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International Visitor Program

Visa Assistance

The Forest Service invites international visitors (non-immigrants) to engage in professional, cultural and educational exchange activities. International visitors hosted by the US Forest Service and our official partners must have official invitations from the Forest Service and the appropriate visa for the particular activity. In many cases, it is only appropriate for official visitors to enter the USA with a J-1 visa as a part of the Exchange Visitor program. In limited cases, visitors may be able to apply for and be granted a B-1 visa for their official visit, which might be the case if they are only attending a short meeting and no US government funding will be used for the visit. As regulation are complex, it is best to contact the International Visitor Program Coordinator to determine which immigration classification is appropriate for the given program.

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

Key factors in determining the appropriate visa classification for the international visitor includes the nature of a visitor’s activities (research, observation, seminar or meeting participation, etc.), the visitor’s professional profile, the source of funding (foreign government, US government, grants, other), the types of reimbursements or payments to be made to the visitor and the proposed length of stay. Having the appropriate visa and a record of this on file in International Programs is important for both the visitor and the US Forest Service. Even minor and inadvertent violations of Immigration, Labor and US Forest Service regulations can have serious and irreversible consequences.

After reviewing the information provided on Who Can Participate page about J-1 Exchange Visitor Categories and B-1 visas, please contact the International Visitor Program Coordinator for advice on the appropriate visa classification for your specific program. Hosting units and prospective visitors should clearly understand the distinctions between the J-1 and B-1 visas and the limitations for each visa category before issuing invitations, preparing documents or applying for visas. Also, should international visitors who have already entered the United States wish to participate in activities sponsored by the US Forest Service, it is extremely important to contact the International Visitor Program Coordinator to discuss the visitor’s current immigration status prior to their participation.

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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,
  • Ashlee Jackson, International Visitor Program Specialist, (202) 644-4644,
  • Lee Blaser, International Visitor Program Specialist, (202) 644-4631,

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