May 4 2013
Department of Labor Proposes Changes to Teacher Exchange Visitor Program
The Department of Labor recently published a proposed rule to amend regulations regarding the Exchange Visitor program for the teacher category. The proposed rule clarifies the duration of program participation, amends eligibility requirements in relation to verifying proficiency in the English language, and reduces the required teaching or related experience from three years to two years of full-time teaching experience (or its equivalent). In addition the rule introduces a required cultural component to the Exchange Visitor category and proposes a two-year bar for repeat participation.
Many of these changes were proposed to support the use of the teacher exchange program as a method to further cultural exchange between the United States and other countries. According to the Department of State, in recent years the category has been used by some sponsors in a way that falls outside the program’s intended scope and goal to fill labor needs in U.S. public and private schools. Comments will be accepted by the Department of Labor up to July 1, 2013.