Exchange Visitor Program-Teachers, 4945-4957 [2016-01421]

Download as PDF 4945 Rules and Regulations Federal Register Vol. 81, No. 19 Friday, January 29, 2016 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed to and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published under 50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510. The Code of Federal Regulations is sold by the Superintendent of Documents. Prices of new books are listed in the first FEDERAL REGISTER issue of each week. DEPARTMENT OF STATE 22 CFR Part 62 [Public Notice: 9421] RIN 1400–AC60 Exchange Visitor Program—Teachers U.S. Department of State. Final rule. AGENCY: ACTION: This rule makes final the Department’s proposed rule published on May 2, 2013. The Department, with this rule, amends its existing regulations governing the Teacher category of the Exchange Visitor Program. This final rule permits program participation of teachers teaching full-time at accredited public or private primary and secondary schools (K–12), including prekindergarten teachers in ‘‘language immersion’’ programs offered as regular courses of study by accredited primary schools; requires exchange teachers to have two years of full-time teaching experience; clarifies that the duration of program participation by exchange teachers is three years, with an extension permitted for one or two additional years of participation based on school need and exchange teacher performance during the exchange; permits participation by otherwise qualified teachers who are not currently working, but who are returning to teaching after successfully pursuing an advanced degree beyond the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree; introduces a required cross-cultural activity component; requires program sponsors to disclose fees and costs to foreign teachers at the time of both recruitment and selection into the program; and implements a requirement that exchange teachers not be eligible for repeat participation unless they reside outside the United States for two years following their teacher exchange program. In amending the Teacher jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 12:10 Jan 28, 2016 Jkt 238001 category regulations, the Department: Reforms the teacher exchange program; strengthens provisions designed to protect the health, safety, and welfare of exchange teachers; and reinforces the program’s prestige as a world-class U.S. public diplomacy initiative. The rule applies to all J-Nonimmigrant exchange teachers, except when the teacher’s program is covered by a separate agreement between the United States and the relevant foreign government as permitted under Department regulations. DATES: This rule is effective on February 29, 2016. ADDRESSES: Persons with access to the Internet also may view this rule by going to the regulations.gov Web site at: http://www.regulations.gov/index.cfm. For further information, contact Robin J. Lerner, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State, SA–5, Floor 5, 2200 C Street NW., Washington, DC 20522–0505; fax: (202) 632–2701; email: JExchanges@state.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Exchange Visitor Program (of which the Teacher category is one of fifteen categories of program types) is authorized by the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, as amended, 22 U.S.C. 2451 et seq. (also known as the Fulbright-Hays Act and hereinafter referred to as ‘‘the Act’’), and implemented through 22 CFR part 62 (22 CFR 62.24 pertains to the Teacher category in particular). The Act’s stated purpose is ‘‘to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange; to strengthen the ties which unite us with other nations by demonstrating the educational and cultural interests, developments, and achievements of the people of the United States and other nations, and the contributions being made toward a peaceful and more fruitful life for people throughout the world. . . .’’ In the fifty years since the Act’s passage, millions of foreign exchange visitors, Americans with whom they interact, and friends and families of the exchange visitors with whom they share their experiences upon returning home, have benefited from the mutual understanding and peaceful relations that can derive from such person-to- PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 person contact. The Teacher exchange program embodies and carries forward the stated purpose and intent of the Act by benefiting teachers, students, host schools, and surrounding communities. Educational and cultural exchanges are a cornerstone of U.S. public diplomacy and an integral component of U.S. foreign policy. The purpose of the Teacher category of the Exchange Visitor Program is to promote interchange of American and foreign teachers in public and private schools; enhance mutual understanding between the people of the United States and people of other countries; allow U.S. students who lack opportunities to travel abroad to have early and meaningful relationships with individuals from other cultures; provide visiting teachers an opportunity to expand their understanding of U.S. education, culture and society; provide U.S. teachers with a greater understanding of international teaching practices by their working alongside foreign colleagues; and create opportunities to develop lasting links between U.S. and foreign schools and communities. These regulations govern exchange teachers who teach full-time in accredited primary and secondary public and private schools in the United States (including pre-kindergarten level ‘‘language immersion’’ programs offered as a regular course of study by accredited primary schools). Exchange teachers have the opportunity to broaden their pedagogical knowledge while in the United States and foster meaningful relationships with American citizens through their participation in U.S. schools and communities, returning home within a defined timeperiod to share their experiences in their own country’s educational system. It is equally important that public and private schools hosting foreign exchange teachers have the responsibility and intent to create a holistic cultural program and contemplate the overall experience that these teachers will take back to their home countries. The Department supports the hosting of exchange teachers to help U.S. students understand other cultures and comprehend global issues, as well as to promote study of foreign languages and culture. Native speakers add a vital dimension to foreign language instruction. Speaking another language E:\FR\FM\29JAR1.SGM 29JAR1 4946 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 19 / Friday, January 29, 2016 / Rules and Regulations promotes understanding, conveys respect for other cultures, and strengthens the ability to engage foreign peoples and governments. In recent years, the Department has been strengthening the regulations throughout the Exchange Visitor Program to require sponsors to ensure, among other things, that