COVID-19 and J-1 Exchanges
Updated February 26, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. Spirit applicants are currently exempt from the provisions of Presidential Proclamation 10052 due to a preliminary court injunction issued on October 1st.
Presidential Proclamation 10052: On June 22, 2020, the Trump White House issued a proclamation suspending some non-immigrant visas. While the expiration date of Presidential Proclamation 10052 has been extended to March 31, 2021, it is nonetheless still being challenged in the court system. The US District Court – Northern District of California issued a preliminary injunction on Thursday, October 1st in the case of National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Homeland Security. The injunction requires eligible visa applicants for the J-1 visa to be treated no less favorably than any other nonimmigrant visa applicant. Eligible visa applicants include those sponsored by designated sponsors who are members of a plaintiff association at time of visa application. Spirit is a member in good standing of one of the plaintiffs, the US Chamber of Commerce. Spirit participants are therefore currently exempt from provisions of Presidential Proclamation 10052. We continue to advocate for a full reversal of the proclamation.
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.