On August 11, 2010, the Department of State (DOS) published a final rule covering the J trainee and intern categories. The rule is effective September 10, 2010, and will make final, with several changes, an interim rule that has been in effect since 2007. Some of the changes include:
- Removal of the field of aviation from the occupational categories for which training and internship programs may be designated.
- Permission to interview an applicant for eligibility screening and English language proficiency through a documented interview conducted by telephone, if an in-person or videoconference interview is not a viable option.
- Specifying that interns can only do internships that are in the field of study of the education that serves as the basis for their eligibility for participation as an intern.
- Sponsors must certify that the positions that trainees and interns fill exist primarily to assist trainees and interns in achieving the objectives of their training or internship program. The interim rule required the positions to exist solely to assist trainees and interns achieve their objectives.
- Removing the requirement that sponsors obtain the Dun & Bradstreet identification number of host organizations and third parties.
- Allowing sponsors to document a state exemption from the requirement of having a worker's compensation insurance policy, if the state has provided such exemption.
- Clarifying that program extensions are permitted only within the maximum duration set forth in the sponsor's letter of designation/redesignation.
- Clarifying that 12-month training programs in the field of agriculture may be extended to 18 months only if the T/IPP supporting the original 12-month program included at least six months of classroom participation and studies.
- Clarifying the rules for repeat participation in training or internship programs.