Strengthening and Reforming the Summer Work Travel Program

The Summer Work Travel program is a long-standing people-to-people diplomacy program that engages young people from around the world with a goal of fostering mutual understanding. Following a Department-wide review of the program, we have taken important steps to install better safeguards to protect American workers and ensure the health and safety of program participants.

To strengthen this short-term exchange, the State Department is publishing an Interim Final Rule (IFR) that will take important steps to improve this program. Most of these reforms will go into place immediately; however, specific restrictions in certain industries will not take effect until November 1, 2012.

As part of these reforms, the State Department is implementing safeguards, including increasing the protections for American workers, expanding the list of ineligible positions, enhancing oversight and vetting of sponsors and third parties, and defining appropriate cultural activities for international participants.

The Department will continue to engage stakeholders and pursue ways in which to strengthen this program.

For more information and to view the IFR, click here.