R 211635Z JAN 04
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO ALL DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR POSTS
SPECIAL EMBASSY PROGRAM
UNCLAS STATE 013720
E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: B-1 IN LIEU OF J-1 VISAS FOR USG-FUNDED TRAVEL
REF: 92 STATE 201252
1. As U.S. Missions overseas continue to send an increasing number of visitors, including Foreign Service National Employees (FSNs), to the United States on a wide variety of programs, the Department would like to remind consular officers that the fact that travel is being funded in whole or in part by a U.S. Government agency does not itself require that the traveler be issued a J-1 exchange visitor visa, nor does it mean that the traveler will be subject to INA Section 212(e).
2. J-1 visas are required for USG-funded travel only if the visitor''s principal purpose for traveling to the U.S. is to participate in an approved exchange visitor program. Other visitors may be issued a B-1 visa, as long as their activities are consistent with B-1 status.
3. If the sponsoring USG agency certifies either that it has no authorized exchange visitors program, or that the activities the visitor will pursue in the U.S. are unrelated to activities described in that agency''s exchange program, a visa other than J, such as B-1, may be appropriate. If necessary, the sponsoring USG agency may certify in writing that no exchange program exists or that the activities are unrelated to any existing program.
4. If the activities that the visitor will pursue in the U.S. are not appropriate in B-visa status, then in most cases a J visa would be necessary. Posts may consult with the Department (CA/VO/L/A) in this instance to determine the appropriate visa category for the activity.
5. USG-funded visitors coming to the United States are eligible for MRV fee waivers only if they are participating in Department or USAID-sponsored and funded educational and cultural exchanges, per 9 FAM 41.62 PN6, or if they are USG employees traveling on official business. Exchange programs eligible for MRV exemption will contain either a G-1 or G-2 program number on the DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor J-1 Status. All other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee. Applicants participating in a U.S. government-sponsored program, however, are exempt from any applicable visa reciprocity fee.
6. INA 212(e) is only applicable for those persons who are traveling to the United States under a USG-funded Exchange Visitors Program and have been admitted on or changed to J status. No other travel funded by a USG agency establishes the 212(e) ineligibility.