their individual exchange visitor programs are consistent with the purpose of the Act. The Teacher exchange program is not to be used to recruit and train foreign teachers for permanent employment in the United States. The amended Teacher category regulations make clear that exchange teachers are expected to work on a temporary basis at the host school. Because the Exchange Visitor Program is an educational and cultural program, sponsors must ensure that an exchange teacher’s appointment at the host school is temporary, even if the teaching position is permanent. The Department requires sponsors to ensure that exchange teachers, including pre-kindergarten ‘‘language immersion’’ teachers, are placed only in accredited primary and secondary schools. In addition, a foreign national may be admitted to the United States as a J–1 nonimmigrant in the Teacher category only for the purpose of fulltime teaching as a teacher of record, not as a teacher’s assistant/aide, substitute teacher, or other non-instructional position, at an accredited primary or secondary school. jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES Analysis of Comments The Department published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with a request for comment on May 2, 2013 (RIN 1400– AC60; see 78 FR 25669). The Department received 60 comments in response to the proposed rule. Many of those commenting discussed multiple topics. Following a review of these comments, the Department has decided to adopt the proposed rule with some modifications prompted by the comments. Program disclosures: The proposed rule required sponsors to provide prospective exchange teachers with a listing of all fees and costs associated with the exchange program at two points, first, a general listing while advertising the program, and second, a more specific listing for those teachers accepted into the program. The Department received four comments, all expressing concern that the proposed requirements for both sponsors and host schools were overly time consuming, would result in an over-abundance of paperwork, and would result in VerDate Sep<11>2014 12:10 Jan 28, 2016 Jkt 238001 unnecessary duplication of information from host school Web sites. The Department believes that the benefits of fee and cost transparency outweigh any possible duplication or additional activities required to gather fee and cost estimates and provide them to potential exchange visitors. When sponsors and host schools rely upon exchange visitors to conduct independent research on Web sites to locate key information about their exchange program and conditions of their host placement, these sponsors and schools cannot be sure that the information exchange visitors find through their research is accurate or comprehensive. In requiring the sponsor and host school to provide a summary of significant program components, fees, and other costs during the advertising phase and also prior to the exchange teacher’s signing of his or her contract with the host school, the Department ensures that the exchange teacher has received from the program sponsor at two crucial points a basic summary (and understanding) of the main programmatic and financial obligations and responsibilities he or she undertakes by participating in an exchange. These requirements also will allow all parties involved or interested in the Exchange Visitor Program to ascertain in advance if fees and costs seem excessive or if additional costs will be charged to the teacher. The Department is of the view that various program fees, deductions from wages, and costs charged to exchange teachers by sponsors, third parties, partners, and host schools, if not fully disclosed, could make exchange teachers vulnerable to unexpected program costs. The Department, through its regular communications with sponsors, participating exchange teachers, and host schools during the course of its formal program monitoring efforts, has been made aware of many cases where, after expenses and deductions, exchange teachers’ takehome pay, contrary to what those teachers originally expected, was an insufficient amount of money on which to live in the United States or to defray the cost associated with the exchange. Moreover, because the Department works with program sponsors on an ongoing basis, it is aware that program recruitment and placement fees may vary widely depending upon the exchange teacher’s country of origin. In addition, the cost of living, including housing and local transportation costs, varies in the different U.S. host communities where an exchange teacher may be placed. PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 This regulation will require sponsors, first, to post a general summary of fees and other costs teachers can expect to pay while they are on exchange in one visible location on their main Web sites and in their recruiting materials, in order to ensure fee and cost transparency at the time of exchange teacher recruitment. This general summary of fees and other costs at the time of recruitment must include, at a minimum, sponsor fees; placement fees; visa fees; Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fees; insurance costs based on the requirements of 22 CFR 62.14; estimates (ranges) for food, housing and local transportation costs; foreign and domestic third party fees; expected work-related deductions (e.g., federal and state income tax withholding, Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) deductions, work related materials, required memberships); and estimates of all other fees charged for, and significant other costs related to, participation in the Teacher category of exchange. If these fees and costs vary by country, the sponsor should note this in its fee and cost listing, or list a range of costs to encompass all of the countries that sponsor serves. The Department does not require sponsors to list airline ticket costs in the general summary of fees and costs that they must post to their Web site or list in their recruitment materials. Second, at the time the official selection letter is sent to the teacher, sponsors must themselves, or must ensure that host schools, provide, in either the teacher’s contract and/or through supplemental information, each individual exchange teacher with the name, location, and a brief description of the host school; the terms and conditions of compensation (with estimated deductions from gross salary); any provisions affecting the ability of the teacher to be accompanied abroad by a spouse or dependents (including any related assistance and allowances); a summary of the significant components of the program (including a statement of the teaching requirements, related professional obligations and required cross-cultural activity component); specific information on the fees and costs that the exchange teacher will be responsible for while on exchange in that school district; anticipated housing options and cost implications; specific local transportation