Overview of the Program and Definition of Program Sponsor
The Exchange Visitor Program is administered by the Department of State under the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, as amended. The purpose of the Exchange Visitor Program is to promote international educational and cultural exchange in order to develop mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries.
The Exchange Visitor Program is used to bring students, trainees, teachers, professors, research scholars, international visitors, camp counselors and participants in summer student travel programs to the U.S. for a variety of educational and cultural exchange purposes under the sponsorship of an organization or agency that has been designated as a Program Sponsor by the DOS. It is not a work authorization program. However, obtaining a J-1 visa classification does entitle the Exchange Visitor to certain restricted employment benefits.
Your Program Sponsor is the organization or institution listed in Item # 2 of your Form DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for an Exchange Visitor. The Program Sponsor and, in some cases, an agency or organization it designates to administer your program (the "designee"), have legal authority to grant you certain benefits related to your program. Your Program Sponsor is also charged by the DOS to ensure that you adhere to all the regulations which govern your program in the U.S.