Latest News on J-1 Exchange Visitor Programs & COVID-19
Updated: October 26th, 2020
Latest News on J-1 Exchange Visitor Programs
The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, has issued official guidance regarding the recent court injunction of the June 22nd Presidential Proclamation (PP 10052). InterExchange is a member of a named plaintiff association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Therefore, any J-1 applicant who is sponsored (as an exchange visitor) by a member of one of the named plaintiff organizations is no longer subject to PP 10052’s entry restrictions.
This is very good news for our international participants and the Exchange Visitor Program. InterExchange will be providing all participants with an official letter that can be used at the time of their visa interview to demonstrate that InterExchange is a member of one of the plaintiff organizations.
However, please keep in mind that the world has not yet recovered from COVID-19. Many consular sections at U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world are not yet able to operate at full capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic and unique in-country conditions. Please keep in contact with the U.S. Embassy to monitor updates to their visa appointments and policies. Please also monitor national flight restrictions and flight availability.
InterExchange is in touch with Consular Affairs to assess current visa services protocols. We will keep you up to date as we learn more information. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us by program.
Current Participants in the U.S.
InterExchange participants who are currently in the U.S. are not affected by the proclamation and can continue their program. However, current participants in the U.S. who travel out of the country may become subject to the various travel restrictions currently in place.
Participants With a Valid J-1 Visa Outside the U.S.
- InterExchange will be in touch with all participants to provide additional information and assistance on 2020 programs.
- Please be aware that the decision to admit a traveler to the United States rests with the Department of Homeland Security / U.S. Customs and Border Protection and we are unable to advise visa holders on whether they will be granted admission.
Latest News on COVID-19
INTEREXCHANGE OFFICE STATUS & CONTACT DETAILS
Our New York City Staff are working remotely in line with recommendations from the Governor’s and Mayor’s office. However, we are available for all normal business operations and you can reach us for help and assistance.
U.S. CITIZENS ON PROGRAMS ABROAD
For all U.S. citizens on programs abroad please refer to the U.S. Embassy nearest to you.
U.S. citizens currently on a program Please reach out to your travel medical insurance provider and make sure you understand if coverage is offered for COVID-19. If you are considering returning home early and have questions please contact us or your in-country agency. While in the country, please ensure you adhere to all local directives and refer to the U.S. Department of State resource page.
U.S. citizens scheduled to return from abroad Please be prepared for the possibility of heightened screening and rerouted flights. Check for flight status updates regularly as your flight date approaches.
U.S. CONSULATES OVERSEAS
The U.S. Department of State (see Future Programs, Updated 5/15/2020), in response to significant worldwide challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, has temporarily suspended routine visa services at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates. The overseas missions will resume routine visa services as soon as possible, but the Department of State is unable to provide a specific date at this time. Given this information, there is no indication if participants without visas will be able to attend visa appointments this season.
U.S. TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS
International air travel is operating under heavy restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These restrictions may pose significant challenges for participants when arranging their travel to and from the U.S.
In addition, flights arranged for participants are often indirect and result in layovers and transits through major airport hubs worldwide. These hubs may be subject to travel restrictions as well. Per the International Air Transport Association, passengers who have transited in the past 14 days through countries with U.S. travel restrictions in place, will not be allowed to enter the U.S.
As of May 24, 2020: The U.S. government suspended entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, all aliens who were physically present within the Federative Republic of Brazil during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States.
As of March 11, 2020: The U.S. government suspended entry into the United States of aliens who were physically present in any of the 26 countries that make up the Schengen Area. The restrictions apply to the United Kingdom and Ireland.
As of January 31, 2020: The U.S. government suspended entry into the United States of travelers who had been to the People’s Republic of China in the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States.
CDC QUARANTINE INFORMATION
The CDC recommends all travelers, including U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents, who have been in the Schengen Area, or any CDC Level 3 country (worldwide), in the last 14 days to self-quarantine for 14 days. Travelers should visit www.coronavirus.gov for more information for both domestic and international travel advice. The Department of Homeland Security will route travel through particular airports and passengers will undergo enhanced airport screening.
FEDERAL INCOME TAX INFORMATION
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that the federal income tax filing and payment deadline has been extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020.
This relief only applies to federal income returns but not state tax payments. State filing and payment deadlines vary and are not always the same as the federal filing deadline. The IRS urges taxpayers to check with their state tax agencies for those details.
All exchange visitors who have received wages in the United States during 2019 must submit their tax return to the Internal Revenue Service. Read more about how to file taxes here.
Program Related Updates
Au Pair USA
Please read our update on COVID-19 and Travel Delays.
Embassies remain closed and we do not know when they will resume normal operations.
Trainees and Interns
Important Information and Resources
- Our program participants are covered by medical insurance during their program. We encourage them to contact a doctor, urgent care facility or hospital if they experience any flu-like symptoms (fever, coughing, chills, etc.).
- Participants within the U.S. can find their medical insurance information within InterExchange online resources. If you are a U.S. citizen participating in an outbound program, please consult your plan information.
- Follow CDC guidance if traveling within the U.S.
- Participants planning to travel outside of the U.S. during or after the program should visit the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Advisories
- More information about the Coronavirus can be found at the U.S Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a face mask.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
- Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
- The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
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