options between the exchange teacher’s residence and the host school and their estimated costs; insurance costs for accident and illness coverage, repatriation of remains, and E:\FR\FM\29JAR1.SGM 29JAR1 jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 19 / Friday, January 29, 2016 / Rules and Regulations medical evacuation as required by 22 CFR 62.14; estimated costs for initial personal expenses the exchange teacher may incur upon arrival in the United States prior to receiving his or her first paycheck; certification or licensure procedures and costs at the host school; administrative fees; and any placement fees. All of the information noted above must be provided to exchange teachers selected for the program before they sign their host school contract, in order to ensure that all exchange teachers fully understand the financial obligations they assume when signing the contract and agreeing to participate in an exchange program. As set forth at 22 CFR 62.24(f)(5), unless an exchange teacher is on a program where the Department is the sponsor, he or she must be employed by and under the direct supervision and guidance of his or her host school and, where applicable, the host school district. As set forth at 22 CFR 62.24(g)(2), unless the exchange teacher is supported through government funding, through continued support from the exchange teacher’s home school, or through a combination of the exchange teacher’s home and host school, compensation must be paid directly by the host school(s) or host school district in which the exchange teacher is placed. For example, unless the sponsor is also the host school, a sponsor cannot receive the exchange teacher’s salary from a host school or host school district and then pay it on to the exchange teacher (often with deductions for previously undisclosed fees and costs), as may be the practice currently in some teacher exchange programs. Cross-cultural activity component: The proposed rule required completion of a mandatory annual cross-cultural activity component through which exchange teachers would be required to share aspects of their cultural heritage with their U.S. communities, including conducting international dialogue or other activities through virtual exchange or other means, with schools or students in another country, preferably their home school (as set forth in the final rule at 22 CFR 62.24(h)). The Department received 11 comments regarding the cross-cultural component aspect of the proposed rule. Many comments received were from faculty or administrators at international schools who expressed the view that a required cross-cultural activity component was unnecessary because their schools are living examples for students of international cultural exchange and that a mandated cross-cultural activity VerDate Sep<11>2014 12:10 Jan 28, 2016 Jkt 238001 component would be an artificial intercultural activity by comparison. The mission of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, which oversees the Exchange Visitor Program under the Fulbright-Hays Act, is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through educational and cultural exchanges that support the development of peaceful relations. In keeping with this authority, the Department wishes to ensure that its visiting teachers come in contact with and convey knowledge to large numbers of U.S. students and community members. The Department is of the view that a dialogue of ideas should ensue from the Teacher exchange program and that, regardless of where in the United States a teacher is placed, a mandatory cross-cultural activity component will help students in the exchange teacher’s classroom, and in the broader host school and its community, develop global awareness and interest in learning more about other countries. Moreover, not all exchange teachers participating in the program are placed in schools that already have an overall international focus. Other comments supported mandating a cross-cultural activity component in order for communities to learn more about the unique contributions of the exchange teacher. The Department agrees that required cross-cultural activity components are valuable tools not only to engage exchange teachers in their host communities—both inside and outside of their schools—but also to inform their host communities about their cultures. Whatever the placement setting, the sponsor, host school and exchange teacher should work together to develop creative cross-cultural activity components, whether it be in the teacher’s individual classroom, within the larger host school, or in the host school district or community. One example of developing a creative crosscultural activity for the host school district or community could be to have exchange teachers make a presentation in a public forum (e.g., at a school assembly, museum, civic organization, or businesses association) where there is direct interaction with the educational or larger community and in which they could share an aspect of their home countries (e.g., history, traditions, heritage, dance, art, music, economy, educational system). In addition, the Department strongly encourages sponsors who place exchange teachers in international schools to urge their exchange teachers to conduct at least one cross-cultural activity per year PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 4947 outside their host school in a setting where there is less direct opportunity for students or community members to engage in international learning. For example, a foreign teacher placed in a school where he or she is teaching his or her native language might give a presentation in English about a home country topic to a school in the same district that does not have an international or language immersion focus or to a community group in the area where the host school is located. Sponsors and the Department will take the exchange teacher’s record of crosscultural activities into account when considering one- or two-year extensions for exchange teachers, including those placed at schools with an international or language immersion focus. In order to ensure meaningful accountability on the part of exchange teachers, sponsors must require exchange teachers to submit an annual report, one element of which should detail the cross-cultural activity component of their exchange program. The report does not have to be in a specific format, but must contain specific fields of information as identified in these regulations (i.e., date or dates of cross-cultural activities, teacher name, program sponsor name, location, number of individuals in attendance, topic, and a general overview of the activity and its overall impact within the larger community where the school is located). Sponsors will not be required to submit copies of these reports routinely to the Department, but they must retain such reports as part of each exchange teacher’s documentation for a period of three years following completion of the