On August 11, 2010, the U.S. Department of State ("DOS") issued a final rule ("Final Rule") clarifying the requirements for organizations seeking to use the J-1 nonimmigrant classification for Trainees and Interns. The Final Rule followed an interim rule issued by the DOS on June 19, 2007 ("Interim Rule"), that established a new internship program, clarified the eligibility requirements for J-1 Trainees and Interns, and modified the selection criteria for participation in the J-1 training program.
The DOS received over 1,600 comments to its Interim Rule. The Final Rule basically confirms the Interim Rule but makes certain procedural changes that are expected to make the J-1 program easier to use. For instance, the Final Rule permits the use of telephone interviews to screen possible participants, removes the requirement that the sponsor obtain a Dun & Bradstreet report profiling the organization where the participant will be placed, clarifies the requirements for workers' compensation coverage and the need for an Employer Identification Number to verify the host organization's existence, and allows participants to repeat training or internship programs under certain circumstances. The Final Rule will take effect on September 10, 2010.