J-1 Visa Update — Executive Order Expanded

June 23, 2020

In an extension of an earlier Executive Order that suspended immigrant Visas, on Monday, June 22, President Trump expanded that Executive Order to immediately suspend a wide variety of non-immigrant Visas, including some J-1 cultural exchange categories. Despite significant advocacy on this issue by ACA and other partners, which included several encouraging engagements with White House staff, the extended Executive Order moved forward to suspend and limit entry into the US for both the Camp Counselor and the camp portion of the Summer Work Travel J-1 cultural exchange program until December 31, 2020. Current J-1 Visa holders that are already in the country will not be affected by this Executive Order. It is unclear from this proclamation whether participants who hold valid J-1 Visas, but who have not yet entered the country, will be allowed entry.

ACA is planning an immediate response to this Executive Order and will move forward with all available options to protect this critical program for camps who are already under tremendous strain because of the pandemic. In addition, ACA will seek clarity on the implications of this order on participants who hold a current J-1 Visa, but who have not yet entered the country.