teacher’s exchange program, as required by 22 CFR 62.10(g). Sponsors are encouraged to share with the Department, as best practices, examples of activities that exchange teachers conduct as part of their cross-cultural activity component. Teacher eligibility: The Department received four comments on eligibility, evenly split on whether the criteria for eligibility should be changed to two years of teaching experience prior to program participation from the current requirement of three years, or whether three years should remain the requirement. It is critical to the success of this exchange program that foreign teachers have the necessary skills and teaching experience to benefit from exchange opportunities and achieve the intended goals of this professional exchange program. Exchange teachers must be able to make an immediate impact in the classroom and share some of their teaching methods with E:\FR\FM\29JAR1.SGM 29JAR1 jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES 4948 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 19 / Friday, January 29, 2016 / Rules and Regulations American teachers, while learning firsthand about U.S. culture and teaching methodologies. The Department recognizes, as some comments pointed out, that exchange teachers come to the United States from foreign countries that prepare their teachers in educational systems that are different from that of the United States, with some systems having very different time periods that it takes teacher candidates to receive a degree. The Department believes that two years of teaching experience, combined with a degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree (which may be proven by the applicant, for example, through use of a credential evaluation service), would be sufficient requirements for program participation. This teaching experience must not be as a student teacher, but as a teacher of record in a foreign school; however, the two years of experience may be non-consecutive. All U.S. states currently require their teachers to have a bachelor’s degree, and while the Department recognizes differences in teacher education systems around the world and, therefore, does not require its foreign teachers to have a bachelor’s degree, it is of the view that requiring foreign teachers to have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree from their own educational system will ensure that they are considered equally qualified with U.S. teachers in host schools across the United States. A number of comments made the point that the Department should permit in the program teachers who are not currently teaching but have recent teaching experience. The Teacher exchange program is not an employment program, but an educational exchange experience that has a reciprocal element as one of its goals. In the Teacher exchange category, currently working teachers bring to the program opportunities to link their home and host schools and communities through projects and other contributions to mutual understanding. It is anticipated that the exchange experience will give exchange teachers the opportunity to share their experiences with their home school students through virtual linkages and when they return home. Other comments expressed concern that by requiring teachers to be working at the time of application, the program would exclude potentially highly qualified candidates who have the requisite teaching experience, but have not been working because they have been pursuing an advanced degree. The Department agrees and wishes to facilitate the exchange of teachers who have continued their education beyond a degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s VerDate Sep<11>2014 12:10 Jan 28, 2016 Jkt 238001 degree. The Department agrees that an international teaching experience would be a valuable additional educational benefit to teachers completing advanced degrees. For this reason, this final rule makes one exception to the requirement that applicants must be working as teachers at the time of application. Applicants who are not currently working may participate in the program if they: (i) Have at least a degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree, (ii) have two years of teaching experience within the past eight years, and (iii) have successfully completed an advanced degree beyond a U.S. bachelor’s degree-equivalent within one year of the date upon which their program application is submitted, even if they are not currently teaching. The advanced degree must be in the subject field (or a closely related one) that the exchange teacher proposes to teach while in the United States, or in the field of education. In making this exception, the Department acknowledges that potential exchange teachers might wish to complete an advanced degree and follow-up this degree by taking the opportunity to teach abroad for a period of time soon thereafter, before they continue their teaching careers in their home countries. Sponsors must require teachers who are not currently working, but are participating in the program by virtue of having recently completed an advanced degree, to locate and cooperate with a school, preferably in their home country and at their teaching level, in order to conduct the required international dialogue or virtual aspect of the cross-cultural activity component while on exchange. Sponsors must require candidates for the program, before they submit their application to a sponsor, to take the additional steps necessary to make arrangements with a suitable school outside the United States with which they could, if accepted to the program, complete the required cultural activity component. Pre-kindergarten teacher eligibility: The Department received 37 comments about whether pre-kindergarten teachers should be permitted to participate in the Teacher category of the Exchange Visitor Program. All comments noted that beginning language instruction with a native speaker in early childhood would be beneficial for U.S. children. Those submitting comments also noted that preventing pre-kindergarten language teachers from coming to the United States on a teacher exchange would reduce the overall effectiveness of ‘‘language immersion’’ programs, whose faculty could benefit from PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 hosting native speakers. In response to these comments, the Department will permit teachers, under the final rule, to be placed as instructors in prekindergarten ‘‘language immersion’’ programs offered as regular courses of study by accredited primary schools. Such exchange teachers must teach a full-time schedule of at least 32 hours at their host school or at accredited schools in the same school district, even if not all of their instruction involves teaching at the pre-kindergarten level. If exchange teachers are placed in private schools where they are not under the governing authority of a school district, then they must teach a full-time schedule of at least 32 hours, any