For the J-1 Camp Counselor and Summer Work and Travel Program, IENA as the sponsor is responsible for carrying out Department of State compliance in regards to program regulations. These program regulations outline IENA’s responsibility as the sponsor and the camp’s responsibility as the employer/ host. If an employer does not comply with these regulations, IENA may not place participants at this host site. Employers must maintain contact with IENA throughout an exchange visitor’s program to ensure program compliance.
The first regulation is that camp must notify IENA when an exchange visitor arrives at camp to begin their program. Confirming an exchange visitor’s arrival is called PROGRAM VALIDATION. Camp directors can validate staff arrivals online via your IENA profile. Validating staff arrivals is extremely important, so that IENA can confirm an exchange visitor’s safe arrival. IENA also reports this arrival to the Department of State so the exchange visitor’s program can be formally Activated in the SEVIS database.
Exchange visitors must have their program Activated in SEVIS to be eligible to apply for a Social Security Number. After program validation, it can take three to 10 business days before an applicant is eligible to apply for a SSN. The sooner staff arrivals are validated, the sooner they can apply for a SSN!
In addition to validating staff arrivals, IENA must be notified of any placement/address changes, or if an exchange visitor is not fulfilling program or job requirements. If there is an emergency or an exchange visitor’s welfare is at risk, the camp is responsible for notifying IENA immediately. In the event of an early departure from camp, IENA must be notified before the exchange visitor leaves camp property. IENA will ask to speak to the camp director and the exchange visitor (privately) to be made fully aware of the reason for the departure and aid in next steps. IENA must be contacted immediately. The wellbeing of our exchange visitors is our main priority, and IENA must be notified of any major updates. We are here to offer help and assistance to camp directors and exchange visitors in these situations.
Exchange visitors also have reporting requirements they must fulfill once they have started their exchange program.
Support Staff on the J-1 Summer Work and Travel Visa must contact their sponsor, IENA, every 30 days. These applicants will receive an email from IENA every 30 days of their program with a link to a survey about their program. This brief survey is a program regulation and must be completed in a timely manner.
These reporting requirements by camp and the exchange visitor are program regulations and highly important. If these reporting requirements are not met, IENA may end the exchange visitor’s program.