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  • News: DOS Final Rule on Exchange Visitor Program--Teachers

    [Federal Register Volume 81, Number 19 (Friday, January 29, 2016)]
    [Rules and Regulations]
    [Pages 4945-4957]
    From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov
    [FR Doc No: 2016-01421]



    ========================================================================
    Rules and Regulations
    Federal Register
    ________________________________________________________________________

    This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents
    having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed
    to and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published
    under 50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510.

    The Code of Federal Regulations is sold by the Superintendent of Documents.
    Prices of new books are listed in the first FEDERAL REGISTER issue of each
    week.

    ========================================================================


    Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 19 / Friday, January 29, 2016 / Rules
    and Regulations

    [[Page 4945]]



    DEPARTMENT OF STATE

    22 CFR Part 62

    [Public Notice: 9421]
    RIN 1400-AC60


    Exchange Visitor Program--Teachers

    AGENCY: U.S. Department of State.

    ACTION: Final rule.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    SUMMARY: This rule makes final the Department's proposed rule published
    on May 2, 2013. The Department, with this rule, amends its existing
    regulations governing the Teacher category of the Exchange Visitor
    Program. This final rule permits program participation of teachers
    teaching full-time at accredited public or private primary and
    secondary schools (K-12), including pre-kindergarten teachers in
    ``language immersion'' programs offered as regular courses of study by
    accredited primary schools; requires exchange teachers to have two
    years of full-time teaching experience; clarifies that the duration of
    program participation by exchange teachers is three years, with an
    extension permitted for one or two additional years of participation
    based on school need and exchange teacher performance during the
    exchange; permits participation by otherwise qualified teachers who are
    not currently working, but who are returning to teaching after
    successfully pursuing an advanced degree beyond the equivalent of a
    U.S. bachelor's degree; introduces a required cross-cultural activity
    component; requires program sponsors to disclose fees and costs to
    foreign teachers at the time of both recruitment and selection into the
    program; and implements a requirement that exchange teachers not be
    eligible for repeat participation unless they reside outside the United
    States for two years following their teacher exchange program. In
    amending the Teacher category regulations, the Department: Reforms the
    teacher exchange program; strengthens provisions designed to protect
    the health, safety, and welfare of exchange teachers; and reinforces
    the program's prestige as a world-class U.S. public diplomacy
    initiative. The rule applies to all J-Nonimmigrant exchange teachers,
    except when the teacher's program is covered by a separate agreement
    between the United States and the relevant foreign government as
    permitted under Department regulations.

    DATES: This rule is effective on February 29, 2016.

    ADDRESSES: Persons with access to the Internet also may view this rule
    by going to the regulations.gov Web site at: http://www.regulations.gov/index.cfm. For further information, contact Robin
    J. Lerner, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange,
    Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State,
    SA-5, Floor 5, 2200 C Street NW., Washington, DC 20522-0505; fax: (202)
    632-2701; email: JExchanges@state.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Exchange Visitor Program (of which the
    Teacher category is one of fifteen categories of program types) is
    authorized by the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961,
    as amended, 22 U.S.C. 2451 et seq. (also known as the Fulbright-Hays
    Act and hereinafter referred to as ``the Act''), and implemented
    through 22 CFR part 62 (22 CFR 62.24 pertains to the Teacher category
    in particular). The Act's stated purpose is ``to increase mutual
    understanding between the people of the United States and the people of
    other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange; to
    strengthen the ties which unite us with other nations by demonstrating
    the educational and cultural interests, developments, and achievements
    of the people of the United States and other nations, and the
    contributions being made toward a peaceful and more fruitful life for
    people throughout the world. . . .'' In the fifty years since the Act's
    passage, millions of foreign exchange visitors, Americans with whom
    they interact, and friends and families of the exchange visitors with
    whom they share their experiences upon returning home, have benefited
    from the mutual understanding and peaceful relations that can derive
    from such person-to-person contact. The Teacher exchange program
    embodies and carries forward the stated purpose and intent of the Act
    by benefiting teachers, students, host schools, and surrounding
    communities.
    Educational and cultural exchanges are a cornerstone of U.S. public
    diplomacy and an integral component of U.S. foreign policy. The purpose
    of the Teacher category of the Exchange Visitor Program is to promote
    interchange of American and foreign teachers in public and private
    schools; enhance mutual understanding between the people of the United
    States and people of other countries; allow U.S. students who lack
    opportunities to travel abroad to have early and meaningful
    relationships with individuals from other cultures; provide visiting
    teachers an opportunity to expand their understanding of U.S.
    education, culture and society; provide U.S. teachers with a greater
    understanding of international teaching practices by their working
    alongside foreign colleagues; and create opportunities to develop
    lasting links between U.S. and foreign schools and communities.
    These regulations govern exchange teachers who teach full-time in
    accredited primary and secondary public and private schools in the
    United States (including pre-kindergarten level ``language immersion''
    programs offered as a regular course of study by accredited primary
    schools). Exchange teachers have the opportunity to broaden their
    pedagogical knowledge while in the United States and foster meaningful
    relationships with American citizens through their participation in
    U.S. schools and communities, returning home within a defined time-
    period to share their experiences in their own country's educational
    system.
    It is equally important that public and private schools hosting
    foreign exchange teachers have the responsibility and intent to create
    a holistic cultural program and contemplate the overall experience that
    these teachers will take back to their home countries. The Department
    supports the hosting of exchange teachers to help U.S. students
    understand other cultures and comprehend global issues, as well as to
    promote study of foreign languages and culture. Native speakers add a
    vital dimension to foreign language instruction. Speaking another
    language

    [[Page 4946]]

    promotes understanding, conveys respect for other cultures, and
    strengthens the ability to engage foreign peoples and governments.
    In recent years, the Department has been strengthening the
    regulations throughout the Exchange Visitor Program to require sponsors
    to ensure, among other things, that their individual exchange visitor
    programs are consistent with the purpose of the Act. The Teacher
    exchange program is not to be used to recruit and train foreign
    teachers for permanent employment in the United States. The amended
    Teacher category regulations make clear that exchange teachers are
    expected to work on a temporary basis at the host school. Because the
    Exchange Visitor Program is an educational and cultural program,
    sponsors must ensure that an exchange teacher's appointment at the host
    school is temporary, even if the teaching position is permanent.
    The Department requires sponsors to ensure that exchange teachers,
    including pre-kindergarten ``language immersion'' teachers, are placed
    only in accredited primary and secondary schools. In addition, a
    foreign national may be admitted to the United States as a J-1
    nonimmigrant in the Teacher category only for the purpose of full-time
    teaching as a teacher of record, not as a teacher's assistant/aide,
    substitute teacher, or other non-instructional position, at an
    accredited primary or secondary school.

    Analysis of Comments

    The Department published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with a
    request for comment on May 2, 2013 (RIN 1400-AC60; see 78 FR 25669).
    The Department received 60 comments in response to the proposed rule.
    Many of those commenting discussed multiple topics. Following a review
    of these comments, the Department has decided to adopt the proposed
    rule with some modifications prompted by the comments.
    Program disclosures: The proposed rule required sponsors to provide
    prospective exchange teachers with a listing of all fees and costs
    associated with the exchange program at two points, first, a general
    listing while advertising the program, and second, a more specific
    listing for those teachers accepted into the program. The Department
    received four comments, all expressing concern that the proposed
    requirements for both sponsors and host schools were overly time
    consuming, would result in an over-abundance of paperwork, and would
    result in unnecessary duplication of information from host school Web
    sites.
    The Department believes that the benefits of fee and cost
    transparency outweigh any possible duplication or additional activities
    required to gather fee and cost estimates and provide them to potential
    exchange visitors. When sponsors and host schools rely upon exchange
    visitors to conduct independent research on Web sites to locate key
    information about their exchange program and conditions of their host
    placement, these sponsors and schools cannot be sure that the
    information exchange visitors find through their research is accurate
    or comprehensive. In requiring the sponsor and host school to provide a
    summary of significant program components, fees, and other costs during
    the advertising phase and also prior to the exchange teacher's signing
    of his or her contract with the host school, the Department ensures
    that the exchange teacher has received from the program sponsor at two
    crucial points a basic summary (and understanding) of the main
    programmatic and financial obligations and responsibilities he or she
    undertakes by participating in an exchange. These requirements also
    will allow all parties involved or interested in the Exchange Visitor
    Program to ascertain in advance if fees and costs seem excessive or if
    additional costs will be charged to the teacher.
    The Department is of the view that various program fees, deductions
    from wages, and costs charged to exchange teachers by sponsors, third
    parties, partners, and host schools, if not fully disclosed, could make
    exchange teachers vulnerable to unexpected program costs. The
    Department, through its regular communications with sponsors,
    participating exchange teachers, and host schools during the course of
    its formal program monitoring efforts, has been made aware of many
    cases where, after expenses and deductions, exchange teachers' take-
    home pay, contrary to what those teachers originally expected, was an
    insufficient amount of money on which to live in the United States or
    to defray the cost associated with the exchange. Moreover, because the
    Department works with program sponsors on an ongoing basis, it is aware
    that program recruitment and placement fees may vary widely depending
    upon the exchange teacher's country of origin. In addition, the cost of
    living, including housing and local transportation costs, varies in the
    different U.S. host communities where an exchange teacher may be
    placed.
    This regulation will require sponsors, first, to post a general
    summary of fees and other costs teachers can expect to pay while they
    are on exchange in one visible location on their main Web sites and in
    their recruiting materials, in order to ensure fee and cost
    transparency at the time of exchange teacher recruitment. This general
    summary of fees and other costs at the time of recruitment must
    include, at a minimum, sponsor fees; placement fees; visa fees; Student
    and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fees; insurance costs
    based on the requirements of 22 CFR 62.14; estimates (ranges) for food,
    housing and local transportation costs; foreign and domestic third
    party fees; expected work-related deductions (e.g., federal and state
    income tax withholding, Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA)
    deductions, work related materials, required memberships); and
    estimates of all other fees charged for, and significant other costs
    related to, participation in the Teacher category of exchange. If these
    fees and costs vary by country, the sponsor should note this in its fee
    and cost listing, or list a range of costs to encompass all of the
    countries that sponsor serves. The Department does not require sponsors
    to list airline ticket costs in the general summary of fees and costs
    that they must post to their Web site or list in their recruitment
    materials.
    Second, at the time the official selection letter is sent to the
    teacher, sponsors must themselves, or must ensure that host schools,
    provide, in either the teacher's contract and/or through supplemental
    information, each individual exchange teacher with the name, location,
    and a brief description of the host school; the terms and conditions of
    compensation (with estimated deductions from gross salary); any
    provisions affecting the ability of the teacher to be accompanied
    abroad by a spouse or dependents (including any related assistance and
    allowances); a summary of the significant components of the program
    (including a statement of the teaching requirements, related
    professional obligations and required cross-cultural activity
    component); specific information on the fees and costs that the
    exchange teacher will be responsible for while on exchange in that
    school district; anticipated housing options and cost implications;
    specific local transportation options between the exchange teacher's
    residence and the host school and their estimated costs; insurance
    costs for accident and illness coverage, repatriation of remains, and