schools in which they teach must be located no more than 25 miles from their main host school, and the sponsor must ensure that reasonable and effective modes of transportation to such additional sites of activity exist. Pre-kindergarten exchange teachers may not participate in exchanges at institutions whose primary purpose is daycare, nor may they teach in supplemental educational programs offered at, but not included as, a regular course of study by an accredited school. Program dates: The Department received three comments on its proposed new requirement (set forth in the final rule at 22 CFR 62.24(f)(2)) that program dates should coincide with the U.S. academic year cycle (July 1–June 30). Some comments pointed out that school systems in other parts of the world follow different calendar cycles and expressed the view that the Teacher exchange program should accommodate this. The Department notes that exchange teachers will be teaching in U.S. schools, so it is generally necessary that they comply with the U.S. academic year in order to ensure a smooth transition as faculty arrive and depart. The Department understands that there may be instances where a teacher on a different academic calendar may need to conduct an exchange on a different year-cycle. In such a situation, sponsors must notify and receive approval from the Department if a host school has an exchange teacher beginning an exchange after the start of the U.S. academic year and must ensure that the host school includes such alternate dates in its contract with the exchange teacher. Host schools should give the same orientation programming and assistance to the incoming exchange teacher that an exchange teacher arriving at the normal time in the school year would ordinarily receive. When sponsors notify the Department that the exchange is occurring on a different E:\FR\FM\29JAR1.SGM 29JAR1 jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 19 / Friday, January 29, 2016 / Rules and Regulations program cycle and receive the Department’s approval, the Department has the opportunity to monitor these exchanges to ensure that the sponsor and host school are providing the necessary support to an exchange teacher who enters a new school with a potentially more difficult adjustment period. Program extensions: The Department received 29 comments on the issue of program extensions, with a majority supporting either program extensions of up to two years beyond the proposed exchange period of three years or simply a five-year exchange period. A former exchange teacher commented that international teachers who experience the United States for periods longer than three years can become ‘‘instructional leaders’’ in their host schools. Others voiced the perspective that a three-year program limit may mean that some students have less continuity in receiving instruction from a highly qualified international teacher. The Department believes that a program duration of three years is most consistent with the goals and mission of the Teacher exchange, namely to encourage exchange teachers to learn new skills and perspectives while teaching in the United States, and then return to their home countries and foster ties between schools in their home countries and their host schools in the United States. However, the Department recognizes that program extensions beyond the three-year duration may be necessary or desirable where the exchange teacher has carried out his or her program requirements in a particularly effective way at the U.S. host school. Accordingly, sponsors may apply to the Department on behalf of a host school to extend an exchange teacher’s program duration by one or two additional years. In permitting extensions of up to two years, the Department will not authorize exchange teachers to extend their stay by fractions of academic years. The Department believes this would result in considerable administrative complexity to both home and host schools attempting to make international teacher exchanges possible. In addition, having exchange teachers extend for fractions of years might be disruptive to students. Extension requests must contain documentation showing that the school has a particular need for the exchange teacher to remain, that the exchange teacher can be recommended for extension based on professional performance at the host school, and that the exchange teacher has fulfilled all aspects of the cross-cultural activity component. Instructions for requesting a VerDate Sep<11>2014 12:10 Jan 28, 2016 Jkt 238001 program extension may be found on the Department’s J-Visa Web site (www.jvisa.gov) under the ‘‘Participants—Adjustments and Extensions’’ link at http:// j1visa.state.gov/participants/current/ adjustments-and-extensions. Sponsors must send extension requests to the Department for its approval at least three months prior to the beginning date of the requested extension. Teacher compensation: The Department did not receive comments on the issue of compensation. Accordingly, as proposed, the Department has amended the regulations at 22 CFR 62.24(g)(2) to make clear that exchange teachers are to be compensated directly by the schools or school districts in which they are placed, unless they are supported by foreign government funding, through continued support from their home schools, or through a combination of home and host school support. Exchange teachers must be under the direct supervision and guidance of host schools and host school districts. SEVIS records should reflect the funding situation for each exchange teacher. Teaching positions, including duties, responsibilities, hours of employment, and compensation, must be consistent with similarly-situated American teachers in the school or school district where an exchange teacher is assigned to teach. Sponsors should ensure that exchange teachers receive all information about teaching in a particular school or school district that is available to similarly-situated U.S. teachers. Repeat participation: Commenters generally supported a clause making clear that exchange teachers are eligible for repeat participation provided they reside outside the United States for two years following their teacher exchange program. Several commenters noted that inserting this provision should go handin-hand with extending the possible exchange duration to five years. The regulations have been amended to permit exchange teachers who have successfully completed their teacher exchange programs, either for a period of three years or, if extended, for four or five years, to participate again as exchange teachers in the Exchange Visitor Program. To be eligible to repeat the program, exchange teachers must have resided outside the United States for at least two years following completion of their program and must continue to meet all other eligibility requirements for this category. PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 4949 Regulatory Analysis and Notices Administrative Procedure Act The