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Pre-Entry and Arrival

International Visitor Program


The International Programs Office, as an official sponsor of the exchange visitor program, is required to provide official program orientations to most categories of J-1 visa holders. All J-1 visa holders sponsored by the US Forest Service are required to attend an orientation. These orientations cover program goals, essential elements and regulations of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program, an initial introduction to the US Forest Service and an introduction to US culture and customs.

Orientation Outline
Required Reading
Required Presentations
Orientation Quiz
Other Resources, Handbooks and Guidelines
24-Month Bar

International Visitors in Washington will receive orientations provided by the International Programs Office upon arrival. International Visitors going directly to activity sites elsewhere in the US must review the orientation materials on this website and have a teleconference orientation with the International Visitors Program Coordinator within 10 days of their arrival.

International Programs assists Forest Service Units in providing initial assistance to Exchange Visitors as they begin their adjustment process. Participants are required to complete and return a questionnaire demonstrating they have completed the orientation program and stating that they fully understand their obligations and responsibilities.

Units hosting international visitors monitor progress on the official orientation activities and help visitors navigate their local communities and resources. Host Units are required to provide further in-depth administrative, technical and cultural orientation and support throughout the program. Host units and visitors should make available and create ample and diverse opportunities for intercultural exchange beyond the office and activity sites.

In general, welcome and on-site orientation activities will include:

  • orienting visitors to the US Forest Service and Affiliated Partners
  • administrative details such as obtaining necessary ID cards or access to computers
  • specific training on policies, procedures and safety training specific to their site of activity
  • assistance with housing, banking, transportation, medical services, etc.
  • Cultural orientation and intercultural exchange activities.

Additionally, local advisors and colleagues are responsible for providing opportunities for intercultural exchange throughout the program. Once the initial arrival and orientation tasks are completed, on-site advisors and colleagues, in coordination with the International Programs Office, must ensure that the overall educational and cultural objectives of the program are met through ongoing interaction, orientation, training and the monitoring and evaluation of activities.

If you have any questions, please contact:
Brenda Dean, International Visitor Program Coordinator , Responsible Officer
Tel: (202) 219-9774
Fax: (202) 208-0873

Rima Eid, Program Specialist, Alternate Responsible Officer
Tel: (202) 208-3785
Fax: (202) 273-6570


Misty Sidhu, Program Specialist, Tax Specialist Tel: (202) 273-3324 Fax: (202) 273-4750 Email:

Kristin Corcoran, Program Specialist
Tel: (202) 273-4733
Fax: (202) 273-6570


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