Effective Jan. 5, the U.S. Department of State has implemented new regulations that increase the responsibilities for J-1 visa program sponsors. Amid the technical changes, five major changes have been implemented which will require many sponsors to adjust their policies and procedures in order to meet heightened regulatory compliance.
Specifically, entities that sponsor individuals for these exchange visas will now need to undertake additional efforts to verify the English proficiency of prospective program participants, provide more comprehensive orientation for participants and track their whereabouts and activities, run background checks on program administrators, and implement greater security of the credentials that allow one to obtain a visa. Further, effective May 15, sponsors will need to ensure that exchange visitors have increased levels of health insurance coverage.
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