On June 22, 2020, the White House issued a proclamation suspending some nonimmigrant visas effective June 24 through December 31, 2020, with the possibility of continuation. Potential modifications may also be periodically recommended (within 30 days and every 60 days thereafter) throughout its effective period. The executive action suspends certain categories of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program. Section 2(b) of the proclamation details the J-1 visa suspensions, specifically for intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, and summer work travel programs.
The Alliance opposes the inclusion of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program in this proclamation and is continuing our efforts to save these important international exchange programs. The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is an important cultural exchange program, not a work program, and should not be included in any actions suspending employment-based immigration.
We support the U.S. Department of State taking into consideration the situation on the ground in the United States and abroad when it decides how to enable international exchange programs. Decisions about travel from countries abroad and the viability of programs here in the United States should continue to be tied to how those respective areas are dealing with COVID-19.