j-1 exchange visitor program is under threat!

This Wall Street Journal article confirms that the Trump Administration is planning to eliminate five valuable J-1 programs: Summer Work Travel, Intern, Trainee, Camp Counselor, and Au Pair.

What is the J-1 Visa?

The J-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa issued by the U.S. Department of State to educational and cultural exchange participants. A large variety of international participants come to the U.S. on both government-funded and privately-funded J-1 exchange programs. These participants include high school and college students, scholars and researchers, professionals of all sorts, government officials, teachers, au pairs, camp counselors, and more.

Summer Work Travel is one of 14 categories of the privately-funded J-1 visa Exchange Visitor Program, which also include high school students, research scholars, interns and trainees, camp counselors, au pairs, teachers, and more.

Within the Department of State, all exchange programs are overseen by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). ECA's mission is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange that assist in the development of peaceful relations.

Learn more about the Department of State's J-1 visa Exchange Visitor Program, as well as other State Department international exchange programs.

new study confirms positive diplomatic and economic impact of Summer Work travel

A just-released study from the research firm Eureka Facts shows that the J-1  Summer Work Travel (SWT) programs delivers significant benefits to the U.S. in terms of public diplomacy and economic contributions. 

This extensive assessment found that SWT participants leave the program with higher regard and understanding of the United States while making lasting friendships with Americans they met. The program also helps keep local, seasonal economies strong, meeting the unique needs of small, seasonal businesses. Participants in the SWT program also contributed more than $500 million to the U.S. economy in 2016 via the money they spent in the country. For state-by-state analysis, click here.

ohio businesses say J-1 Summer Work Travel Program Has Economic and Social Benefits

The Ohio Travel Association surveyed Ohio businesses last week regarding their experience with the J-1 Summer Work Travel Program, as well as consequences should this program be discontinued as is being discussed by the Trump administration. 

All of the businesses (100%) surveyed said there are not enough willing and qualified Americans to fill all the jobs open at their place of business, causing a reduction in operating hours and/or days, or the need to close parts of their business, if they could no longer hire J-1 workers. Faced with this reduction in hours, days and offerings, businesses would hire fewer American workers, eliminating some full-time, part-time and seasonal positions. Some businesses indicated they would have to close completely without having J-1 workers to supplement American staff. 

read the full report