Cultural Homestay International

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update from CHI

Last Updated: July 23, 2020

The recent Presidential Proclamation suspending or limiting entry for several non-immigrant visa types has impacted the cultural exchange program community, effectively preventing many 2020 CHI program participants from being able to apply for a J1 visa to join a program in the U.S. for the remainder of this year.

Despite the challenges the suspension poses, CHI is proactive in supporting the 2020 program participants currently in the U.S. and working daily to offer a successful exchange experience. We also continue to work closely with our partners around the world to promote our programs for those participants exempt from the 2020 visa restrictions as well as those interested in participating in 2021.

As an active member of the sponsor community, at CHI, we share the concerns about the impact of the June 22 Proclamation and have actively engaged with our government and elected officials in asking that J1 visa programs be allowed to continue in 2020 by removing them from the Proclamation.

Through these unprecedented times, we remain fully committed to our mission to bring peace and understanding through people-to-people exchanges. Thank you for your continued partnership.

Please continue to check back for updates.

Last Updated: June 22, 2020

On June 22, 2020, President Trump issued an Executive Order suspending or limiting entry for several non-immigrant visa types.

As several exchange program categories are mentioned in this complex presidential proclamation, we will provide further updates as we determine how exactly our 2020 programming will be impacted moving forward.

We remain committed to our mission to bring peace and understanding through people-to-people exchanges. Thank you for your partnership in our public diplomacy efforts.

Please continue to check back for updates.

Last Updated: May 12, 2020

On May 12, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) at the Department of State announced that federally-funded exchanges continue to be paused until further notice. CHI’s programs are privately funded and are not affected by this announcement.

As we continue to move forward in navigating the challenges and in offering meaningful exchange program experiences, we remain committed to support the health, safety and welfare of our participants and host communities throughout the U.S.

Please continue to check back for further updates.

Click here for a message from our Executive Director and CHI Co-founder, Tom Areton.

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Last Updated: April 23, 2020

Earlier this week, President Trump announced an upcoming Executive Order with the intent to suspend immigration due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. The content of this Proclamation is now available on the White House website here.

The Executive Order temporarily restricts legal immigration into the U.S. for individuals abroad that are seeking permanent residency (green card). The language primarily focuses on immigrant visas and does not include short term visas such as the J-1 Exchange Visitor Programs.

However, the cultural exchange community continues to remain vigilant and is engaging in active outreach to ensure that restrictions are not placed on our programs. At CHI, we continue to work through these evolving circumstances in order to provide meaningful exchange programs in the U.S. in Summer 2020 and beyond.

Please continue to check back for further updates.

March 18, 2020

Given the active and changing situation of the COVID-19 outbreak, CHI is continually monitoring, assessing and making programmatic decisions based on government advisories as well as local, national and international health authorities’ guidance. Pulling from CHI’s 40 years of experience as a leader in international exchange programs, and based on our tradition to always put safety first, we are advising our upcoming Summer 2020 participants, as well as those who are scheduled to join any of CHI’s programs in 2020, to plan accordingly for their arrival in the USA. At the same time, we encourage you to stay informed on updated recommendations from health officials and plan for flexibility relative to changing travel restrictions.

With your health and safety always at the top of our mind, CHI remains firmly committed to offer you an excellent exchange program experience. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, there is a temporary pause in exchange programs already in effect. However, CHI continues to prepare for your future arrival in the US, operating daily and planning ahead in optimal force for our Summer 2020 programs and beyond, with anticipated arrivals after May 16, 2020.

The good news is that while there are temporary disruptions in many parts of the world affecting visa interview scheduling, US embassies remain fully committed to resume normal operations as soon as possible. To reiterate, CHI has not suspended any of our cultural exchange programming.

With the ever changing challenges, this uncharted territory will present to us the need to be flexible and adjust accordingly.  As a partnership, CHI is here for you.

March 4, 2020

The health, safety and well-being of CHI’s participants, hosts, staff and stakeholders is paramount and is at the forefront when making decisions related to the administration of our programs.

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has created uncertainty and anxiety among the general public and the global cultural exchange community. CHI understands the disruption that the outbreak has caused in specific countries and that individual travel plans may be affected due to travel restrictions, government and global health official guidance, as well as personal decisions concerning international travel.

While engaging and participating in cultural exchange programming demonstrates a commitment to travel and global connections, CHI’s priority is to ensure everyone’s safety and will handle individual inquiries related to the outbreak with the utmost respect and care. Please contact us if your scheduled or current program has been affected, and you require assistance.

We are closely monitoring developments and communicating with those government agencies involved in the administration of our programs, including our partner associates and host communities within the US and around the world.

As this outbreak is a fluid situation, we are encouraging everyone to stay informed about:
Please check back regularly for updates.

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