74 Fed.Reg. 48177 (September 22, 2009)

On September 22, 2009, the Department of State (DOS) published a proposed rule that would amend Subpart A of the J exchange visitor regulations, the part of the regulations that applies to all exchange visitor programs and program categories. The 60-day public comment period ended November 23, 2009. NAFSA commented on the proposal on November 20, 2009.

On October 22, 2013, DOS submitted an interim final rule to OMB for review. It is not yet known how this eventual interim final rule will differ from the original 2009 proposed rule.

NAFSA's J Subpart A Resource Page  will help keep you up-to-date on this topic.

Brief Summary of the 2009 Proposed Rule

Specific proposals included:

  • Certain definitions have been added, clarified or deleted; for example, DOS proposes definitions of: foreign medical graduate; actual and current U.S. address; site of activity, and validation.
  • New requirements for designation and redesignation.
  • Incorporates SEVIS procedures, and defines actions sponsors must take to update SEVIS records, however, does not appear to address certain SEVIS II concepts such as the IIN/Customer account.
  • An increase in the required amount of health insurance coverage (e.g., medical benefits of at least $200,000 compared to the current rule's $50,000).
  • Requirement to use an Employer Identification Number (EIN) and Dun & Bradstreet numbers to identify sponsors and third parties.
  • Collection of employment authorization information and validation of the SEVIS record on J-2 spouse and dependents.
  • Requirement that the sponsor submit a certification its RO and AROs have undergone a criminal background performed by a "bona fide background screener."
  • Would reduce the SEVIS event reporting window from 21 to 10 days
  • English language proficiency would have to be “measured by an objective measurement of English language proficiency.”
  • Implementation of management audits for all categories under the Private Sector Programs Division (Alien Physician; Au Pair and EduCare; Camp Counselor; Intern; Student, Secondary School; Summer Work/Travel; Teacher; Trainee and Flight Training).

Refer to NAFSA's Side-By-Side Comparison to see how the proposed rule would amend the current provisions of 22 C.F.R. Part 62, Subpart A, if put into effect as proposed. The resource displays where language stays the same as the current rule, and where language would be added, amended, or deleted.