It has been a while since I have posted updates from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) (well thats because our MAIn focus is getting these exchange visitors to camp!!), but this past week, sponsors were provided with some new requests, which I think is a great step in the right direction. Here is the communication we received (PDF Download)
The general gist is a move away from using J1 terminology, because it trivializes the importance of the programs by reducing them to the name of a visa category.
I support this request as I believe it reinforces the fact that these are Educational and Cultural programs. With the current rhetoric from the BAHA committee, I think we do need to separate these cultural exchange programs from work programs and the terminology often used to describe than can be unhelpful in this!
I would expect sponsors to move away from current terminology and follow suit with the Department of States request very shortly.