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BridgeUSA (J-1 Exchange Visitor Program EVP)
Led by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) in partnership with designated progarm sponsors, BridgeUSA (the Exchange Visitor Program EVP, J-1 visa type) was created to implement the Mutual Education and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 to further the United States’ foreign policy objective of increasing mutual understanding between people of other countries and the United States by means of mutual educational and cultural exchanges. BridgeUSA is the new identity of the US Department of State’s Exchange Visitor Program of private-sector exchanges.
Key takeaway
BridgeUSA provides opportunities for the next generation of current and emerging young leaders looking to travel and gain experience in the United States through unmatched cultural and professional exchange programs.

BridgeUSA has served as a valuable and important diplomatic tool of US foreign policy. It’s mission is to increase mutual understanding between Americans and people of other countries. Annually, BridgeUSA attracts around 300,000 individuals to the United States from 200 countries and territories to study, teach, conduct research, or demonstrate special skills for periods ranging from a few weeks to several years. Through BridgeUSA, exchange visitors hone existing skills and learn new ones, unlocking new personal and professional opportunities.

  • BridgeUSA consists of 14 different program categories to explore. J-1 intern allows foreign college and university students or recent graduates to come to the United States to gain exposure to US culture and to receive hands-on experience in US business practices in their chosen occupational field.

  • Exchange visitors (J) visas are nonimmigrant visas for individuals approved to participate in BridgeUSA (exchange visitor) programs in the United States.

  • FUSIA is a designated sponsor of State Department’s BridgeUSA in the J-1 intern category.

  • BridgeUSA’s welcome brochure
  • Common questions
    What is BridgeUSA?
    BridgeUSA as the new brand identity for the Exchange Visitor Program (EVP). As of October 27, 2020, the program had a re-branding and is now referred to as the BridgeUSA program instead of just the J-1 program. The new BridgeUSA branding unifies ECA administered, private sector programs under one umbrella and brings the mission and global impact of ECA programs front and center in the name and creative tagline (connecting global leaders, creating lasting impact).

    What is the history of BridgeUSA (J-1 EVP)?
    The history of BridgeUSA goes back to the Cold War. It was created by Senator J. William Fulbright alongside the Peace Corps and United States Agency for International Development as part of the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 (The Fulbright-Hays Act) to promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange.

    What are designated sponsors’ duties?
    Examples of their duties include screening and selecting eligible foreign nationals, issuing necessary documents, monitoring the arrival and program progression, creating, and maintaining SEVIS records, promoting and facilitating cultural activities, supporting and monitoring activities during exchange visitors’ stay in the States.
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