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, https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspending-entry-aliens-present-risk-u-s-labor-market-following-coronavirus-outbreak/, https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/proclamation-suspending-entry-of-immigrants-and-nonimmigrants-who-present-risk-to-the-US-labor-market-during-the-economic-recovery-following-the-COVID-19-outbreak.html, 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, https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news.html, 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, https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/COVID-19-Country-Specific-Information.html, Common Questions for Host Families/Employers, Regulations and Compliance Administration, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Such approval should be maintained in exchange visitors’ files. Sponsors must maintain monthly contact with exchange visitors to confirm their health, safety, and welfare, and that their programs continue to meet the objectives. 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). Sponsors are strongly encouraged to document all such unique situations. No need for a deposit until we give you full details. Please visit, Please refer to ECA communication dated March 16, 2020 regarding exchange visitor SEVIS records in Initial or Active status. If you move to another country, please contact us so that we can close your case. I'll call it a "note to file" but you should maintain this change in the exchange visitor's program for future reference. Supermarkets are working round the clock and restricting purchases as they compete with panic-buying shoppers to keep their shelves full. If your designation is up for renewal in the next couple months, please apply in SEVIS online before expiration. For the privately funded programs we are asking sponsors of these programs to follow published ECA guidance for the ECA-funded programs (which as aforementioned has generally not required high school students to return home) and to make decisions based upon what best protects the health, safety, and welfare of exchange visitors and the Americans with whom they interact. If the document is needed for either visa issuance or port of entry, the exchange visitor must have the original form - with your original signature in blue ink - on hand to apply for the visa or entry to the United States. Exchange visitors who return to renew their visas will generally not be permitted to return to the United States from one of these countries. The Department understands that the COVID-19 situation has caused a major disruption in program participation. J-1 students who are seeking to apply for a visa and believe they may qualify for an NIE should contact their nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate before they attempt to travel to and enter the United States. 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. We will advise all sponsors by email when the suspension period for ECA-funded program ends. The Department extended exchange visitor programs due to the volume of exchange visitors experiencing trouble making travel arrangements. There was only update from US Dept of State, but nothing US consulates in India. (A) Please know that we are fully aware of how this situation is causing financial distress on many sponsors. Trump extends ban on J1 and other work visas until 2021 Updated / Tuesday, 23 Jun 2020 07:03 US President Donald Trump speaking at his campaign rally in Tulsa on Saturday 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. Exchange visitors’ circumstances may change during their time off-program. Effective June 24, 2020, P.P. (A) At the appropriate time, the Visa Office will provide guidance to our visa sections worldwide on the resumption of routine visa services. Archive of posts categorized Coronavirus Updates in ECFMG News. We are already engaging with the rest of the Department, including our Regional bureaus, in order to explore options to assist. Agent fee is around 500$ varies depends on the agent. At this time, we do not have the capacity to answer all inquiries individually. Current exchange visitors may continue on programs that, as intended/designed, fully complied with the regulations – including with regard to the cross-cultural activity requirements – 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 participants control. If you adjusted the dates, to include shortening the program, we are recommending as a best practice that you issue a new DS-2019. We will work with you on collection of supporting materials. (A) Updates to OPA containing summaries of these incidents are helpful as we gather information on the impact to the programs. While these regulations do allow ECA to provide some flexibility in permitting a limited amount of distance learning, ECA reminds sponsors that the Exchange Visitor Program generally requires programs to foster the exchange of ideas between exchange visitors and their American counterparts. "We do recognise that this information may change, and are continuing to work with the Department of Foreign Affairs, ECA and US Sponsors to keep everyone abreast of the latest information as we receive it.". Outside of Office Hours, contact: 691-920-2369. Given the uncertainty of available flights and ongoing travel restrictions, Private Sector Exchange strongly recommends exchange visitors proactively reach out to their respective embassies if they are unable to book return flights home. 'We would be the champions and rightly so' - Neil Lennon expects Celtic to be crowned if season cancelled, Varadkar says response to coronavirus is 'complicated' by North-South divide, Panic buyers empty shops as minister urges end to stockpiling, At risk: Teenager with cystic fibrosis tells of fears, Four healthcare workers among 20 new cases to be diagnosed, Trinity students offered accommodation refunds to go home as teacher unions call off Easter conferences, Keep children apart to save lives – doctors warn, A country on lockdown: the weekend guide to social distancing, Trump vows that he will 'unleash the full power of government' after fierce criticism, 'It's a fast spreader' - Leo, Donald and the week in which everything changed, Stuck at home with the 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. In the case of a College or University Student participating in Academic Training, for example, the regulations require that the student be primarily in the United States to study rather than to participate in Academic Training, that the Academic Training be directly related to his or her major field of study, that the student be in good academic standing with the post-secondary accredited academic institution; and the student receive written approval in advance from the responsible officer for the duration and type of academic training (22 CFR 62.23(f)). Call for tourist information or assistance in the case of accidents and emergencies including COVID-19. Our overseas missions will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but we are unable to provide a specific date at this time. On July 14, 2020, DOS announced the beginning of a phased resumption of visa services on a post-by-post basis. 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. Trinity College Dublin is encouraging students living in college accommodation to return home and offering them a partial refund. Update on Public Charge. She's from Peru, and here on a J-1 visa, which meant after a couple months of work, she would have a month to travel. Previously approved applicants may delay their start date to participate in a program where the program as intended/designed complied with the regulations, provided that the delay 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. This fee is nonrefundable and non-transferrable. Yes, the Department expects to look favorably upon requests submitted by sponsors pursuant to 22 C.F.R. If your institution has moved to an online environment, please send to AGalert@state.gov a completed Incident Report Form, if you have not already done so. Program Updates All programs will have some modifications for academic year 2020-2021. (A) Sponsors can reference the Frequently Asked Question on our website “What if an exchange visitor is unable to participate in his or her exchange program for the required minimum of 32 hours?”.