Exchange Visitor Program
The Fusion Farms Exchange Visitor Program advances America’s diplomatic relations and bolsters national security by improving the perception of the U.S. in the eyes of future leaders from 200 countries and territories. The Exchange Visitor Program includes such successful exchanges as Summer Work Travel, Camp Counselor, Au Pair, Intern, and Trainee. These exchanges allow participants to offset the costs of their experience through a work component, and add significantly to the U.S. economy.
WHAT IS THE EXCHANGE VISITOR PROGRAM?
The Exchange Visitor Program is a cultural exchange program that allows participants the opportunity to engage broadly with Americans, share their culture, strengthen their English language abilities, and learn new skills or build skills that will help them in future careers. The program is overseen by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) at the U.S. Department of State, and is governed by regulations that protect the health, safety, and welfare of program participants. The regulations require that:
- Placements and hosts are appropriately vetted and approved, and provide frequent exchange with Americans, language learning, and cultural opportunities.
- Participants are regularly monitored by their American sponsor organizations and have access to a 24/7 toll-free help line.
- Exchange visitors are not tied to their host employer or host family, and may change placements at any time with sponsor assistance.
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. Every year, approximately 300,000 international students, scholars, researchers, teachers, and young professionals from 200 countries and territories visit the United States via one of the 15 different categories of J-1 exchange programs.
The Exchange Visitor Program operates as a public-private partnership. The U.S. Department of State partners with (and regulates) U.S.-based exchange organizations, known as sponsors, to facilitate the program.
Visitors in all 15 categories of the Exchange Visitor Program undergo a thorough review process when applying for an exchange program. The review process is conducted by the sponsor organization. Sponsors continue to work with the U.S. Department of State, host organizations, and host families to provide positive, memorable experiences for exchange visitors. Sponsors also support participants throughout their stay in the United States by providing resources that include comprehensive orientations, 24/7 support, and cultural engagement activities.
The Exchange Visitor Program has served as a cornerstone of U.S. public diplomacy. It is privately funded and operates at no cost to U.S. taxpayers. In addition to its diplomatic and foreign policy benefits, the program has evolved to provide important economic benefits to U.S. host businesses, host families, and seasonal communities nationwide.