The upcoming year will see regulatory changes affecting all J1 programs. In early October, the Department of State released a revised version of new regulations governing all J1 programs, known as “Subpart A.” The regulation changes serve to strengthen the J1 programs, further protect all participants, and ensure the continued high standard for quality cultural exchange programs. As with any proposed regulation changes, the release of these regulations was followed by a 60-day comment period which has now come to a close. Changes highlighted in the new regulations will take effect January 5th. Positive changes impacting participants include increased amounts of required insurance coverage as well as clearer program fee disclosures. From the host company perspective, there is minimal impact from current practices. From our perspective, we’re excited to see some of the “best practices” we’ve adopted over the years officially becoming law.
Additional changes in 2015 include the expiration of the current Training/Internship Placement Plan (T/IPP) form. The Department has provided a template for the new T/IPP, which is different in that each phase requires a signature by the appropriate supervisor. By June of 2015, each T/IPP will be a mandatory part of the participants’ SEVIS records and must be entered as part of the DS-2019 collection. We will continue to keep you posted as we make changes to our processes that affect host companies and are happy to answer any questions you may have!