USA Immigration News
U.S. Reforms Summer Work Travel Visa Rules against Abuses
Monday, May 07, 2012
The State Department on May 4, 2012 made an announcement on major changes to its J-1 Summer Work and Travel Program - one of its premier cultural exchange programs, to tackle recent widespread abuses.
The reform of the J-1 Summer Work Travel Program is the latest change in a series of efforts that the State Department has made to improve the program after an investigation by the Associated Press in 2010 that found many abuses.
The J-1 Summer Work Travel Program which annually brings over 100,000 overseas students to the U.S. was created under the Fulbright – Hay Act of 1961 and allows overseas post-secondary students to spend up to 4 months living and working in the U.S. Its initial aim was to foster cultural understanding. However, according to the announcement, recently the work component has too often overshadowed the core cultural component necessary for the Summer Work Travel Program to be consistent with the intent of the Fulbright-Hays Act.
"Also, the Department learned that criminal organizations were involving participants in incidents relating to the illegal transfer of cash, the creation of fraudulent businesses, and violations of immigration law," the State Department said.
The new rules are set to ensure that overseas students can get fair treatment and jobs promising exposure to American culture and interaction with its people.
The new rules will prohibit participants from working in "goods-producing" industries such as manufacturing, construction and agriculture. Participants will also be prevented from working in jobs in which the primary hours are between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Some of the new rules prohibit sponsors from paying host employers to accept participants and require them to provide itemized lists of all student fees.
"The new reforms for the Summer Work Travel program focus on strengthening protections for the health, safety and welfare of the participants, and on bringing the program back to its primary purpose, which is to provide a cultural experience for international students," stated Robin Lerner, a deputy assistant secretary for the State Department.If you are interested in Visas to the USA, contact Migration Expert for information and advice on which visa is best suited to you. You can also try our visa eligibility assessment to see if you are eligible to apply for a visa to the United States of America.