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    Annual report narratives should explain program highlights as well as difficulties, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The regulations generally do not identify specific requirements for criminal background reports themselves, except that for certain programs they must include a search of the Department of Justice's National Sex Offender Public Registry (which is online). Nov 25, 2020 K Visa Processing Update. Due to the number of exchange visitors affected by airline disruptions and border closures, individual incident reports are unnecessary. 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. Of course, sponsors can make their own decisions based upon the needs of their organizations. (A) The Department of State has no plans to substitute video interviews for the in-person visa interview. The health, safety, and well-being of our international students, staff & faculty, and broader UW community are our priority. Please note the situation is changing daily and the information below may be out of date by the time you're reading it. (A) This is not within the State Department’s control, so of course we would defer to DHS for any definitive statements. Please use this opportunity to remind your exchange visitors of the requirement for them to report to you within ten calendar days any changes in their telephone numbers, email addresses, actual and current U.S. addresses, if any of that information does change. The US Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) on Thursday announced it is temporarily pausing all ECA-funded programs, including the J-1 visa, for 60 days. No. They have not given any guidance on the recent lawsuit court order regarding opening of H1B, L1, J1 visa stampings. The sites of activity will remain the same (since they will continue to be enrolled at the same institutions), but sponsors should note in remarks that the exchange visitors have returned to their home countries due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Generally, we are not in a position to waive the regulations or other laws that govern the Exchange Visitor Program, and further many of the requirements at issue are imposed separately by other agencies. Even a home tour can be conducted using such virtual technology. Thursday, 24 December 2020 | 1.4°C Dublin, Menu There is not a one-size-fits-all answer to this question that is apparent to us at this time. First, exchange visitors experiencing difficulty returning home should remain in contact with their sponsors (and sponsors should document exchange visitor records to reflect these contacts and the exchange visitors’ efforts to leave the United States.). "ECA strongly recommends that all sponsors of J-1 Visa exchange visitor programs take the steps that ECA is taking to address COVID-19-related concerns for ECA-funded exchange programs. The Department extended exchange visitor programs due to the volume of exchange visitors experiencing trouble making travel arrangements. 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. Our overseas missions will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but we are unable to provide a specific date at this time. No need for a deposit until we give you full details. As noted previously, you should review the program end date. (A) This question perfectly hits what needs to be accurate in SEVIS. Specifically, "The Department urges sponsors to either cancel the programs altogether or defer the start dates to a date past the current recommended 60-day suspension period and issue new Forms DS-2019.”  As the new ECA -funded program hiatus is indefinite, the Department urges sponsors to defer program start dates and continue to monitor and update SEVIS records (including periodically updating "place holder" program start dates to make certain they are in the future). (A) We are aware that this is a growing issue. A visa fee is valid to make an appointment one year from the date of payment. If you have an emergency, please consult the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate where you are applying for a visa for more information. Yes, sponsors must extend the insurance coverage and fund it as they did during the exchange visitors’ initial programs. "As such, although the Exchange Visitor Program (EVP), including the Summer Work Travel category, is not specifically subject to the ECA-funded programme suspension, ECA strongly recommends that all EVP program sponsors follow ECA COVID-19 guidance, including postponing program start dates for 60 days after March 12, 2020. 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. Having fallen earlier in the week, stocks in carriers including Ryanair, Lufthansa, and Aer Lingus owner IAG posted strong gains early on. 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. Sponsors should be mindful of the program end date and can extend the program end date in SEVIS if the exchange visitor returns to complete the program. Sponsors are strongly encouraged to document all such unique situations. 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. Please review the guidance emailed to sponsors by the OPA teams for incident reporting criteria regarding COVID-19-related cases for specific categories. If your designation is up for renewal in the next couple months, please apply in SEVIS online before expiration. As the State Department has issued a Global Level 4 Travel Advisory, the suspension applies to ALL countries. 