COVID-19 and J-1 Exchanges
Updated April 1, 2021
Spirit Cultural Exchange is closely monitoring the developments of COVID-19 in the US and abroad and its effect on J-1 exchanges. Our number one priority is the health, safety, and welfare of each of our participants. Together with our US based cooperating Host Companies, we have developed a set of best practices within which we are able to safely operate our BridgeUSA programs. All participants currently in the US are advised to follow the guidance of their local authorities and that of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), particularly with regards to mask wearing, hand washing and social distancing measures. Any participants in the USA in need of guidance or assistance should contact Spirit at 1 800 390 0978 or email email@example.com.
2021 Programs Update
Spirit is now accepting applications for its 2021 programs, including our Summer Work Travel, Intern, Trainee and Teacher Programs in the United States. Presidential Proclamation 10052 expired on March 31, 2021 and is no longer applicable to J-1 visa applicants. Visa applicants who have not yet been interviewed or scheduled for an interview will have their applications prioritized and processed by the U.S. Consulate in their home country in accordance with existing phased resumption of visa services guidance. Visa interview availability is expected to be limited for some time and may vary greatly by country, as U.S. Consular posts are limited to reopening visa processing only as local COVID conditions allow.
The Administration can help ease the current crisis by excepting J-1 visas from the travel bans and prioritizing the processing of J-1 visas. The time is now to enable summer participation in exchange programs where possible and appropriate, and to support the American employers and school who make these programs possible.
2021 Summer Work Travel Program
Host Employers are encouraged to review our 2021 Host Employer Q&A for more information on the upcoming Summer Work & Travel program.