    [[Page 4947]]

    medical evacuation as required by 22 CFR 62.14; estimated costs for
    initial personal expenses the exchange teacher may incur upon arrival
    in the United States prior to receiving his or her first paycheck;
    certification or licensure procedures and costs at the host school;
    administrative fees; and any placement fees. All of the information
    noted above must be provided to exchange teachers selected for the
    program before they sign their host school contract, in order to ensure
    that all exchange teachers fully understand the financial obligations
    they assume when signing the contract and agreeing to participate in an
    exchange program.
    As set forth at 22 CFR 62.24(f)(5), unless an exchange teacher is
    on a program where the Department is the sponsor, he or she must be
    employed by and under the direct supervision and guidance of his or her
    host school and, where applicable, the host school district. As set
    forth at 22 CFR 62.24(g)(2), unless the exchange teacher is supported
    through government funding, through continued support from the exchange
    teacher's home school, or through a combination of the exchange
    teacher's home and host school, compensation must be paid directly by
    the host school(s) or host school district in which the exchange
    teacher is placed. For example, unless the sponsor is also the host
    school, a sponsor cannot receive the exchange teacher's salary from a
    host school or host school district and then pay it on to the exchange
    teacher (often with deductions for previously undisclosed fees and
    costs), as may be the practice currently in some teacher exchange
    programs.
    Cross-cultural activity component: The proposed rule required
    completion of a mandatory annual cross-cultural activity component
    through which exchange teachers would be required to share aspects of
    their cultural heritage with their U.S. communities, including
    conducting international dialogue or other activities through virtual
    exchange or other means, with schools or students in another country,
    preferably their home school (as set forth in the final rule at 22 CFR
    62.24(h)). The Department received 11 comments regarding the cross-
    cultural component aspect of the proposed rule. Many comments received
    were from faculty or administrators at international schools who
    expressed the view that a required cross-cultural activity component
    was unnecessary because their schools are living examples for students
    of international cultural exchange and that a mandated cross-cultural
    activity component would be an artificial intercultural activity by
    comparison.
    The mission of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs,
    which oversees the Exchange Visitor Program under the Fulbright-Hays
    Act, is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the
    United States and the people of other countries through educational and
    cultural exchanges that support the development of peaceful relations.
    In keeping with this authority, the Department wishes to ensure that
    its visiting teachers come in contact with and convey knowledge to
    large numbers of U.S. students and community members. The Department is
    of the view that a dialogue of ideas should ensue from the Teacher
    exchange program and that, regardless of where in the United States a
    teacher is placed, a mandatory cross-cultural activity component will
    help students in the exchange teacher's classroom, and in the broader
    host school and its community, develop global awareness and interest in
    learning more about other countries. Moreover, not all exchange
    teachers participating in the program are placed in schools that
    already have an overall international focus.
    Other comments supported mandating a cross-cultural activity
    component in order for communities to learn more about the unique
    contributions of the exchange teacher. The Department agrees that
    required cross-cultural activity components are valuable tools not only
    to engage exchange teachers in their host communities--both inside and
    outside of their schools--but also to inform their host communities
    about their cultures.
    Whatever the placement setting, the sponsor, host school and
    exchange teacher should work together to develop creative cross-
    cultural activity components, whether it be in the teacher's individual
    classroom, within the larger host school, or in the host school
    district or community. One example of developing a creative cross-
    cultural activity for the host school district or community could be to
    have exchange teachers make a presentation in a public forum (e.g., at
    a school assembly, museum, civic organization, or businesses
    association) where there is direct interaction with the educational or
    larger community and in which they could share an aspect of their home
    countries (e.g., history, traditions, heritage, dance, art, music,
    economy, educational system). In addition, the Department strongly
    encourages sponsors who place exchange teachers in international
    schools to urge their exchange teachers to conduct at least one cross-
    cultural activity per year outside their host school in a setting where
    there is less direct opportunity for students or community members to
    engage in international learning. For example, a foreign teacher placed
    in a school where he or she is teaching his or her native language
    might give a presentation in English about a home country topic to a
    school in the same district that does not have an international or
    language immersion focus or to a community group in the area where the
    host school is located. Sponsors and the Department will take the
    exchange teacher's record of cross-cultural activities into account
    when considering one- or two-year extensions for exchange teachers,
    including those placed at schools with an international or language
    immersion focus.
    In order to ensure meaningful accountability on the part of
    exchange teachers, sponsors must require exchange teachers to submit an
    annual report, one element of which should detail the cross-cultural
    activity component of their exchange program. The report does not have
    to be in a specific format, but must contain specific fields of
    information as identified in these regulations (i.e., date or dates of
    cross-cultural activities, teacher name, program sponsor name,
    location, number of individuals in attendance, topic, and a general
    overview of the activity and its overall impact within the larger
    community where the school is located). Sponsors will not be required
    to submit copies of these reports routinely to the Department, but they
    must retain such reports as part of each exchange teacher's
    documentation for a period of three years following completion of the
    teacher's exchange program, as required by 22 CFR 62.10(g). Sponsors
    are encouraged to share with the Department, as best practices,
    examples of activities that exchange teachers conduct as part of their
    cross-cultural activity component.
    Teacher eligibility: The Department received four comments on
    eligibility, evenly split on whether the criteria for eligibility
    should be changed to two years of teaching experience prior to program
    participation from the current requirement of three years, or whether
    three years should remain the requirement. It is critical to the
    success of this exchange program that foreign teachers have the
    necessary skills and teaching experience to benefit from exchange
    opportunities and achieve the intended goals of this professional
    exchange program. Exchange teachers must be able to make an immediate
    impact in the classroom and share some of their teaching methods with

    [[Page 4948]]

