The Exchange Visitor Program promotes mutual understanding between the people of the United States (U.S.) and the people of other countries by educational and cultural exchanges, under the provisions of U.S. law. Exchange Programs provide an extremely valuable opportunity to experience the U.S. and our way of life, thereby developing lasting and meaningful relationships.
The first step for a prospective nonimmigrant exchange visitor is to be accepted in an established exchange visitor program that is Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) certified. Visit the Exchange Visitor Program, administered by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), to learn more about program requirements, regulations and much more. At the conclusion of their program, Exchange Visitor program participants are expected to return to their home countries to utilize the experience and skills they have acquired while in the U.S. Questions regarding an exchange program(s) should be directed to the program sponsor.
Not much changed in the visa context for same-sex partners until June 2009, when Secretary Clinton announced that the State Department would extend a wide range of benefits – including the issuance of diplomatic passports – to the same-sex partners of American diplomats.As previously reported in the Consular Corner, this move was followed a month later by a regulatory change permitting the issuance of derivative A, G, and NATO visas to domestic partners of principal applicants in these categories. When this provision was implemented in the FAM in December 2009, the term “domestic partner” was defined as applying to same-sex couples only.In February 2011, the State Department announced a new program under which DOS will act as the J-1 sponsor of the foreign same-sex partners of Foreign Service Officers who are returning to the United States for a domestic assignment. This arrangement allows the foreign-national partners to live and work in America for up to five years.