Deferrals Lifted for Camp Counselor Category J-1 Visas

April 15, 2019
Hands hold international flags

Today, the US Department of State officially announced that it is lifting the "deferral" or cap that has been in place for the Camp Counselor category of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program. This means that they will immediately begin processing pending Camp Counselor sponsor expansion requests as well as new sponsor applications for the Camp Counselor category of exchange. I am sure that sponsors will be reaching out to camps about this in the coming days.

ACA, our Government Affairs Committee, and our incredible team of advocates  have been working to protect the Camp Counselor Program for the last two years. Our primary strategy to protect this program has been to lift the cap that was put in place in August of 2017 which has resulted in the shortage in Camp Counselor J-1 applications that camps have experienced since that time. We have engaged with the dedicated team of professionals at the State Department, with the White House, and on Capitol Hill to defend our J-1 programs.

We are incredibly excited by this announcement, and encouraged to know that our advocacy has helped to move this issue forward toward the decision that was made today. We will continue to work with our nation's leaders to advocate for the Exchange Visitor Programs that are invaluable to thousands of camps every summer, as we continue to advocate on other issues impacting camps across the country.

Please reach out to your sponsor(s) if your camp needs and is seeking additional J-1 Visa Camp Counselors for the 2019 summer camp season.

Scott Brody
ACA National Board of Directors Chair