    American teachers, while learning firsthand about U.S. culture and
    teaching methodologies.
    The Department recognizes, as some comments pointed out, that
    exchange teachers come to the United States from foreign countries that
    prepare their teachers in educational systems that are different from
    that of the United States, with some systems having very different time
    periods that it takes teacher candidates to receive a degree. The
    Department believes that two years of teaching experience, combined
    with a degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree (which may be
    proven by the applicant, for example, through use of a credential
    evaluation service), would be sufficient requirements for program
    participation. This teaching experience must not be as a student
    teacher, but as a teacher of record in a foreign school; however, the
    two years of experience may be non-consecutive. All U.S. states
    currently require their teachers to have a bachelor's degree, and while
    the Department recognizes differences in teacher education systems
    around the world and, therefore, does not require its foreign teachers
    to have a bachelor's degree, it is of the view that requiring foreign
    teachers to have the equivalent of a bachelor's degree from their own
    educational system will ensure that they are considered equally
    qualified with U.S. teachers in host schools across the United States.
    A number of comments made the point that the Department should
    permit in the program teachers who are not currently teaching but have
    recent teaching experience. The Teacher exchange program is not an
    employment program, but an educational exchange experience that has a
    reciprocal element as one of its goals. In the Teacher exchange
    category, currently working teachers bring to the program opportunities
    to link their home and host schools and communities through projects
    and other contributions to mutual understanding. It is anticipated that
    the exchange experience will give exchange teachers the opportunity to
    share their experiences with their home school students through virtual
    linkages and when they return home.
    Other comments expressed concern that by requiring teachers to be
    working at the time of application, the program would exclude
    potentially highly qualified candidates who have the requisite teaching
    experience, but have not been working because they have been pursuing
    an advanced degree. The Department agrees and wishes to facilitate the
    exchange of teachers who have continued their education beyond a degree
    equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree. The Department agrees that an
    international teaching experience would be a valuable additional
    educational benefit to teachers completing advanced degrees. For this
    reason, this final rule makes one exception to the requirement that
    applicants must be working as teachers at the time of application.
    Applicants who are not currently working may participate in the program
    if they: (i) Have at least a degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's
    degree, (ii) have two years of teaching experience within the past
    eight years, and (iii) have successfully completed an advanced degree
    beyond a U.S. bachelor's degree-equivalent within one year of the date
    upon which their program application is submitted, even if they are not
    currently teaching. The advanced degree must be in the subject field
    (or a closely related one) that the exchange teacher proposes to teach
    while in the United States, or in the field of education. In making
    this exception, the Department acknowledges that potential exchange
    teachers might wish to complete an advanced degree and follow-up this
    degree by taking the opportunity to teach abroad for a period of time
    soon thereafter, before they continue their teaching careers in their
    home countries. Sponsors must require teachers who are not currently
    working, but are participating in the program by virtue of having
    recently completed an advanced degree, to locate and cooperate with a
    school, preferably in their home country and at their teaching level,
    in order to conduct the required international dialogue or virtual
    aspect of the cross-cultural activity component while on exchange.
    Sponsors must require candidates for the program, before they submit
    their application to a sponsor, to take the additional steps necessary
    to make arrangements with a suitable school outside the United States
    with which they could, if accepted to the program, complete the
    required cultural activity component.
    Pre-kindergarten teacher eligibility: The Department received 37
    comments about whether pre-kindergarten teachers should be permitted to
    participate in the Teacher category of the Exchange Visitor Program.
    All comments noted that beginning language instruction with a native
    speaker in early childhood would be beneficial for U.S. children. Those
    submitting comments also noted that preventing pre-kindergarten
    language teachers from coming to the United States on a teacher
    exchange would reduce the overall effectiveness of ``language
    immersion'' programs, whose faculty could benefit from hosting native
    speakers. In response to these comments, the Department will permit
    teachers, under the final rule, to be placed as instructors in pre-
    kindergarten ``language immersion'' programs offered as regular courses
    of study by accredited primary schools. Such exchange teachers must
    teach a full-time schedule of at least 32 hours at their host school or
    at accredited schools in the same school district, even if not all of
    their instruction involves teaching at the pre-kindergarten level. If
    exchange teachers are placed in private schools where they are not
    under the governing authority of a school district, then they must
    teach a full-time schedule of at least 32 hours, any schools in which
    they teach must be located no more than 25 miles from their main host
    school, and the sponsor must ensure that reasonable and effective modes
    of transportation to such additional sites of activity exist. Pre-
    kindergarten exchange teachers may not participate in exchanges at
    institutions whose primary purpose is daycare, nor may they teach in
    supplemental educational programs offered at, but not included as, a
    regular course of study by an accredited school.
    Program dates: The Department received three comments on its
    proposed new requirement (set forth in the final rule at 22 CFR
    62.24(f)(2)) that program dates should coincide with the U.S. academic
    year cycle (July 1-June 30). Some comments pointed out that school
    systems in other parts of the world follow different calendar cycles
    and expressed the view that the Teacher exchange program should
    accommodate this. The Department notes that exchange teachers will be
    teaching in U.S. schools, so it is generally necessary that they comply
    with the U.S. academic year in order to ensure a smooth transition as
    faculty arrive and depart. The Department understands that there may be
    instances where a teacher on a different academic calendar may need to
    conduct an exchange on a different year-cycle. In such a situation,
    sponsors must notify and receive approval from the Department if a host
    school has an exchange teacher beginning an exchange after the start of
    the U.S. academic year and must ensure that the host school includes
    such alternate dates in its contract with the exchange teacher. Host
    schools should give the same orientation programming and assistance to
    the incoming exchange teacher that an exchange teacher arriving at the
    normal time in the school year would ordinarily receive. When sponsors
    notify the Department that the exchange is occurring on a different

    [[Page 4949]]

    program cycle and receive the Department's approval, the Department has
    the opportunity to monitor these exchanges to ensure that the sponsor
    and host school are providing the necessary support to an exchange
    teacher who enters a new school with a potentially more difficult
    adjustment period.
    Program extensions: The Department received 29 comments on the
    issue of program extensions, with a majority supporting either program
    extensions of up to two years beyond the proposed exchange period of
    three years or simply a five-year exchange period. A former exchange
    teacher commented that international teachers who experience the United
    States for periods longer than three years can become ``instructional
    leaders'' in their host schools. Others voiced the perspective that a
    three-year program limit may mean that some students have less
    continuity in receiving instruction from a highly qualified
    international teacher.
    The Department believes that a program duration of three years is
    most consistent with the goals and mission of the Teacher exchange,
    namely to encourage exchange teachers to learn new skills and
    perspectives while teaching in the United States, and then return to
    their home countries and foster ties between schools in their home
    countries and their host schools in the United States. However, the
    Department recognizes that program extensions beyond the three-year
    duration may be necessary or desirable where the exchange teacher has
    carried out his or her program requirements in a particularly effective
    way at the U.S. host school. Accordingly, sponsors may apply to the
    Department on behalf of a host school to extend an exchange teacher's
    program duration by one or two additional years. In permitting
    extensions of up to two years, the Department will not authorize
    exchange teachers to extend their stay by fractions of academic years.
    The Department believes this would result in considerable
    administrative complexity to both home and host schools attempting to
    make international teacher exchanges possible. In addition, having
    exchange teachers extend for fractions of years might be disruptive to
    students. Extension requests must contain documentation showing that
    the school has a particular need for the exchange teacher to remain,
    that the exchange teacher can be recommended for extension based on
    professional performance at the host school, and that the exchange
    teacher has fulfilled all aspects of the cross-cultural activity
    component. Instructions for requesting a program extension may be found
    on the Department's J-Visa Web site (www.jvisa.gov) under the
    ``Participants--Adjustments and Extensions'' link at http://j1visa.state.gov/participants...and-extensions.
    Sponsors must send extension requests to the Department for its
    approval at least three months prior to the beginning date of the
    requested extension.
    Teacher compensation: The Department did not receive comments on
    the issue of compensation. Accordingly, as proposed, the Department has
    amended the regulations at 22 CFR 62.24(g)(2) to make clear that
    exchange teachers are to be compensated directly by the schools or
    school districts in which they are placed, unless they are supported by
    foreign government funding, through continued support from their home
    schools, or through a combination of home and host school support.
    Exchange teachers must be under the direct supervision and guidance of
    host schools and host school districts. SEVIS records should reflect
    the funding situation for each exchange teacher. Teaching positions,
    including duties, responsibilities, hours of employment, and
    compensation, must be consistent with similarly-situated American
    teachers in the school or school district where an exchange teacher is
    assigned to teach. Sponsors should ensure that exchange teachers
    receive all information about teaching in a particular school or school
    district that is available to similarly-situated U.S. teachers.
    Repeat participation: Commenters generally supported a clause
    making clear that exchange teachers are eligible for repeat
    participation provided they reside outside the United States for two
    years following their teacher exchange program. Several commenters
    noted that inserting this provision should go hand-in-hand with
    extending the possible exchange duration to five years. The regulations
    have been amended to permit exchange teachers who have successfully
    completed their teacher exchange programs, either for a period of three
    years or, if extended, for four or five years, to participate again as
    exchange teachers in the Exchange Visitor Program. To be eligible to
    repeat the program, exchange teachers must have resided outside the
    United States for at least two years following completion of their
    program and must continue to meet all other eligibility requirements
    for this category.

    Regulatory Analysis and Notices

    Administrative Procedure Act

    The Department is of the opinion that the Exchange Visitor Program
    is a foreign affairs function of the U.S. Government, and that rules
    implementing this function are exempt from section 553 (Rulemaking) and
    section 554 (Adjudications) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).
    U.S. government policy and longstanding practice have been for the
    Department to oversee foreign nationals who come to the United States
    as participants in exchange visitor programs, either directly or
    through private sector program sponsors or grantee organizations. When
    problems arise, the U.S. Government is often held accountable by
    foreign governments for the treatment of their nationals, regardless of
    who is responsible for the problems. The purpose of this rule is to
    protect the health, safety and welfare of foreign nationals entering
    the United States (often on programs funded by the U.S. Government) for
    a finite period of time and with a view that they will return to their
    countries of nationality upon completion of their programs. The
    Department is of the opinion that failure to protect the health, safety
    and welfare of these foreign nationals would have direct and
    substantial adverse effects on the foreign affairs of the United
    States. Although the Department is of the opinion that this rule is
    exempt from the rulemaking provisions of the APA, the Department
    nevertheless published a proposed rule on May 2, 2013, with a 60-day
    provision for public comment and without prejudice to its determination
    that the Exchange Visitor Program is a foreign affairs function.

