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International Visitor Program


The US Forest Service facilitates the participation of international visitors, who have been invited by various US Government agencies, in a broad variety of educational and cultural exchange programs in the United States.  These exchange programs foster greater understanding, advance scientific exchanges and promote cooperation among peoples of many cultures and countries. 

International government officials, researchers, specialists and students participate in short study tours, meetings, conferences, workshops, ongoing research projects and technical consultations with US Forest Service staff, USDA researchers, higher education institutions and hosting communities.

The activities of international visitors and maintenance allowances to cover living expenses may be funded in full or in part by the US Government, foreign governments, academic institutions, or partner organizations as agreed upon and documented in the participant’s letter of invitation or training plan.

Program Design
J-1 Visas
Health Insurance
Maintenance Allowance - Reimbursements
Exchange Visitor Program Orientations
Required J-1 Program Monitoring and Reporting

To facilitate these exchanges, the US Forest Service is authorized by the US Department of State to serve as an official sponsor of International Exchange Visitor (J-1) Programs.  The objective of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is “to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchanges.” [Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act (Fulbright-Hayes Act of 1961)]. 

The Exchange Visitor program is often referred to as a “J-1 Program” because the “J-1” class of visa is issued to international professionals and students invited to the United States to participate in educational and cultural exchange activities. Please click on these links for more information on J-1 visas, J status, and the authorities and agencies governing this program.

In some cases, it may be appropriate for international visitors to enter the US on a B-1 visa, which might be the case for meeting or conference attendees. F-1 student visa holders may also be eligible to participate in a period of Optional Practical Training or Curricular Practical Training with the agency.  To help determine the most appropriate visa classification for a particular program, host units should contact IVP staff to discuss the program activities, length and funding. 

The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is very unique and has many special rules that regulate participation.  Hosting units and international visitors should  thoroughly review and understand the Exchange Visitor Program Categories and Program Regulations. Please review all information provided on this website and the materials provided to you by an IVP Program Specialist.  

To learn more about the program, click here.

> If you have any questions, please contact:

  • Brenda Dean , International Visitor Program Coordinator, Responsible Officer, (202) 644-4640,
  • Rima Eid, International Visitor Program Specialist, Alternate Responsible Officer, (202)644-4642,
  • Kristin Corcoran, International Visitor Program Specialist, (202) 644-4643,
  • Misty Sidhu, International Visitor Program Specialist, (202) 644-4645,
  • Lee Blaser, International Visitor Program Specialist, (202) 644-4631,
> Click here and read about latest activities and news of the International Visitor Program.

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