Exchange visitors to US suspended

THE Exchange Visitor Program Committee (EVP) of the Philippines is implementing a temporary moratorium on the participation of Filipino nationals to the Exchange Visitor Program of the United States of America due to Covid-19 pandemic.

This was contained in the EVP Resolution No. 01-2020, a public advisory issued by the EVP Secretariat said.

Following numerous concerns and requests for assistance received by the EVP Committee from Filipino J1 visa holders arising from the outbreak of COVID-19 which caused the early cessation of programs--especially in the Summer Work Travel, Intern and Trainee categories -- the EVP Committee will closely examine and adopt policies needed to enhance the protection of the well-being of all Filipino exchange visitors before, during and after participating in their respective programs.

The moratorium takes place immediately after the publication of EVP Resolution No. 01-2020 on 25 May 2020, and shall remain in place for one year, or until six (6) months after the travel restrictions as provided by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases are lifted or accordingly revised, whichever is longer.

During the moratorium, the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, as EVP Committee Secretariat, will hold in abeyance the registration of Filipino nationals for the EVP.

The processing of requests for the No Objection Statement (NOS) shall also be suspended during the moratorium period.

In close cooperation with the U.S. Government, through the U.S. Embassy in Manila, the EVP Committee has initiated a process to assess the experience of Filipino exchange visitors affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and address concerns reported to the EVP Committee.

The assessment will include possible exemptions for certain categories which already have acceptable safety measures in place for emergencies.

Further advisories will be issued by the Committee on the progress of its review to determine programs which merit exemption from the moratorium and on the process of instituting new procedures and policies where needed.