    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    This regulation is not a major rule as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804 for
    the purposes of Congressional review of agency rulemaking under the
    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (5 U.S.C.
    801-808). This rule will not result in an annual effect on the economy
    of $100 million or more; a major increase in costs or prices; or
    significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment,
    productivity, innovation, or on the ability of U.S.-based companies to
    compete with foreign-based companies in domestic and export markets.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This regulation will not result in the expenditure by State, local
    or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of
    $100 million in any

    [[Page 4950]]

    year; and it will not significantly or uniquely affect small
    governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed necessary under the
    provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

    Executive Order 13175--Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal
    Governments

    The Department has determined that this regulation will not have
    tribal implications; will not impose substantial direct compliance
    costs on Indian tribal governments; and will not preempt tribal law.
    Accordingly, the requirements of Executive Order 13175 do not apply to
    this rulemaking.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act/Executive Order 13272: Small Business
    Impacts

    Since the Department is of the opinion that this rule is exempt
    from section 553 (Rulemaking) and section 554 (Adjudications) of the
    APA, the Department is also of the opinion that this rule is not
    subject to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.).
    However, to better inform the public as to the costs and burdens of
    this rule, the Department notes that this regulation will affect the
    operations of 54 sponsors designated by the Department to conduct
    programs in the Teacher category of the Exchange Visitor Program.
    Currently, approximately 1,200 new exchange teachers may begin exchange
    programs annually with program durations of up to three years, and it
    is expected that this number will stay relatively constant; an
    estimated total of around 2,300 exchange teachers may continue their
    programs in years two and three as expected (estimated at 1,150
    exchange teachers per year), for a total number of 3,500 in their first
    three years as an exchange visitor. An estimated 500 exchange teachers
    may be on an extension of their exchange in the U.S. beyond the initial
    three years (an estimated 250 in extension status in years four and
    five), so that a total of approximately 4,000 active exchange teachers
    may be in the United States annually.
    Numbers of Small Businesses
    Of the 54 currently-designated sponsors in the Teacher category of
    the Exchange Visitor Program, 16 are corporate, academic and tax-exempt
    program sponsors with annual revenues of less than $7 million. These 16
    small sponsors accounted for around 800, or approximately 32 percent,
    of the total active 2,500 participants in the Teacher category in
    calendar year 2014 and 384 of the new exchange teachers beginning the
    program. The Department estimates that exchange teachers associated
    with small sponsors may account for as many as 1,280 of the 4,000
    active participants in 2016 and beyond, once the option to extend is
    offered to exchange teachers, calculated as follows: 1,200 multiplied
    by three years for new exchange teachers minus 100 teachers who are
    estimated not to continue on to three years as expected, plus an
    estimated total of 500 exchange teachers on extension (250 in extension
    status per year in years four and five) equals 4,000 total exchange
    teachers. Multiplying this total by 0.32 equals an expected 1,280
    exchange teachers affiliated with sponsors that are small businesses.
    Teacher Selection
    Sponsors already are required to screen applicants for eligibility
    (including the two-year home stay requirement through SEVIS); verify
    that applicants are currently working as teachers; verify their English
    language proficiency; and confirm their receipt of, at a minimum, a
    degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree. Department collections
    already include 1.5 hours for selection (screening, verifying language
    proficiency, and confirming degree). Sponsors also must check
    prospective host school attestations that their exchange teacher
    appointments are temporary, that the teacher's salary will fall within
    the range paid to U.S. teachers, and that the exchange teacher will
    satisfy the teaching eligibility standards of the U.S. state in which
    he or she will teach. These requirements will add 0.5 hours multiplied
    by $31.50 weighted wage for sponsors multiplied by 384 placement
    schools, or an additional total of $6,048 annually. The amount of
    $31.50 is based upon average weekly earnings for middle-range employees
    in the educational non-profit sector according to the Bureau of Labor
    Statistics, or around $24.20 per hour and benefits of around 30 percent
    of salary. In addition, host schools will have a 0.5 hour burden to
    write these attestations, which totals $8,279, based on the average
    weighted wage of $43.12 for middle-range U.S. public school
    administrators, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the
    national salary comparison Web site Payscale (www.payscale.com) (0.5
    hours multiplied by $43.12. weighted wage multiplied by 384 placement
    schools).
    Under the amended regulation, sponsors must verify that exchange
    teachers qualifying with an advanced degree have earned such a degree
    within the past 12 months in education or in the subject field (or
    closely related subject field) that the applicant would teach on
    exchange. They also will need to verify that the exchange teacher's
    application package includes a letter from the head of a school in
    another country, preferably the teacher's home country, which states
    that school's willingness to work with the exchange teacher on the
    cross-cultural component of the exchange. These items are not expected
    to add greatly to a sponsor's screening responsibilities. Sponsors
    would already regularly screen for the teacher's academic, linguistic,
    and other credentials; this added screening is simply for a higher
    level of academic credential and verification that the cross-cultural
    component letter has been submitted for the applicant.
    As set forth at 22 CFR 62.24(f)(1), sponsors must ensure that Forms
    DS-2019 are not issued until potential exchange teachers have received
    and accepted written offers of full-time teaching positions from the
    accredited primary (including pre-kindergarten level) or secondary
    schools in which they will teach. It is estimated that host schools and
    sponsors associated with the programs of small sponsors will each spend
    30 minutes either writing or reviewing such offer letters. For
    sponsors, the Department estimates an aggregate burden of $6,048 (384
    new teachers multiplied by 0.5 hours multiplied by $31.50 per hour
    weighted wage). This is not a new cost. For host schools, the
    Department estimates an aggregate burden of $8,279 (384 new teachers
    multiplied by $43.12 weighted wage of the average U.S. public school
    administrator multiplied by 0.5 hours).
    Program Extension
    In regard to program extensions, as set forth at 22 CFR 62.24(k),
    sponsors must review host school extension letters and supporting
    materials, send extension applications they support to the Department
    for review, and notify host schools regarding the status of their
    extension requests. The Department estimates that these additional
    collection requirements will cost $2,520, one hour burden multiplied by
    the hourly weighted wage of $31.50 for an estimated 250 extending
    exchange teachers; or $2,520 for the 32 percent of 250 yearly extending
    exchange teachers or 80 exchange teachers, who are likely to be
    affiliated with small sponsor organizations. It is estimated that the
    hour burden to host schools affiliated with small sponsors to submit
    letters for teachers extending to a fourth or fifth year is $3,450 (80
    exchange teachers multiplied by $43.12 weighted wage for a school
    administrator multiplied by one hour). In addition, small sponsors may
    incur an estimated $400 per year associated with keeping records for

    [[Page 4951]]

    extension requests (80 extending teachers per year multiplied by $5),
    or a total of $1,200 for 80 extending teachers multiplied by $5
    multiplied by three years for the entire duration of such extension
    request recordkeeping. The $5 per record cost is based on estimates
    provided by several private sector records storage companies at an
    average of $20 per cubic foot box divided by an estimated four teacher
    cross-cultural project records per box, which includes room for
    potential storage of larger items teachers may submit to document their
    exchange experience, or to cover the cost of electronic file archival
    storage.
    Program Disclosure
    22 CFR 62.24(g) requires sponsors to disclose fees and costs to
    exchange teachers at the time of their recruitment, selection into the
    program, and signing of their contracts with host schools. Department
    collections already include 0.5 burden hours for program disclosure by
    sponsors. The Department estimates total requirements in this area
    annually will cost $12,096 (384 new exchange teachers associated with
    small sponsors multiplied by $31.50 weighted wage multiplied by a total
    of one hour), or new costs of $6,048 (384 new exchange teachers
    associated with small sponsors multiplied by $31.50 weighted wage
    multiplied by a total of 0.5 hours).
    Cross-Cultural Activity Component and Related Annual Report
    The final rule at 22 CFR 62.24(h) requires sponsors to assist
    exchange teachers with their cross-cultural activity components and to
    collect exchange teachers' annual reports detailing their fulfillment
    of the required cross-cultural activity components. The Department
    estimates that this assistance and the collection of these reports
    annually will cost $40,320, or one burden hour at $31.50 weighted
    hourly wage multiplied by 1,280 teachers affiliated with small sponsors
    (32 percent of 4,000) multiplied by one hour, or new costs of $20,160,
    or 0.5 burden hours at $31.50 weighted hourly wage multiplied by 1,280
    exchange teachers affiliated with small sponsors.
    In addition, small sponsor cataloguing and storing of annual
    reports with cross-cultural activity components would cost small
    sponsors $11,200 annually (7,000 reports requiring storage multiplied
    by 0.32 multiplied by $5 per report). The $5 annual cost is based upon
    conservative private sector estimates of onsite record storage in the
    office environment per cubic foot of records. The Department estimates
    that each annual report, with paper and other addenda, could take up to
    one-quarter cubic feet of space.
    Summary: Collectively, this regulation will impose new costs of no
    more than $47,176 to the 16 small program sponsors. The additional cost
    of this regulation divided by the total number of exchange teachers
    associated with small business (1,280) is $37. In 2014, the 16 small
    sponsors ranged in the number of exchange teachers they sponsored
    annually as follows: Six of the 16 small businesses brought in no more
    than seven exchange teachers for the year 2014, which meant a new
    burden cost of $259. For these businesses, annual revenue averaged
    around seven million dollars, and this amount was far less than one-
    half of one percent of their revenues. Six small businesses brought in
    between 12 to 50 exchange teachers annually at a maximum cost of
    $1,850; one small business sponsored 133 exchange teachers, which
    computes to a cost of $4,921; and two sponsored around 200 teachers,
    which computes to a cost of around $7,400. For these businesses, annual
    revenue ranged from $695,000 to six million dollars, and was in all
    cases, less than 1.5 percent of their revenue. For the four small
    businesses that recruited the largest number of new exchange teachers
    (as many as 282 exchange teachers) in 2014, the cost of this regulation
    is estimated to be no greater than $10,434. For these businesses,
    annual revenues ranged from five to seven million dollars, and the new
    regulatory cost was less than one percent of their revenues. The
    Department certifies that this rule will not have a significant
    economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The total
    cost burden to host schools affiliated with small businesses is $20,008
    or around $16 per school ($20,008 divided by 1,280 host schools).

