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DOS Final Rule Revises Exchange Student Regs


In a final rule (PDF) effective November 26, 2010, the Department of State is revising existing secondary school student regulations regarding the screening, selection, school enrollment, orientation, and quality assurance monitoring of exchange students, host families, and field staff. The Department also is adopting a new training requirement for all organizational representatives who place and/or monitor students with host families.

A proposed requirement to conduct FBI fingerprint-based criminal background checks will not be implemented now. The agency said it continues to examine that proposed requirement and a subsequent final rule will be forthcoming.

The final rule governs the designated exchange visitor programs under which foreign secondary school students (ages 15 to 18 1/2) may study in the U.S. at accredited public or private secondary schools for an academic semester or year while living with American host families or residing at accredited U.S. boarding schools.

Compliance with a new requirement for a mandated training module for local coordinator training will not be required until the development of an online training platform is completed and launched, which is anticipated to be in January 2011. A subsequent Federal Register notice will be published when that occurs.

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