FAQs for Exchange Visitors

Chapter News, J-1 & YE | March 23, 2020

Last updated May 19, 2020

For additional guidance and a complete list of updates for the FACC Exchange Visitor program, please refer to this article. For questions regarding your application, program or trainee, please contact your account manager or coordinator@faccnyc.org.

Q: What if I’m a J-1 exchange visitor that is supposed to start in June?

A: Taking into consideration the health safety and well-being of our Exchange Visitors, guidance from the U.S. Department of State, and current travel restrictions, the FACC-NY will postpone all April and May start dates to July 1, 2020.

Q: If my J-1 program is ending in May or June, should I go back to France early?

A: The FACC-NY encourages all exchange visitors to do what they feel is best for their health, safety, and well-being. Back in March, Business France sent out a communication to all VIEs whose programs are ending in March, April, and May recommending that they return home early. If the exchange visitor decides to leave their program early, we ask that they keep us informed, as we will need to update their program dates in the government system.

If an exchange visitor chooses to stay to finish their mission, they will still be able to remain in the country for the 30-day grace period after their program ends. They will not be able to continue training during the grace period.

Q: What if I want to stay to complete my program, but then get stuck and can’t leave. Will I officially overstay my visa? Will the government grant exceptions for these circumstances?

A: We haven’t received any additional information from the U.S. government regarding overstays and how someone’s record will be affected if they are unable to leave when their visa expires. If someone was truly unable to leave the country, they may be able to change their status to a tourist status (B visa). While they wouldn’t be able to continue training under this status, they would at least be able to maintain a temporary legal status. They would need to file Form I-539 with USCIS: https://www.uscis.gov/i-539. Unfortunately, we cannot advise on this process or guarantee that a change in status will be granted, as this falls under the jurisdiction of USCIS.

Q: As a J-1 exchange visitor in the U.S. in the middle of my program, can I go back to France to be with my family and then come back to finish my internship?

A: Although you may be able to get a flight back to France, you may not be able to return, given the current travel restrictions. The FACC-NY also cannot guarantee you would be able to re-enter on your J-1 visa if you are out of the U.S. for over 30 days. Please contact your account manager for additional questions.

Q: Can my visa/program/grace period be extended past the expiration date?

A: Intern programs still have a maximum of 12 months and Trainee programs have a maximum of 18 months. We do not have the authority to extend your program past these timeframes. Likewise, each exchange visitor has a grace period of 30 days after the end of their program date. This cannot be extended.