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    The Department is of the opinion that the Exchange Visitor Program
    is a foreign affairs function of the U.S. Government, and that rules
    governing the conduct of this function are exempt from the requirements
    of Executive Orders 12866 and 13563. The Department has nevertheless
    reviewed these regulations to ensure their consistency with the
    regulatory philosophy and principles set forth in those Executive
    Orders and submitted the rule to the Office of Management and Budget's
    Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. The regulations governing
    the Teacher category of the Exchange Visitor Program were last amended
    on March 19, 1993.
    First, the regulations set forth in this final rule include a
    requirement for sponsors to provide full transparency on all fees and
    costs associated with teacher exchanges. The Department believes that
    requiring sponsors to provide foreign teachers at the time of
    recruitment with a comprehensive summary of total program fees and
    costs would greatly enhance transparency and better ensure that
    exchange teachers understand the financial obligations they assume when
    choosing to participate in the Exchange Visitor Program. The Department
    believes that sponsors already prepare such comprehensive summaries as
    a business practice. The cost of this requirement will come from adding
    a summary to the existing sponsor application and Web site and
    disseminating this fee and cost summary to the individual exchange
    teacher at the time of selection into the program, and is estimated at
    one hour, or 0.5 additional burden hours, for an estimated 4,000
    sponsor collections from host schools to disclose fee and cost
    information multiplied by $31.50 sponsor weighted wage, or $126,000
    divided by two, or a $63,000 new cost.
    Second, both exchange teachers and sponsors will accrue costs from
    the application process. Foreign teacher applicants who are chosen for
    the Teacher program must demonstrate that they meet the eligibility and
    selection requirements set forth in 22 CFR 62.24(d)-(e), including
    demonstrating their qualifications for teaching at either the primary,
    including pre-kindergarten, or secondary levels in schools in their
    home country; that they are working as a teacher in their home country
    at the time of application; and that they have at least two years of
    full-time teaching experience. They must show that they have, at a
    minimum, a degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree in either
    education or the academic subject field in which they plan to teach.
    They also must demonstrate that they have the requisite English
    language proficiency, provide references to their good character, and
    ensure that they meet the teaching requirements of the U.S. state in
    which they are placed, under the requirements of 22 CFR 62.24(d)-(e).
    It is anticipated that it will take 1,200 new exchange teachers six
    hours for a total of 7,200 hours to document their eligibility at
    $26.26 per hour weighted wage for a total cost of $189,072. The figure
    of $26.26 weighted wage per hour for exchange teachers approximates,
    according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the private sector
    Teacher Portal (a Web site summarizing teacher salaries nationwide at

    [[Page 4952]]

    www.teacherportal.com), the average teacher salary in the past academic
    year for teachers having under ten years of experience (the Exchange
    Visitor Program's main applicants) plus benefits of 30 percent of
    salary.
    Sponsors must screen exchange teachers before accepting them for
    the program and placing them in a suitable host school. Sponsors,
    therefore, must verify the educational and other qualifications of each
    foreign teacher applicant to determine whether he or she satisfies all
    selection criteria; review references for each foreign teacher
    attesting to that teacher's good reputation, character and teaching
    skills; ensure that each selected foreign teacher possesses sufficient
    proficiency in the English language to function in American classrooms
    as well as on a day-to-day basis; check, if applicable, that a home
    school letter stating the school's willingness to work with the
    exchange teacher on a cross-cultural component has been submitted;
    check that host schools appoint exchange teachers to temporary
    positions and that these teachers' salaries fall within the range paid
    to U.S. teachers; and verify that each exchange teacher meets the
    requirements of the state in which he or she will teach. It is
    estimated that 54 sponsors will need 2 hours, an increase of 0.5 hours,
    to review 1,200 successful exchange teacher applications at $31.50
    weighted wage for a total cost of $75,600 (and total new costs of
    $18,900).
    Third, an exchange teacher who qualifies for the program by virtue
    of having completed an advanced degree in education or in an academic
    subject matter that he or she intends to teach or that is directly
    related to his or her teaching subject field (see 22 CFR
    62.24(d)(1)(ii)) also must provide a letter from the head of a school
    (or another individual in an appropriate position of authority to speak
    for the school within the foreign country's school system) in another
    country, preferably that exchange teacher's home country, which states
    that school's willingness to work with the exchange teacher on the
    cross-cultural component. It will take an estimated 50 exchange
    teachers two hours to organize receipt of such a letter within their
    home country, to include a translation if not in English, and provide
    the letter as part of their application package, at $26.26 weighted
    wage multiplied by 50 multiplied by two burden hours, for a total of
    $2,626.
    Fourth, sponsors must ensure that Forms DS-2019 are not issued
    until potential exchange teachers have received and accepted written
    offers of full-time teaching positions from the accredited primary
    (including pre-kindergarten level) or secondary schools in which they
    will teach. This is not a new cost for sponsors. Sponsors will need to
    collect written offers of each exchange teacher's fulltime teaching
    position from the placement schools, and these placement schools will
    need to provide the written offer letters, estimated at a 0.5 hour
    burden. Furthermore, host schools will have an additional 0.5 hour
    burden to attest that exchange teacher appointments to positions within
    accredited primary or secondary schools are temporary, even if the
    teaching positions are permanent, and do not lead to tenure; and that
    these positions have duties, responsibilities, hours of employment and
    compensation commensurate with those of similarly-situated U.S.
    teachers in the school district or host school where that exchange
    teacher is assigned to teach. The cost to host schools is estimated at
    $51,774 annually ($43.12 weighted wage for a middle level school
    administrator multiplied by one hour multiplied by 1,200 schools) and
    the cost to sponsors at $18,900 ($31.50 weighted wage multiplied by 0.5
    hours multiplied by 1,200 new exchange teachers).
    In addition, it is estimated that host schools, numbering around
    250, that wish to extend their exchange teacher's program into the
    fourth or fifth year, will need one hour to fulfill extension
    requirements, estimated at $43.12 multiplied by 250, for a total cost
    of $10,780. Sponsors will need to review these applications, estimated
    to take one hour at a weighted wage of $31.50 multiplied by 250, for a
    total cost of $7,875. This is a new cost for sponsors. Sponsors also
    will need to keep on file the criteria and supporting documentation
    justifying exchange teacher extensions for no less than three years.
    Recordkeeping costs for keeping 250 extension requests on file annually
    at $5 per exchange teacher result in a total for all sponsors of
    $1,250. The cost is based on average private sector estimates of file
    storage costs in an office environment per one-quarter-cubic foot of
    files.
    Finally, to ensure that this program remains an educational and
    cultural exchange program, the Department mandates that exchange
    teachers organize an activity in a public setting where there is direct
    interaction with host school students or with the host community and,
    in addition, organize an activity that involves U.S. students in a
    dialogue or other activity with schools or students in another country,
    preferably the exchange teacher's home school. It is estimated that it
    will take an exchange teacher three hours to perform the cross-cultural
    activity component and file his or her report with the sponsor, at
    $26.26 weighted wage multiplied by 4,000 teachers, for a total of
    $315,120 annually. In addition, the Department estimates that it will
    take sponsors one hour, a 0.5 hour increase, to assist the exchange
    teacher with the cross-cultural component and review these reports,
    which, at $31.50 per hour weighted wage for up to 4,000 reports, will
    total $126,000 annually (or $63,000 in new costs). Recordkeeping for
    sponsors' maintenance of cross-cultural reports on file for three years
    (an estimated 7,000 files multiplied by $5 per exchange teacher) comes
    to a total of $35,000 annually or $105,000 over the required three
    years of retention. The cost is based on average private sector
    estimates of file storage costs in an office environment per one-
    quarter cubic foot of files or by electronic means.
    Teacher exchange programs conducted under the authorities of the
    Exchange Visitor Program promote mutual understanding by providing
    foreign teachers the opportunity to teach in U.S. primary and secondary
    schools and participate in daily educational curricula in the United
    States. Foreign teachers participating in the Exchange Visitor Program
    gain an understanding of and an appreciation for the similarities and
    differences between their own cultures and that of the United States.
    Upon their return home, these teachers enrich their schools and
    communities with their fresh perspectives of U.S. culture. Teacher
    exchanges also foster enduring relationships and lifelong friendships
    that help build longstanding ties between the people of the United
    States and other countries. In reciprocal fashion, U.S. primary and
    secondary school teachers and students are provided opportunities to
    increase their knowledge and understanding of the world through these
    friendships.
    Although the benefits of these exchanges to the United States and
    its people cannot be monetized, the Department is nonetheless of the
    opinion that such benefits far outweigh the costs associated with this
    regulation. The non-monetary benefits to the Teacher exchange program
    contained in this rule are many: In conducting a cross-cultural
    component, the exchange teacher will acquaint a wide number of students
    in the host school and members of the host community with the teacher's
    home culture, and students in the exchange teacher's home and host
    countries will have the opportunity to learn about each other's
    cultures. In addition, requiring sponsors to disclose

    [[Page 4953]]

    fees and costs of the exchange to prospective exchange teachers at the
    time of recruitment and at the time of program selection will protect
    the exchange teacher and also may reduce program costs in the long run,
    as the disclosures can reduce turnover resulting from teachers who opt
    to return home early after facing unexpected costs. Finally, permitting
    individuals who have an advanced degree to apply for the program
    shortly after completing that degree will enable additional qualified,
    highly educated and knowledgeable exchange teachers to participate in
    the program.