Department is of the opinion that the Exchange Visitor Program is a foreign affairs function of the U.S. Government, and that rules implementing this function are exempt from section 553 (Rulemaking) and section 554 (Adjudications) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). U.S. government policy and longstanding practice have been for the Department to oversee foreign nationals who come to the United States as participants in exchange visitor programs, either directly or through private sector program sponsors or grantee organizations. When problems arise, the U.S. Government is often held accountable by foreign governments for the treatment of their nationals, regardless of who is responsible for the problems. The purpose of this rule is to protect the health, safety and welfare of foreign nationals entering the United States (often on programs funded by the U.S. Government) for a finite period of time and with a view that they will return to their countries of nationality upon completion of their programs. The Department is of the opinion that failure to protect the health, safety and welfare of these foreign nationals would have direct and substantial adverse effects on the foreign affairs of the United States. Although the Department is of the opinion that this rule is exempt from the rulemaking provisions of the APA, the Department nevertheless published a proposed rule on May 2, 2013, with a 60-day provision for public comment and without prejudice to its determination that the Exchange Visitor Program is a foreign affairs function. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 This regulation is not a major rule as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804 for the purposes of Congressional review of agency rulemaking under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (5 U.S.C. 801–808). This rule will not result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; a major increase in costs or prices; or significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of U.S.-based companies to compete with foreign-based companies in domestic and export markets. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 This regulation will not result in the expenditure by State, local or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million in any E:\FR\FM\29JAR1.SGM 29JAR1 4950 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 19 / Friday, January 29, 2016 / Rules and Regulations year; and it will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995. Executive Order 13175—Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments The Department has determined that this regulation will not have tribal implications; will not impose substantial direct compliance costs on Indian tribal governments; and will not preempt tribal law. Accordingly, the requirements of Executive Order 13175 do not apply to this rulemaking. jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES Regulatory Flexibility Act/Executive Order 13272: Small Business Impacts Since the Department is of the opinion that this rule is exempt from section 553 (Rulemaking) and section 554 (Adjudications) of the APA, the Department is also of the opinion that this rule is not subject to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). However, to better inform the public as to the costs and burdens of this rule, the Department notes that this regulation will affect the operations of 54 sponsors designated by the Department to conduct programs in the Teacher category of the Exchange Visitor Program. Currently, approximately 1,200 new exchange teachers may begin exchange programs annually with program durations of up to three years, and it is expected that this number will stay relatively constant; an estimated total of around 2,300 exchange teachers may continue their programs in years two and three as expected (estimated at 1,150 exchange teachers per year), for a total number of 3,500 in their first three years as an exchange visitor. An estimated 500 exchange teachers may be on an extension of their exchange in the U.S. beyond the initial three years (an estimated 250 in extension status in years four and five), so that a total of approximately 4,000 active exchange teachers may be in the United States annually. Numbers of Small Businesses Of the 54 currently-designated sponsors in the Teacher category of the Exchange Visitor Program, 16 are corporate, academic and tax-exempt program sponsors with annual revenues of less than $7 million. These 16 small sponsors accounted for around 800, or approximately 32 percent, of the total active 2,500 participants in the Teacher category in calendar year 2014 and 384 of the new exchange teachers beginning the program. The Department estimates VerDate Sep<11>2014 12:10 Jan 28, 2016 Jkt 238001 that exchange teachers associated with small sponsors may account for as many as 1,280 of the 4,000 active participants in 2016 and beyond, once the option to extend is offered to exchange teachers, calculated as follows: 1,200 multiplied by three years for new exchange teachers minus 100 teachers who are estimated not to continue on to three years as expected, plus an estimated total of 500 exchange teachers on extension (250 in extension status per year in years four and five) equals 4,000 total exchange teachers. Multiplying this total by 0.32 equals an expected 1,280 exchange teachers affiliated with sponsors that are small businesses. Teacher Selection Sponsors already are required to screen applicants for eligibility (including the two-year home stay requirement through SEVIS); verify that applicants are currently working as teachers; verify their English language proficiency; and confirm their receipt of, at a minimum, a degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree. Department collections already include 1.5 hours for selection (screening, verifying language proficiency, and confirming degree). Sponsors also must check prospective host school attestations that their exchange teacher appointments are temporary, that the teacher’s salary will fall within the range paid to U.S. teachers, and that the exchange teacher will satisfy the teaching eligibility standards of the U.S. state in which he or she will teach. These requirements will add 0.5 hours multiplied by $31.50 weighted wage for sponsors multiplied by 384 placement schools, or an additional total of $6,048 annually. The amount of $31.50 is based upon average weekly earnings for middle-range employees in the educational non-profit sector according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or around $24.20 per hour and benefits of around 30 percent of salary. In addition, host schools will have a 0.5 hour burden to write these attestations, which totals $8,279, based on the average weighted wage of $43.12 for middle-range U.S. public school administrators, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the national salary comparison Web site Payscale (www.payscale.com) (0.5 