Resources > Section 17 > Pre-Departure Orientation > US government agencies
#17-120Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA)PDFReturnURL
This section identifies the United States government agencies and departments that the exchange visitors may interact with throughout their BridgeUSA J-1 EVP program.
BridgeUSA (J-1 visa) Exchange Visitor Program is administered under the oversight of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the US Department of State. ECA designates, monitors, and partners with program sponsors to conduct educational and cultural exchange programs through which qualified foreign nationals can come to the US to study, teach, conduct research, work, and train.
The ECA is a part of the Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs branch within the US Department of State. As mandated by the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, the ECA works to build friendly, peaceful relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through academic, cultural, sports, and professional exchanges, as well as public-private partnerships. Examples of ECA’s functions:

• Fostering mutual understanding between Americans and foreigners by means of educational and cultural exchange
• Monitoring regulatory compliance
• Identifying systemic compliance issues, and detecting program trends
• Designating, monitoring, and partnering with designated sponsors to facilitate and monitor BridgeUSA (J-1 visa) EVP programs
• Promulgating, implementing, and enforcing federal regulations that govern the BridgeUSA (J-1 visa) EVP programs

ECA/EC/PS’s programs. Private Sector Programs Division (ECA/EC/PS) oversees Alien Physician, Au Pair, Camp Counselor, Intern, Secondary School Student, Summer Work Travel, Teacher, Trainee programs.

ECA/EC/AC’s programs. The Academic and Government Programs Division (ECA/EC/AG) oversees Government Visitor, International Visitor, Professor, Research Scholar, Short-Term Scholar, Specialist, College and University Student programs.

Compliance Unit. The Compliance Unit is responsible for monitoring designated sponsors for regulatory compliance.

Contact. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is located at State Annex SA-5, Fifth Floor, Washington, DC 20522-0505. For J-1 visa related urgent situations , dial the hotline: 1-866-283-9090. For regular non-emergency communications or questions, email