Information for Professional Exchange Program Host Organizations

At CIEE, the health, safety and welfare of our program participants is our highest priority, and our actions during the most challenging of times reflect that commitment. It is critical to take steps and make decisions that keep participants safe and protect the quality of our program delivery. Below please find the most recent updates on the Professional Exchange Program.

PARTICIPANTS CURRENTLY IN THE U.S.

CIEE has provided each participant with guidance specific to their circumstances regarding next steps for their program. We continue to recommend participants stay informed on their home country government’s requirements, as well as local health and safety guidance. Participants should contact CIEE Customer Service at 1-888-268-6245 to alert us if their plans have changed, are out of training, or if they encounter any difficulties while on program.

Applicants FOR INTERNSHIP USA and CAREER TRAINING USA

Due to the recent presidential proclamation suspending several J-1 Exchange Visitor Programs, CIEE is halting application processing until further notice for Intern and Trainee programs.

Applicants for RESEARCH SCHOLAR USA, SHORT-TERM SCHOLAR USA, PROFESSOR USA AND SPECIALIST USA

The presidential proclamation does not currently impact the above J-1 categories, therefore CIEE will continue to accept and review applications for these programs. Please contact professionalexchanges@ciee.org for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

The below captures many of your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and our most current guidance as your visa sponsor. These policies are based on the information available currently. CIEE continues to monitor the situation closely and will adjust the below guidance as needed to best ensure the health, safety and well-being of all parties involved.

CIEE has weathered chaotic events before and has always navigated a path through crisis with your partnership and support. We believe that the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program will be a critical public diplomacy tool for global recovery in the years ahead, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with you in this effort.

CAN PARTICIPANTS INTERN OR TRAIN REMOTELY?

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  • Due to these extenuating circumstances, CIEE will permit remote trainings and internships for current participants within the U.S. as necessary. Sustained or permanent remote trainings are not permitted.
     
  • Participants must continue to have continual supervision, check-ins, and support during this time.
     
  •  Training remotely outside of the U.S. does not fall under the purview of the J-1 visa category.

HOST ORGANIZATION IS SUSPENDING ALL OPERATIONS OR CLOSING. WHAT SHOULD THE PARTICIPANT AND HOST DO?

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  • Participants should notify CIEE as soon as possible to discuss next steps.

  • If the closure is currently anticipated to be brief, and the host is confident that training can resume as previously outlined in the training plan once the business has returned to normal operations, the participant may pause training and resume later.

  • If the closure of the site of activity is anticipated to be for a long duration or permanent, the participant will need to return home early or seek a change in host organization. In this case, please have the participant call in to CIEE 1-888-268-6245 regarding next steps.

THE PARTICIPANT IS UNABLE TO GO IN PERSON TO THEIR ACADEMIC INSTITUTION DUE TO TEMPORARY CLOSURE OR STAY AT HOME DIRECTIVE. WHAT WILL CIEE ACCEPT AS VERIFICATION OF ACADEMIC ENDORSEMENT?

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During this time, CIEE will accept the alternate forms of academic endorsements:

  • ​An official electronic form from the academic institution with a unique identifier to the participant, such as a barcode, verifying that the participant is currently enrolled in a full time program, OR
  • A copy of an official email from the academic institution’s registrar office

ll documentation must indicate that the applicant is a current student, what academic course they are enrolled in, and the expected graduation month and year.

CAN A PARTICIPANT LEAVE THE U.S. AND RETURN IN SEVERAL MONTHS TO RESUME THEIR TRAINING?

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  • While this is permitted by the U.S. Department of State, there are factors outside of CIEE’s control which may not guarantee a successful return to the U.S. Before leaving the U.S., CIEE recommends that exchange visitors discuss their options with the host organization, as well as notify CIEE 1-888-268-6245 and the International Representative of the decision. Participants should also contact the International Representative when they begin to consider returning to the United States. Depending on the circumstances, participants may need to check with the local U.S. embassy to renew their visa, or confirm eligibility directly with the Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services if they have been outside the U.S. for more than 30 days.

  • Participants will only be permitted to return to their previously approved host organizations. Participants should not return to the U.S. to train at a different host, or with intent to find a new host.