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)). Please note, however, that sponsors should inform exchange visitors that electronically transmitted forms will not be sufficient for formal processing, and exchange visitors anticipating formal processing requirements should request their sponsors send them original Forms DS-2019. For additional guidance, refer to ECA communication dated February 7, 2020, specifically the section on exchange visitors currently inside the United States. Some agents are able to do this. A nonimmigrant visa application fee receipt is valid to make an appointment one year from the date of payment. Parents have been urged to avoid having children's play dates over the next two weeks as they could be silent spreaders of the new coronavirus. For guidance on matters related to visa services, Presidential Proclamations (including those related to travel restrictions), and eligibility for NIEs, please refer to the website of the Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA) at. In response to the last question on refunds, you can pursue SEVIS fee refunds with SEVP. Sponsors are reminded that contact with exchange visitors during the first month following replacement is required. Yes, the Department expects to look favorably upon requests submitted by sponsors pursuant to 22 C.F.R. ECA is aware some foreign governments are using such sites to provide assistance, including registering citizens who are seeking flights home. September Updates on Covid-19: Bali's plan to open its tourism for Go to: On March 20, 2020, U.S. embassies and consulates suspended all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services. 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. For the privately funded programs we are asking sponsors of these programs to follow published ECA guidance for the ECA-funded programs and to make decisions based upon what best serves the health, safety, and welfare of exchange visitors, the interests of natural parents or legal guardians, and those of the Americans with whom they interact. (A) Au pairs or interns with program start dates in the next few months who met the age requirements at the time of selection and have already received their visas have met the regulatory requirements. 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.. The Department also asks that sponsors continue to follow all state and local departments of education guidance on this matter. Second, they should consult the Office of Private Sector Exchange’s website at. Schools, universities and public facilities have shut. While the SSS regulations neither prohibit nor require the charging of tuition by host schools, either public or private, 22 C.F.R. If your email address changes, update your Visa Appointment Service account. If there’s been no change in the two addresses - they are still reporting to the same host placement, and the home address has not changed - then no changes need to be made in SEVIS. Sponsors should submit as much of a complete package as they can in support of an extension request, and ECA will work with them from there. As resources allow, embassies and consulates will continue to provide emergency and mission critical visa services. The Department is assessing the situation for both redesignation fees and management audits and will provide further guidance at a later time. We continue to wait. Blue murder springs to mind. (A) Yes, we have had a lot of questions about COVID diagnoses and quarantines. '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? Trinity College Dublin is encouraging students living in college accommodation to return home and offering them a partial refund. If the exchange visitors were prepared to end their programs early and their travel arrangements are in place with no anticipated delays or restrictions, they should leave as originally planned. The Department is working with sponsors to individually address situations that involve minors (on the Secondary School Student program) who remain in the United States either involuntarily or by choice. Exchange visitors who return to renew their visas will generally not be permitted to return to the United States from one of these countries. A growing number of embassies are posting special communications on their websites and social media for their exchange visitors (students and others) in order to make contact with them. The Department is aware that some trainees and interns who had just started their programs returned home prematurely due to circumstances beyond their control. Sponsors should document all such unique circumstances. Coronavirus 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. (A) We refer you to ECA website guidance to sponsors dated March 16, 2020. Irish News Sponsors must submit annual reports by the regulatory mandated due dates. The regulations do not allow for the Department of State to waive the requirement for sponsors to submit a complete application for redesignation (see 22 CFR §62.7). Routine visa services will resume as soon as possible, but a specific date at this time cannot be provided. SoN letters must bear the seal of the concerned governments and be signed by a duly designated official of the governments. This is an option for au pairs who are in the USA, and would like to stay with their current host family. Thus, host academic institutions should have reinstated partial to full-time classroom participation or be able to meet other formal in-person requirements before hosting new participants. Update on Public Charge. At this time, we do not have the capacity to answer all inquiries individually. Outside of Office Hours, contact: 691-920-2369. Of course, sponsors must continue to monitor exchange programs to ensure they meet program objectives to the fullest extent possible during this situation. Sponsors and their exchange visitors are also encouraged to review the following USCIS website detailing special situations for extensions and change of visa status, including those individuals subject to INA 212(e): Two-Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement: For travel inquiries and up-to-date information on travel restrictions, please visit. The U.S. Department of State has announced an extension program that allows au pairs to remain legally in the US on their J1 visa for 2 to 6-months. Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) operates a visitor hotline 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If the exchange visitor is no longer pursuing program objectives, the sponsor should use the shorten program function in This ends the exchange visitor's program and the SEVIS status will be "inactive." 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.

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