    Executive Order 12988

    The Department has reviewed this rulemaking in light of sections
    3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988 to eliminate ambiguity,
    minimize litigation, establish clear legal standards, and reduce
    burdens.

    Executive Orders 12372 and 13132--Federalism

    Acknowledging that the administration of schools is primarily a
    state function, the Department finds that this regulation will not have
    substantial direct effect on the states, on the relationships between
    the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power
    and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore,
    in accordance with section 6 of Executive Order 13132, it is determined
    that this rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to
    require consultations or warrant the preparation of a federalism
    summary impact statement. Executive Order 12372, regarding
    intergovernmental consultation on federal programs and activities, does
    not apply to this rule.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule requires new collection of information by sponsors for
    screening, program disclosure, the cross-cultural component, and
    program extensions under an existing collection. Under the Paperwork
    Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, all agencies are
    required to submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for
    review and approval the reporting and recordkeeping requirements
    contained in any rule covered under the PRA. The information collection
    requirements contained in this rulemaking are issued pursuant to the
    PRA and OMB Control Number 1405-0147, and consist of Form DS-7000
    (within the overall collection that includes Forms DS-3036, DS-3037 and
    DS-7000).
    The Department submitted an information collection request to OMB
    for Forms DS-3036, DS-3037 and DS-7000 in spring 2014 for review and
    approval under the PRA, and did not receive substantive comments on the
    collection. The collection renewal was approved by the OMB on March 21,
    2014. The changes requested here were not added to the collection at
    that time because the collection would have expired before the final
    Teacher rule would enter into effect. The Department received comments
    in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that touched on the
    paperwork burden associated with the proposed rule. These comments were
    addressed in the supplementary information section.
    No amendments are required under this rulemaking for Forms DS-3036
    and DS-3037, but amendments are requested under this rulemaking for
    Form DS-7000.
    30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: DS-3036, DS-3037
    and DS-7000 Recording, Reporting and Data Collection Requirements--
    Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)
    Title: Submission to OMB of proposed collection of information.
    The Department of State has submitted the information collection
    described below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for
    approval.
    Direct requests for additional information regarding the collection
    listed in this notice, including requests for copies of the proposed
    collection instrument and supporting documents, to the Office of Policy
    and Program Support, ECA/EC, SA-5, Floor 5, U.S. Department of State,
    2200 C Street NW., Washington, DC 20522-0505; fax: (202) 632-2701;
    email: JExchanges@state.gov.
    Title of Information Collection: Recording, Reporting, and
    Data Collection--Student and Exchange Visitor Information System
    (SEVIS).
    OMB Control Number: 1405-0147.
    Type of Request: Revision of a Currently Approved
    Collection.
    Originating Office: Bureau of Educational and Cultural
    Affairs, Office of Private Sector Exchange, ECA/EC.
    Form Number: Forms DS-3036, DS-3037 and DS-7000.
    Respondents: Foreign teachers wishing to participate as an
    Exchange Visitor Program teacher, schools hosting exchange teachers on
    the Exchange Visitor Program, U.S. government and public and private
    organizations wishing to become U.S. Department of State designated
    sponsors authorized to conduct exchange visitor programs, and
    Department of State designated sponsors.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 191,675 (DS-3036--60; DS-
    3037--1,415; DS-7000--190,200).
    Estimated Number of Responses: 1,558,859 (DS-3036--60; DS-
    3037--2,830; DS-7000--1,555,969).
    Average Time per Response: DS-3036--8 hours; DS-3037--20
    minutes; DS-7000--50 minutes.
    Total Estimated Burden: 1,328,207 hours (DS-3036--480
    hours; DS-3037--943 hours; DS-7000--1,326,784 hours).
    Frequency: On Occasion.
    Obligation To Respond: Required to Obtain or Retain a
    Benefit.
    Estimate of the total new annual burden (in hours) associated with
    the collection.
    The estimate of the total new annual burden for sponsors for the
    Teacher section of 22 CFR part 62 is two and one-half hours.
    Previously, a non-weighted wage of $20 was used to calculate sponsor
    costs for Form DS-7000. Therefore, some of the cost increase indicated
    in this rule stems from using the higher weighted wage figure of $31.50
    for sponsors in this submission. New costs for sponsors collectively
    (not including recordkeeping) based on the weighted wage of $31.50 are
    $189,025 and based on the non-weighted wage of $20 are $133,250. (A
    difference of $55,775 of the overall new sponsor costs are thus
    attributed to using a weighted wage in these calculations.) In
    addition, $506,818 total costs are applicable to exchange teachers,
    calculated using the weighted wage of $26.26, based on the time it
    takes them to complete their application to the program and carry out
    cross-cultural activities. Costs applicable to host schools, using the
    weighted wage or $43.12, are $62,524 for providing exchange teachers
    with offer letters, making attestations to sponsors regarding temporary
    positions and commensurate compensation, and collecting information to
    file exchange teacher extensions. Individual cost figures associated
    with Form DS-7000 are summarized below:
    Provision by sponsors, at the time of recruitment and
    selection, of a summary of total fees and costs as set forth by 22 CFR
    62.24(g): $126,000 total costs, of which $63,000 are new costs. (0.5
    hours new or one hour total burden hours multiplied by 4,000 host
    schools to gather information on fees and costs for recruitment and
    provide information on fees and costs to selected teachers from this
    data at $31.50 weighted wage).
    Document collection by potential exchange teachers to
    prove their eligibility under 22 CFR 62.24(d)-(e):

    [[Page 4954]]

