The Department is amending current regulations governing the Summer Work Travel category of the Exchange Visitor Program. The amendments clarify existing policies and implement new procedures to ensure that the Summer Work Travel program continues to foster the objectives of the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 (Fulbright-Hays Act). These changes will enhance the integrity and programmatic effectiveness of Summer Work Travel exchanges. The Department has examined the potential risks and harms related to the Summer Work Travel program and believe that the current regulations do not sufficiently protect national security interests; the Department's reputation; and the health, safety, and welfare of Summer Work Travel program participants. Accordingly, and for reasons discussed more fully below, this rule modifies the Summer Work Travel regulations by establishing different employment placement requirements based on the aliens' countries of citizenship and by requiring sponsors to fully vet the job placements of all program participants. It also clarifies that only vetted U.S. host employers and vetted third party overseas agents or partners (i.e., foreign entities) with whom sponsors have contractual agreements may assist sponsors in the administration of the core functions of their exchange programs. Sponsor monitoring, reporting, and information dissemination requirements are also strengthened.
Agency Contact: Stanley S. Colvin, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange, U.S. Department of State, SA-5, Floor 5, 2200 C Street, NW., Washington, DC 20522-0505; fax (202) 632- 2701.
This rule is final. Its effective date is July 15, 2011.