US Imposes Summer Work Travel Restrictions for Bulgarians over 'Crime'

Diplomacy | June 27, 2011, Monday // 12:28|  views

New regulations have been introduced by US authorities regarding the Summer Work Travel program for foreign students.

The regulations include a more thorough scrutinizing of foreign students from certain countries, including Bulgaria, as the US Department of State considers them to be “known sources of certain types of criminal activity,” the Bulgarian National Radio reports.

The new regulations for the so-called J-1 visas are also meant to enhance safeguards for participants of the Summer Work Travel program.

A pilot program for six countries (Belarus, Bulgaria, Moldova, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine) aimed at thwarting the potential for abuse of summer work travel participants who come from those countries; and new program-wide regulations designed to strengthen and clarify current program oversight and administration requirements, the US Department of State has stated in a press briefing.

J-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa issued by the United States to exchange visitors participating in programs that promote cultural exchange, especially to obtain medical or business training within the U.S. All applicants must meet eligibility criteria and be sponsored either by a private sector or government program.

Many of the 130 000 foreign students visiting the US each summer as participants of the Work Travel program are said to become victims of ill-intentioned employers, with problems ranging from exploitation on the workplace to students finding out the jobs they have applied for simply do not exist.

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Tags: summer work travel, j-1 visa, Bulgaria, US Department of State


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