    $189,072 new cost. (Six hours multiplied by 1,200 new exchange teachers
    multiplied by $26.26 weighted wage).
    Sponsor screening of exchange teachers before accepting
    them for the program and matching them to a suitable host school under
    22 CFR 62.24(d)-(f): $75,600, of which $18,900 are new costs. (0.5 new
    and two hours total burden multiplied by review of 1,200 exchange
    teacher files multiplied by $31.50 weighted wage).
    Documentation to be provided, including translation, if
    applicable, by exchange teachers qualifying for the program by virtue
    of having completed an advanced degree as set forth at 22 CFR
    62.24(d)(1)(ii): $2,626 (Two hours multiplied by 50 exchange teachers
    multiplied by $26.26 weighted wage).
    Sponsor verification that Forms DS-2019 are not issued
    until potential exchange teachers have received and accepted written
    offers of full-time teaching positions from the accredited host school,
    as set forth at 22 CFR 62.24(f)(1): $18,900. This is not a new cost.
    (0.5 hours multiplied by 1,200 exchange teachers at $31.50 weighted
    wage).
    Host School provision of written offer letters of full-
    time teaching and attestations of temporary status of teaching
    positions and commensurateness of compensation at 22 CFR 62.24(f)(1)
    and (4)-(5): $51,744. (One hour multiplied by 1,200 schools hosting
    exchange teachers at $43.12 weighted wage).
    Host schools that wish to extend their exchange teacher's
    program into a fourth and/or fifth year will need to provide
    documentation to the sponsor as set forth at 22 CFR 62.24(k): $10,780.
    (One hour to fulfill extension requirements multiplied by 250 exchange
    teachers at $43.12 weighted wage).
    Sponsor review of host school request for extension as set
    forth at 22 CFR 62.24(k): $7,875 in new costs. (One hour to fulfill
    extension requirements multiplied by 250 exchange teachers at $31.50
    weighted wage).
    Exchange teacher organization of the cross-cultural
    program component and writing of related report under 22 CFR 62.24(h):
    $315,120. (Three hours multiplied by 4,000 exchange teachers on program
    at $26.26 weighted wage).
    Sponsor assistance to exchange teachers on the cross-
    cultural component and review of their reports under 22 CFR 62.24(h):
    $126,000, of which $63,000 are new costs. (One hour multiplied by 4,000
    exchange teachers at $31.50 weighted wage).
    Additional new annual record-keeping is as follows:
    Recordkeeping for exchange teachers on extension: 250
    files of extending exchange teachers annually at $5 per file to equal
    $1,250, which are new costs.
    Storing annual report with cross-cultural component: 7,000
    exchange teachers multiplied by $5 per teacher to equal $35,000, which
    are new costs.
    Abstract of collection.
    The collection is the continuation of information collected and
    needed by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in
    administering the Exchange Visitor Program (J-Nonimmigrant) under the
    provisions of the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act, as
    amended, 22 U.S.C. 2451 et seq. This final rule will require amendment
    of Form DS-7000 (Non-SEVIS Collection), as follows:
    The Department requires sponsors under 22 CFR 62.24(g) to provide
    foreign teachers at the time of recruitment and again at the time of
    selection with a summary of program fees and costs, thereby enhancing
    transparency and better ensuring that exchange teachers understand the
    financial obligations they assume when choosing to participate in the
    Exchange Visitor Program. The cost of this requirement will come from
    adding a summary to the existing sponsor recruiting materials and Web
    site and disseminating this fee and cost summary to the individual
    exchange teacher at the time of selection into the program.
    Successful foreign teacher applicants must demonstrate to the
    sponsor, as set forth under 22 CFR 62.24(d)-(e), that they meet
    qualifications for teaching at the primary, including pre-kindergarten,
    or secondary levels in schools in their home country; are working as a
    teacher in their home country at the time of application; and have at
    least two years of full-time teaching experience. They must show that
    they have, at a minimum, a degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's
    degree in either education or the academic subject field in which they
    plan to teach, demonstrate English language proficiency, provide
    references to their good character, and ensure that they meet the
    teaching requirements of the U.S. state in which they are placed. An
    exchange teacher who qualifies for the program by virtue of having
    completed an advanced degree in education or in an academic subject
    matter that he or she intends to teach or that is directly related to
    his or her teaching subject field must provide, under 22 CFR
    62.24(e)(4), a letter signed by the head of a school (or another
    individual in an appropriate position of authority to speak for the
    school within the foreign country's school system) in another country,
    preferably that exchange teacher's home country, which states that
    school's willingness to work with the exchange teacher on the cultural
    component.
    In addition, as set forth in 22 CFR 62.24(d)-(f), sponsors must
    screen prospective exchange teachers before accepting them for the
    program and must match them with a suitable host school. Such screening
    includes verifying the educational and other qualifications of each
    foreign teacher applicant to determine whether he or she satisfies all
    selection criteria; reviewing references for each foreign teacher
    attesting to that teacher's good reputation, character, and teaching
    skills; ensuring that each selected foreign teacher possesses
    sufficient proficiency in the English language to function in American
    classrooms as well as on a day-to-day basis; checking, if applicable,
    that a home school letter stating that school's willingness to work
    with the exchange teacher on a cross-cultural component has been
    submitted; checking that host schools appoint exchange teachers to
    temporary positions and that these teachers' salaries fall within the
    range paid to similarly-situated U.S. teachers; and verifying that each
    foreign teacher meets the requirements of the state in which he or she
    will teach, including criminal background check requirements.
    Host schools, as set forth at 22 CFR 62.24(f)(1), will need to
    provide the sponsor written offers of each exchange teacher's full-time
    teaching position from the placement schools. In addition, host schools
    that wish to extend their exchange teacher's program into the fourth or
    fifth year will need to have sponsors apply on their behalf to the
    Department for an extension, as set forth in 22 CFR 62.24(k). As also
    set forth in 22 CFR 62.24(k), sponsors will need to collect and submit
    extension requests to the Department and reply to the host school.
    Finally, to ensure that this program remains an educational and
    cultural exchange program, the Department mandates under 22 CFR
    62.24(h) that exchange teachers organize an activity in a public
    setting where there is direct interaction with host school students or
    with the host community and, in addition, involve U.S. students in a
    dialogue or other activity with schools or students in another country,
    preferably with the exchange teacher's home school. Additional costs
    will accrue to sponsors, who will need to assist exchange teachers with
    the cross-

    [[Page 4955]]

    cultural component and review their cross-cultural activity reports,
    and to exchange teachers, who will need to carry out and report on
    these activities.
    Additional Information
    The total number of sponsor organizations designated by the
    Department to conduct teacher exchange program activities is 54. Around
    1,200 new exchange teachers are expected annually in the Teacher
    exchange category to conduct exchanges in a similar number of new host
    schools, with an estimated 2,300 additional exchange teachers and host
    schools continuing their exchange on three year programs, and 250
    exchange teachers annually extending their exchanges times two years,
    the duration of the permissible extension period, equaling an
    additional 500 exchange teachers, for a total of up to 4,000 exchange
    teachers in the United States at a given time.

    List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 62

    Cultural exchange programs; Reporting and recordkeeping
    requirements.

    Accordingly, 22 CFR part 62 is amended as follows:

    PART 62--EXCHANGE VISITOR PROGRAM

    0
    1. The authority citation for Part 62 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(J), 1182, 1184, 1258; 22 U.S.C.
    1431 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 2451 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 2651(a); Pub. L.
    105-277, Div. G, 112 Stat. 2681 et seq.; Reorganization Plan No. 2
    of 1977, 3 CFR, 1977 Comp. p. 200; E.O. 12048 of March 27, 1978; 3
    CFR, 1978 Comp. p. 168; Pub. L. 104-208, Div. C, 110 Stat. 3009-546,
    as amended; Pub. L. 107-56, 416, 115 Stat. 354; and Pub. L. 107-173,
    116 Stat. 543.


    0
    2. Section 62.24 is revised to read as follows:


    Sec. 62.24 Teachers.

    (a) Purpose. The regulations in this section govern exchange
    visitors who teach full-time in accredited public and private U.S.
    primary and secondary schools (K-12), including pre-kindergarten
    language immersion programs offered as regular courses of study by
    accredited primary schools. Programs in this category promote the
    interchange of U.S. and foreign teachers and enhance mutual
    understanding between the people of the United States and other
    countries. Exchange teachers sharpen their professional skills and
    participate in cross-cultural activities in schools and communities,
    and they return home after the exchange to share their experiences and
    increased knowledge of the United States and the U.S. educational
    system. Such exchanges enable foreign teachers to understand better
    U.S. culture, society and teaching practices at the primary and
    secondary levels, and enhance U.S. students' knowledge of foreign
    cultures, customs and teaching approaches.
    (b) Designation. The Department may, in its discretion, designate
    bona fide programs satisfying the objectives in paragraph (a) of this
    section as exchange visitor programs in the Teacher category.
    (c) Definitions. In addition to those definitions set forth in
    Sec. 62.2, the following definitions apply to the Teacher category of
    the Exchange Visitor Program:
    (1) Accredited primary or accredited secondary school: Any publicly
    or privately operated primary or secondary institution for educating
    children in the United States that offers mainly academic programs and
    is duly accredited by the appropriate academic accrediting authority of
    the jurisdiction in which such institution is located.
    (2) Full-time teaching: A minimum of 32 hours per week of teaching
    or teaching-related administrative activities.
    (3) Home country school: An exchange teacher's school in his or her
    country of nationality or last legal country of residence.
    (4) Host school: The U.S.-accredited primary or secondary school in
    which a sponsor places an exchange teacher pursuant to the exchange
    teacher's written acceptance of the placement.
    (5) International school: A school that is so designated by its
    school district, state, or other applicable governing authority, or one
    whose curriculum focuses predominantly on international aspects of the
    subject matter taught and/or language immersion, or one that
    predominantly follows a national curriculum of a foreign country.
    (6) Language immersion program: A program that is a regular course
    of study offered by an accredited school having sustained and enriched
    instruction, in a language not native to the majority of the student
    population, that occurs for at least fifty percent of the school day.
    (7) Virtual exchange: A technology-enabled, sustained, people-to-
    people cross-cultural educational program that may supplement the goals
    of an in-person exchange and integrates global knowledge, cultural
    awareness, and/or foreign language into the classroom or other setting.
    (d) Teacher eligibility. Foreign nationals are eligible to
    participate in exchange visitor programs as full-time teachers if, at
    the time of initial application to the sponsor, an individual making
    such application demonstrates to the satisfaction of the sponsor that
    he or she:
    (1) Either:
    (i) Meets the qualifications for teaching at the primary, including
    pre-kindergarten, or secondary levels in schools in his or her home
    country; is working as a teacher in his or her home country at the time
    of application; and has at least two years of full-time teaching
    experience; or
    (ii) Is not working as a teacher in his or her home country at the
    time of application, but otherwise meets the qualifications for
    teaching at the primary (including pre-kindergarten) or secondary
    levels in schools in the home country; has had at least two years of
    full-time teaching experience within the past eight years; and, within
    12 months of his or her application submission date for the program,
    has or will have completed an advanced degree (beyond a degree
    equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree) in education or in an academic
    subject matter that he or she intends to teach or that is directly
    related to his or her teaching subject field;
    (2) Possesses, at a minimum, a degree equivalent to a U.S.
    bachelor's degree in either education or the academic subject field in
    which he or she intends to teach;
    (3) Satisfies the teaching eligibility standards of the U.S. state
    in which he or she will teach (e.g. meets minimum educational
    requirements, has passed teacher training coursework at a sufficiently
    proficient level, has provided an evaluation of foreign teaching
    preparation coursework, has demonstrated the requisite prior teaching
    experience), to include any required criminal background or other
    checks;
    (4) Is of good reputation and character; and
    (5) Agrees to come to the United States temporarily as a full-time
    teacher of record in an accredited primary or secondary school.
    Exchange teachers may teach a variety of subjects and levels at their
    host school or schools, if qualified, but at the pre-kindergarten
    level, may teach only in language immersion programs.
    (e) Teacher selection. Sponsors must screen foreign teachers
    carefully before accepting them for the program. In addition to the
    requirements set forth in Sec. 62.10 and all security checks required
    by U.S. state departments of education and host schools, sponsors also
    must:
    (1) Verify the qualifications of each foreign teacher to determine
    whether he or she satisfies the criteria set forth in paragraph (d) of
    this section;

