New Regulations for J-1 Visas for Summer Work Travel


Posted on June 22nd, 2011, by James Livesay in Immigration Law. 1 Comment

The U.S. Department of State has released the following questions and answers taken from their June 20, 2011 daily press briefing, regarding new regulations for J-1 Visas for summer work travel:

Q: Please provide details on the specific aspects of the new regulations for J-1 visas. What is the intention of these new regulations? Are we confident that these new regulations will protect recipients from abuse?

A: The Summer Work Travel (SWT) program has provided thousands of international college and university students an opportunity to visit the United States and experience the American people and culture firsthand.

In 2010, approximately 120,000 college and university students participated in the Summer Work Travel program.

Given the expanding size of this program, the Department of State has perceived the need to enhance safeguards for participants. We are confident that implementation of these safeguards should provide stronger protections and make this a more viable program.

The new safeguards include:

  • A pilot program for six countries (Belarus, Bulgaria, Moldova, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine) aimed at thwarting the potential for abuse of summer work travel participants who come from those countries; and new program-wide regulations designed to strengthen and clarify current program oversight and administration requirements. 
  • A special e-mail address and a toll-free telephone number, available 24 hours a day/7 days a week, to enable students to have ready, direct contact with the Department about program complaints or issues; and, 
  • Department of State welcome letters and program brochures provided to each program participant to better inform them about what to expect in the Summer Work Travel program. 
  • An aggressive and proactive system to monitor sponsors better, including on-going data analysis, complaint tracking, and on-site visits to sponsors to fully assess their compliance and the effectiveness of the new regulations. 
  • Closer scrutiny to visa applications of potential SWT program participants from the pilot program countries. Consular officers refuse visas to those applicants who don’t demonstrate that they are eligible for visas, including compliance with the pilot program’s conditions.

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About 

Attorney James Livesay is a Partner at Livesay & Myers. After graduating from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1998, he began his legal career in the Navy JAG Corps, before entering private practice as a Virginia family lawyer in 2001. Along with partner Kevin Myers, Mr. Livesay founded Livesay & Myers in 2003. Today he advises the attorneys in each of the firm’s three offices.



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