H1 J-1 Visa Compliance Checklist for Camp Directors

Have I:
Government Regulation

  1. Acknowledged through the philosophy, programming, and staffing pattern of my camp that the J-1 visa program for camp counselors and summer work travel is a cultural exchange program and that all my international staff are involved in my camp’s cultural exchange activities.
  2. Completed SEVIS validation procedures with my agency, according to the agency’s requirements, after the arrival of each international staff member to my camp.
  3. Ascertained that I will comply with SEVIS procedures and will notify my agency if my international staff change addresses for any reason during their camp contract.
  4. Determined that all staff have Social Security cards or have recently applied for them.
  5. Reviewed my personnel procedures to be sure the placement agency is immediately notified of any personnel action involving an international staff member including official warnings, firings, and other disciplinary action.
  6. Reiterated to my international staff that they must return home upon completion of their program and that they cannot extend their J-1 visa.
  7. Complied with the state department regulation that camp counselor or support international staff may not function as nurses or health-care aides and cannot be used as au pairs/nannies.
  8. Verified that I have not violated state department regulations by placing camp counselor applicants in support staff positions.
  9. Provided arrival orientation specifically for the international staff and included a session discussing the visa implications of leaving camp prior to the completion of their contracts.
  10. Educated my administrative staff and myself about visa regulations and determined that we understand the differences between a camp counselor and a summer work travel visa.
  11. Ascertained that the pocket money for each staff member is appropriate according to agency guidelines and that additional money has been allocated to each staff member who works beyond the agency contract.
  12. Determined that my time-off policy is the same for both international and American staff.
  13. Determined that my placement dates for support staff do not interfere with their university obligations and are within the visa period set by the sponsoring agency and overseas embassy.
  14. Provided an evaluation of each staff member to the placement agency upon their completion of the program.
  15. Obtained worker’s compensation insurance for staff according to my state regulations.

Sponsor Agency and American Camp Association Recommendations

  1. Sent information to my international staff prior to their arrival at camp indicating the specifics of their job responsibilities and general information about my camp.
  2. Included international staff information in my orientation for all staff.
  3. Obtained copies of certifications, health forms, background checks, passports, and visas for each staff member.
  4. Provided my health center and administrative staff with information about health and accident insurance coverage for international staff.
  5. Familiarized my administrative staff and myself with the return flight procedures of each agency and participant’s country.
  6. Reviewed the visa dates, grace period, and projected work dates of each staff member to ensure all comply with the dates of placement at my camp.
  7. Confirmed international staff have been informed by their agency about rules regarding leaving and reentering the borders of the U.S. during their visa period.