    [[Page 4956]]

    (2) Secure references from one colleague and one current or former
    supervisor of each foreign teacher, attesting to that teacher's good
    reputation, character and teaching skills;
    (3) Verify that each selected foreign teacher applicant possesses
    sufficient proficiency in the English language to function in U.S.
    classrooms and to function on a day-to-day basis, in accordance with
    the provision for selection of exchange visitors set forth at Sec.
    62.10(a)(2); and
    (4) Verify that each foreign teacher who is eligible for the
    program under paragraph (d)(1)(ii) of this section has a letter from
    the head of a school in another country, preferably that teacher's home
    country, which states that school's willingness to work with the
    exchange teacher on the cross-cultural activity component set forth in
    paragraph (h)(1)(ii). The foreign school with which the exchange
    teacher plans to work must be at the same academic level as the foreign
    teacher's proposed host school. The letter submitted as part of the
    foreign teacher's application package must be signed by the head of the
    school or another individual in an appropriate position of authority to
    speak for the school within the foreign country's school system; the
    official signing the letter must list both email and telephone contact
    information. The letter may be submitted in English or in the original
    language of the home country with an English translation; the name,
    title/organization and contact information of the translator must be
    noted on the translation.
    (f) Teaching position. Sponsors must ensure that:
    (1) Forms DS-2019 are not issued until foreign teacher applicants
    have received and accepted written offers of full-time teaching
    positions from the accredited primary (including pre-kindergarten
    level) or secondary schools in which they will teach;
    (2) Program dates coincide with the U.S. academic year cycle to
    ensure a smooth transition as exchange teachers arrive and depart,
    unless the sponsor notifies, and receives approval from, the Department
    for other exchange dates before the sponsor issues any Form DS-2019;
    sponsors should ensure that these dates are included in the exchange
    teacher's contract;
    (3) Exchange teachers comply with any applicable collective
    bargaining agreement;
    (4) Exchange teacher appointments to positions within accredited
    primary or secondary schools are temporary, even if the teaching
    positions are permanent, and do not lead to tenure; exchange teachers
    must be employees of either the host or home school during their
    exchange.
    (5) Teaching positions, including duties, responsibilities, hours
    of employment, and compensation, are commensurate with those of
    similarly-situated U.S. teachers in the school district or host school
    where that exchange teacher is assigned to teach; an exchange teacher,
    unless he or she is on a program where the Department is the sponsor,
    must be employed by and under the direct supervision and guidance of
    his or her host school and, where applicable, host school district; and
    (6) A pre-kindergarten level exchange teacher is assigned to teach
    full-time in an accredited host school (or in several schools within
    the same host school district, including at several academic levels,
    with prior permission from the Department). If an exchange teacher is
    placed in a private school where there is no host school district, then
    he or she must teach a full-time schedule of at least 32 hours in a
    school or schools located no more than 25 miles from the main host
    school; in such a situation, sponsors must ensure that reasonable and
    effective modes of transportation exist to such additional sites of
    activity. An exchange teacher may teach at the pre-kindergarten level
    only in a language immersion program offered as regular course of study
    by an accredited primary school.
    (g) Program disclosure. (1) As part of recruitment, in addition to
    the information required by Sec. 62.10(b)-(c), sponsors must provide
    on their main Web sites and in their recruiting materials a general
    summary of fees and other costs for the program. This summary should
    include, but not be limited to, the sponsor fee; foreign or domestic
    third party or partner fees; visa fee; the Student and Exchange Visitor
    Information System (SEVIS) fee; insurance costs; estimates for food,
    housing and local transportation costs; expected work-related
    deductions; and estimates or ranges for all other fees charged for and
    significant general costs related to participation in the teacher
    exchange program.
    (2) At the time a foreign teacher is selected for the program, and
    before the exchange visitor signs any contracts with the host school,
    sponsors and/or the host school must provide each individual exchange
    teacher the following information, either within the teacher's contract
    or in a separate document: The name, location, and brief description of
    the host school; the terms and conditions of compensation (with
    deductions from gross salary); any provisions affecting the ability of
    the exchange teacher to be accompanied abroad by a spouse or dependents
    (including any related assistance and allowances); a summary of the
    significant components of the program (including a statement of the
    teaching requirements and related professional obligations, as well as
    the required cross-cultural activity component as set forth in
    paragraph (h) of this section); specific information on the fees and
    costs for which the exchange teacher will be responsible while on
    exchange in that school district in accordance with paragraph (g)(1);
    anticipated housing options and cost implications; specific local
    transportation options between the exchange teacher's residence and the
    host school and transportation cost estimates; insurance costs for
    accident or illness coverage, repatriation of remains and medical
    evacuation as required by Sec. 62.14; estimated personal expense money
    for initial costs the exchange teacher may incur upon arrival in the
    United States prior to receiving his or her first paycheck;
    certification or licensure procedures and costs at the host school;
    administrative fees; and any placement fees. Exchange teacher
    compensation, unless provided directly to the exchange teacher through
    government funding, through continued support from the exchange
    teacher's home school, or from both the teacher's home and host school
    in a shared cost arrangement, must be paid directly by the host school
    or host school district in which the exchange teacher is placed.
    (h) Cross-cultural activity component. In addition to the
    requirements of Sec. 62.10:
    (1) Sponsors must require each exchange teacher to complete, within
    the United States, and during each academic year of program
    participation, at least one cross-cultural activity from each of the
    following two categories:
    (i) An activity for the teacher's classroom, larger host school or
    host school district population, or the community at large designed to
    give an overview of the history, traditions, heritage, culture,
    economy, educational system and/or other attributes of his or her home
    country. Sponsors of exchange teachers placed at international schools
    must require their exchange teachers to conduct at least one cross-
    cultural activity per academic year outside the host school in nearby
    schools or communities where international opportunities may be more
    limited than those found in their host school; and
    (ii) An activity that involves U.S. student dialogue with schools
    or students in another country, preferably

    [[Page 4957]]

    in the exchange teacher's home school, through virtual exchange or
    other means, in order to supplement the goals of the in-person
    exchange.
    (2) Sponsors must collect annual reports from their exchange
    teachers detailing the cross-cultural activity component of their
    exchange program. The annual report does not have to be in a specific
    format, but must include the exchange teacher's full name and the
    program sponsor's name. The report section about the cross-cultural
    activity component must contain the following information:
    (i) The date(s) of each activity;
    (ii) The location of each activity;
    (iii) The audience for and participants in each activity;
    (iv) A general overview of each activity, including the topic; and
    (v) The estimated impact of each activity.
    (i) Location of the exchange. Exchange teachers must participate in
    exchange visitor programs at the accredited primary or secondary
    schools listed on their Forms DS-2019 or at location(s) where the
    institutions are involved in official school activities (e.g., school
    field trips, teacher development programs);
    (j) Duration of participation. Exchange teachers may be authorized
    to participate in the Exchange Visitor Program for the length of time
    necessary to complete the program, which may not exceed three years
    unless a specific extension of one or two years is authorized by the
    Department as set forth in paragraph (k) of this section.
    (k) Program extensions. (1) Sponsors may request from the
    Department an extension of an exchange teacher's exchange by either one
    or two years, but not by a semester or by other fractions of academic
    years.
    (2) The sponsor's request for extension must include:
    (i) A letter of reference on official letterhead written by the
    host school or host school district administrator responsible for
    overseeing the exchange teacher that describes the exchange teacher's
    performance during the previous three years of the exchange and how the
    host school has benefited from the exchange teacher's presence; and
    (ii) a document describing how the exchange teacher over the
    previous three years has engaged his or her classroom, the wider host
    school or host school district, or community through the cross-cultural
    activity component, if these activities are not already detailed in the
    exchange teacher's annual reports.
    (3) Sponsors must submit their extension request and supporting
    documentation for the extension to the Department no later than three
    months prior to the beginning of the desired extension period for the
    exchange teacher.
    (4) Sponsor requests for extension must include proof of payment of
    the required non-refundable extension fee as set forth in Sec. 62.17.
    (5) The Department, at its discretion, may authorize a sponsor to
    extend an exchange teacher's participation for either one or two
    additional years beyond the initial three-year exchange period.
    Sponsors must comply with all Department guidance on creating an
    extension record for the teacher within SEVIS.
    (6) Sponsors that applied for a two-year extension on behalf of a
    host school and its exchange teacher and received permission from the
    Department only for a one-year extension may apply again to extend the
    program of that host school's exchange teacher for one additional year
    by following the procedures set forth in paragraphs (k)(2)-(4) of this
    section. The sponsor should include with such additional extension
    request a copy of the prior extension request submitted to enable the
    initial one-year extension.
    (l) Repeat participation. Foreign nationals who have successfully
    completed teacher exchange programs are eligible to participate in
    additional teacher exchange programs, provided that they have resided
    outside the United States for at least two years following the
    successful completion of their most recent teacher exchange program and
    continue to meet the eligibility requirements set forth in paragraph
    (d) of this section.

    Dated: January 14, 2016.
    Robin J. Lerner,
    Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange, Bureau of
    Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01421 Filed 1-28-16; 8:45 am]
    BILLING CODE 4710-05-P
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