Applicants affected by the earthquake in Türkiye and Syria

Prospective Summer Work Travel (SWT), Intern and Trainee, College and University Student and Secondary School Student applicants affected by the earthquake in Türkiye and Syria:
  • Q: Are Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) applicants from Türkiye and Syria, including applicants for the upcoming Summer Work Travel (SWT) season, eligible to apply for J-1 visas if they are taking online courses or not currently enrolled in school because of the recent earthquake? What about the J-1 eligibility requirements for SWT, Intern and Trainee, College and University Students, and Secondary School Students that specify that applicants must be enrolled full time, actively pursuing a degree or studies, or actively participating in a full course of study?”
  • A: The Department recognizes the disruption to daily life caused by the recent tragic events in Türkiye and Syria, including applicants’ ability to continue to participate in full-time, classroom-based academic studies. Prospective exchange visitors who were enrolled full-time and actively pursuing studies at qualifying academic institutions immediately prior to the Feb. 6, 2023, earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria but whose studies were temporarily disrupted by recent earthquakes there, remain eligible to apply to the EVP, as long as all other required criteria and eligibilities are met. This guidance includes current students who pivoted to online classes or who are experiencing a temporary disruption in their academic year due to the earthquakes. The Department also wishes to remind sponsors that prospective exchange visitors may apply for their J visa at any U.S consulate or embassy, including those outside of their country of citizenship.