Program Updates

Update – January 22, 2021

The Proclamation & J-1 Visa suspension

On December 31, 2020, President Trump extended his April 22, 2020 Proclamation 10014—suspending J-1 visas through March 31, 2021. While the proclamation has been devastating to the Summer Work Travel, Intern, Trainee, and Teacher programs, Greenheart remains exempt under the injunction (see below), which means we can continue being a sponsor for these programs. For more information on the proclamation, please visit: 

U.S. Department of State / J1 Visas

U.S. Department of State / Consular Affairs FAQ

The Injunction

In the case National Association of Manufacturers, et al. v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, et al. (NAM), the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued an injunction barring the Administration from implementing its June 22 Presidential Proclamation (PP 10052). As a member of the plaintiff organization, we are now exempt from P.P. 10052 and are eligible to continue our sponsorship duties effective immediately.

While this is a victory for the international exchange community and comes after a considerable amount of work on everyone’s part, this is not the end yet. We note that the Trump administration could appeal this decision and a hearing could happen, which would bring complications and uncertainty to the programs. 

Embassy’s Visa Appointments  

Please note that in some U.S. embassies and consulates around the world, visa appointments are very limited due to COVID-19 related health and security concerns. Please continue to check with the individual embassies and consulates for the latest service information, including emergency visa appointment requests. Per Department of State’s Consular Affairs, requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and the hope is that by April 2021, resources for additional visa appointments will be available.  

The good news is that the world is rolling out vaccinations! Please be on the lookout for vaccine availabilities in your country and provide your Greenheart contact with relevant updates once they are available. 

CDC’s New Requirement for All Airline Passengers Arriving in the United States

Effective January 26, 2021–all air passengers traveling into the United States will be required to present a negative viral COVID-19 test before boarding the plane. All passengers will be required to get either a PCR test or an Antigen test 3 days before their flight departs for the U.S., and will need to provide written documentation of the laboratory test results (paper or electronic) to the airline prior to boarding. This applies to ALL air passengers above the age of 2 entering the U.S. For more information, please visit the CDC website.

Update on Greenheart Programs (as of January 5, 2021)

Today, several Greenheart programs are running (see below). We evaluate the situation daily, and we are committed to running as many cultural exchange programs as allowed. For more information specific to Greenheart programs, please click here to reach your Greenheart contact.

High School Programs

  • J1 High School:  Greenheart has welcomed over 130 participants from Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Ukraine, and Vietnam and placed them in 30 states throughout the U.S. for the 2020-21 school year.  We are preparing for more than 500 high school exchange students for the 2021-22 school year.
  • F1 High School: We received international students for the 2020-21 school year and are already receiving inquiries for the 2021-22 school year. Greenheart will offer the F1 program in over 100 schools around the U.S.
  • Short Term Programs: We are working with our international partners for Independent Homestays in 2021, while waiting to receive news on the U.S. government’s lifting of the travel ban for tourists from Europe, Brazil, and China. Greenheart is also exploring opportunities for our Group Homestay Programs to resume in Summer 2021.

Greenheart is also recruiting and screening for new Local Coordinators for placing High School exchange students in 2021. If you are interested in becoming a Local Coordinator, please click here to learn more.

We are working closely with participants, host families, and host schools to meet the challenges presented by COVID-19. Incoming students are  asked to follow all local, state, and national policies concerning COVID-19 prevention, including social-distancing guidelines, wearing masks, and sheltering-in-place orders. They are prepared for potential disruptions in schooling that may increase the student’s time at home, for periods of e-learning, or rotating attendance schedules.

While there are additional challenges, for many students this is the only time in which they can fulfill their lifelong dream of studying in the U.S. If you are interested in helping to make that dream come true, please see our Host Family Overview page to learn more and fill out an inquiry form to be contacted by a Greenheart representative.

If you are interested in hosting an international high school exchange student, please click here to apply.

Greenheart Travel

Greenheart Travel has been evaluating programs 3-6 weeks prior to the program start date. Decisions depend on if the border is open, if it’s safe, if consulates are issuing visas, etc. These are our current programs: 

  • High School Abroad programs for Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 (all destinations) 
  • We will run Teen Language Camps to all destinations for Summer 2021, pending lifting of entry restrictions. Should in-person camps not run in Summer 2021, there will be virtual language learning options. 
  • Online TEFL certification programs continue
  • Costa Rica TEFL Certification course in Heredia will be resuming in-person classes starting January 2021. 
  • Teach Abroad, Teach English in a Homestay and TEFL programs in European destinations are waiting for The European Commission to accept U.S. citizens in order to resume program operations. 
  • Teach Abroad Programs in Thailand , South Korea and Colombia continue to accept U.S. citizen travelers with certain restrictions. Please confirm with Greenheart Travel if you’re eligible to travel. 
  • Teach Abroad Program in Vietnam will start accepting teachers for May 2021 intake with certain restrictions. Please confirm with Greenheart Travel if you’re eligible to travel. 
  • Work Abroad programs are expected to resume operations in the first half of 2021 when those countries re-launch work and holiday visas. 

More information can be found on the Greenheart Travel website.

Greenheart Exchange – Professional Exchange Programs

  • Work and Travel Programs:  As a result of the injunction (above), the Summer Work Travel Program has been afforded exemption from the P.P. 10052 and Greenheart Exchange is working to coordinate placements for the Summer 2021 season.
  • Career Advancement Programs (Intern & Trainee):  As a result of the injunction (above), the Intern and Trainee programs have been afforded exemption from the P.P. 10052. Greenheart Exchange opened 2021 applications on January 4, 2021. 
  • Teach USA:  As a result of the injunction (above), the Teacher program has been afforded exemption from the P.P. 10052. Greenheart will continue to coordinate placements for previously deferred teacher candidates. Greenheart Exchange will open applications for the 2021-22 academic year on January 11, 2021. 

The Power of Travel

This remains an uncertain time, and there is uneasiness about the continued spread of the virus this winter. Greenheart believes in the power of travel, in its ability to change lives, to transform our perspectives, and to better understand each other and the world around us.  We also believe in looking out for one another during these difficult times.

Greenheart is looking forward to the time when the pandemic is behind us. We are preparing new programs, in exciting places, and with many opportunities to learn and to grow through the power of cultural exchange.  We launched Greenheart Connects in September–an online monthly series designed to inspire the global community to make the world a better place. We hope you’ll join us there.

We look forward to life returning to normal one day soon.  Until then, stay healthy, take some time for yourself, be safe, and keep in touch.