News

US Department of State using new terminology for J-1 visa programmes

May 29, 2018

The US Department of State has an important update for J-1 Exchange Visitor Program sponsors, participants, and advocates.  The department sent the following message this week to WYSE Travel Confederation:

As you know, the Department of State facilitates a variety of educational and cultural exchange programs, through private as well as government support.  Because these programs utilize the J-1 visa, they have often been referred to as “J-1 programs.”  However, we would like to start moving away from this terminology, since it trivializes the importance of these programs by reducing them to the name of a visa category.  We hope this change will better align the public understanding of these programs with the Department’s mission and goals of promoting educational and cultural exchange.

We all recognize that much time and effort has gone into referring to our programs as “J1,” but we need to start gradually moving away from this moniker in our communications. Moving forward, sponsors are requested to refer to these programs, when and where possible, as the “Exchange Visitor Program,” by the category name (e.g., “Intern,” “Summer Work Travel,” “Research Scholar”) or other terminology that denotes our program as an “international,” “educational,” or “cultural” exchange program.  Sponsors may, of course, continue to use the term “J1” when referring to the visa itself.  Sponsors are also encouraged to share this message with their foreign partners.

Read more about WYSE Travel Confederation’s advocacy initiatives for exchange visitor programmes.