hours multiplied by $43.12. weighted wage multiplied by 384 placement schools). Under the amended regulation, sponsors must verify that exchange teachers qualifying with an advanced degree have earned such a degree within the past 12 months in education or in the subject field (or closely related subject field) that the applicant would teach on exchange. They also will need PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 to verify that the exchange teacher’s application package includes a letter from the head of a school in another country, preferably the teacher’s home country, which states that school’s willingness to work with the exchange teacher on the cross-cultural component of the exchange. These items are not expected to add greatly to a sponsor’s screening responsibilities. Sponsors would already regularly screen for the teacher’s academic, linguistic, and other credentials; this added screening is simply for a higher level of academic credential and verification that the cross-cultural component letter has been submitted for the applicant. As set forth at 22 CFR 62.24(f)(1), sponsors must ensure that Forms DS– 2019 are not issued until potential exchange teachers have received and accepted written offers of full-time teaching positions from the accredited primary (including pre-kindergarten level) or secondary schools in which they will teach. It is estimated that host schools and sponsors associated with the programs of small sponsors will each spend 30 minutes either writing or reviewing such offer letters. For sponsors, the Department estimates an aggregate burden of $6,048 (384 new teachers multiplied by 0.5 hours multiplied by $31.50 per hour weighted wage). This is not a new cost. For host schools, the Department estimates an aggregate burden of $8,279 (384 new teachers multiplied by $43.12 weighted wage of the average U.S. public school administrator multiplied by 0.5 hours). Program Extension In regard to program extensions, as set forth at 22 CFR 62.24(k), sponsors must review host school extension letters and supporting materials, send extension applications they support to the Department for review, and notify host schools regarding the status of their extension requests. The Department estimates that these additional collection requirements will cost $2,520, one hour burden multiplied by the hourly weighted wage of $31.50 for an estimated 250 extending exchange teachers; or $2,520 for the 32 percent of 250 yearly extending exchange teachers or 80 exchange teachers, who are likely to be affiliated with small sponsor organizations. It is estimated that the hour burden to host schools affiliated with small sponsors to submit letters for teachers extending to a fourth or fifth year is $3,450 (80 exchange teachers multiplied by $43.12 weighted wage for a school administrator multiplied by one hour). In addition, small sponsors may incur an estimated $400 per year associated with keeping records for E:\FR\FM\29JAR1.SGM 29JAR1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 19 / Friday, January 29, 2016 / Rules and Regulations extension requests (80 extending teachers per year multiplied by $5), or a total of $1,200 for 80 extending teachers multiplied by $5 multiplied by three years for the entire duration of such extension request recordkeeping. The $5 per record cost is based on estimates provided by several private sector records storage companies at an average of $20 per cubic foot box divided by an estimated four teacher cross-cultural project records per box, which includes room for potential storage of larger items teachers may submit to document their exchange experience, or to cover the cost of electronic file archival storage. jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES Program Disclosure 22 CFR 62.24(g) requires sponsors to disclose fees and costs to exchange teachers at the time of their recruitment, selection into the program, and signing of their contracts with host schools. Department collections already include 0.5 burden hours for program disclosure by sponsors. The Department estimates total requirements in this area annually will cost $12,096 (384 new exchange teachers associated with small sponsors multiplied by $31.50 weighted wage multiplied by a total of one hour), or new costs of $6,048 (384 new exchange teachers associated with small sponsors multiplied by $31.50 weighted wage multiplied by a total of 0.5 hours). Cross-Cultural Activity Component and Related Annual Report The final rule at 22 CFR 62.24(h) requires sponsors to assist exchange teachers with their cross-cultural activity components and to collect exchange teachers’ annual reports detailing their fulfillment of the required cross-cultural activity components. The Department estimates that this assistance and the collection of these reports annually will cost $40,320, or one burden hour at $31.50 weighted hourly wage multiplied by 1,280 teachers affiliated with small sponsors (32 percent of 4,000) multiplied by one hour, or new costs of $20,160, or 0.5 burden hours at $31.50 weighted hourly wage multiplied by 1,280 exchange teachers affiliated with small sponsors. In addition, small sponsor cataloguing and storing of annual reports with crosscultural activity components would cost small sponsors $11,200 annually (7,000 reports requiring storage multiplied by 0.32 multiplied by $5 per report). The $5 annual cost is based upon conservative private sector estimates of onsite record storage in the office environment per cubic foot of records. The Department estimates that each annual report, with paper and other VerDate Sep<11>2014 12:10 Jan 28, 2016 Jkt 238001 addenda, could take up to one-quarter cubic feet of space. Summary: Collectively, this regulation will impose new costs of no more than $47,176 to the 16 small program sponsors. The additional cost of this regulation divided by the total number of exchange teachers associated with small business (1,280) is $37. In 2014, the 16 small sponsors ranged in the number of exchange teachers they sponsored annually as follows: Six of the 16 small businesses brought in no more than seven exchange teachers for the year 2014, which meant a new burden cost of $259. For these businesses, annual revenue averaged around seven million dollars, and this amount was far less than one-half of one percent of their revenues. Six small businesses brought in between 12 to 50 exchange teachers annually at a maximum cost of $1,850; one small business sponsored 133 exchange teachers, which computes to a cost of $4,921; and two sponsored around 200 teachers, which computes to a cost of around $7,400. For these businesses, annual revenue ranged from $695,000 to six million dollars, and was in all cases, less than 1.5 percent of their revenue. For the four small businesses that recruited the largest number of new exchange teachers (as many as 282 exchange teachers) in 2014, the cost of this regulation is estimated to be no greater than $10,434. For these businesses, annual revenues ranged from five to seven million dollars, and the new regulatory cost was less than one percent of their revenues. The Department certifies that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The total cost burden to host schools affiliated with small businesses is $20,008 or around $16 per school ($20,008 divided by 1,280 host schools). Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 The Department is of the opinion that the Exchange Visitor Program is a foreign affairs function of the U.S. Government, and that rules governing the conduct of this function are exempt from the requirements of Executive Orders 12866 and 13563. The Department has nevertheless reviewed these regulations to ensure their consistency with the regulatory philosophy and principles set forth in those Executive Orders and submitted the rule to the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. The regulations governing the Teacher category of the Exchange Visitor Program were last amended on March 19, 1993. PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 4951 First, the regulations set forth in this final rule include a requirement for sponsors to provide full transparency on all fees and costs associated with teacher exchanges. The Department believes that requiring sponsors to provide foreign teachers at the time of recruitment with a comprehensive summary of total program fees and costs would greatly enhance transparency and better ensure that exchange teachers understand the financial obligations they assume when choosing to participate in the Exchange Visitor Program. The Department believes that sponsors already prepare such comprehensive summaries as a business practice. The cost of this requirement will come from adding a summary to the existing sponsor application and Web site and disseminating this fee and cost summary to the individual exchange teacher at the time of selection into the program, and is estimated at one hour, or 0.5 additional burden hours, for an estimated 4,000 sponsor collections from host schools to disclose fee and cost information multiplied by $31.50 sponsor weighted wage, or $126,000 divided by two, or a $63,000 new cost. Second, both exchange teachers and sponsors will accrue costs from the application process. Foreign teacher applicants who are chosen for the Teacher program must demonstrate that they meet the eligibility and selection requirements set forth in 22 CFR 62.24(d)–(e), including demonstrating their qualifications for teaching at either the primary, including pre-kindergarten, or secondary levels in schools in their home country; that they are working as a teacher in their home country at the time of application; and that they have at least two years of full-time teaching experience. They must show that they have, at a minimum, a degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree in either education or the academic subject field in which they plan to teach. They also must demonstrate that they have the requisite English language proficiency, provide references to their good character, and ensure that they meet the teaching requirements of the U.S. state in which they are placed, under the requirements of 22 CFR 62.24(d)–(e). It is anticipated that it will take 1,200 new exchange teachers six hours for a total of 7,200 hours to document their eligibility at $26.26 per hour weighted wage for a total cost of $189,072. The figure of $26.26 weighted wage per hour for exchange teachers approximates, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the private sector Teacher Portal (a Web site summarizing teacher salaries nationwide at E:\FR\FM\29JAR1.SGM 29JAR1 jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES 4952 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 19 / Friday, January 29, 2016 / Rules and Regulations www.teacherportal.com), the average teacher salary in the past academic year for teachers having under ten years of experience (the Exchange Visitor Program’s main applicants) plus benefits of 30 percent of salary. Sponsors must screen exchange teachers before accepting them for the program and placing them in a suitable host school. Sponsors, therefore, must verify the educational and other qualifications of each foreign teacher applicant to determine whether he or she satisfies all selection criteria; review references for each foreign teacher attesting to that teacher’s good reputation, character and teaching skills; ensure that each selected foreign teacher possesses sufficient proficiency in the English language to function in American classrooms as well as on a day-to-day basis; check, if applicable, that a home school letter stating the school’s willingness to work with the exchange teacher on a cross-cultural component has been submitted; check that host schools appoint exchange teachers to temporary positions and that these teachers’ salaries fall within the range paid to U.S. teachers; and verify that each exchange teacher meets the requirements of the state in which he or she will teach. It is estimated that 54 sponsors will need 2 hours, an increase of 0.5 hours, to review 1,200 successful exchange teacher applications at $31.50 weighted wage for a total cost of $75,600 (and total new costs of $18,900). Third, an exchange teacher who qualifies for the program by virtue of having completed an advanced degree in education or in an academic subject matter that he or she intends to teach or that is directly related to his or her teaching subject field (see 22 CFR 62.24(d)(1)(ii)) also must provide a letter from the head of a school (or another individual in an appropriate position of authority to speak for the school within the foreign country’s school system) in another country, preferably that exchange teacher’s home country, which states that school’s willingness to work with the exchange teacher on the cross-cultural component. It will take an estimated 50 exchange teachers two hours to organize receipt of such a letter within their home country, to include a translation if not in English, and provide the letter as part of their application package, at $26.26 weighted wage multiplied by 50 multiplied by two burden hours, for a total of $2,626. Fourth, sponsors must ensure that Forms DS–2019 are not issued until potential exchange teachers have received and accepted written offers of full-time teaching positions from the accredited primary (including pre- VerDate Sep<11>2014 12:10 Jan 28, 2016 Jkt 238001 kindergarten level) or secondary schools in which they will teach. This is not a new cost for sponsors. Sponsors will need to collect written offers of each exchange teacher’s fulltime teaching position from the placement schools, and these placement schools will need to provide the written offer letters, estimated at a 0.5 hour burden. Furthermore, host schools will have an additional 0.5 hour burden to attest that exchange teacher appointments to positions within accredited primary or secondary schools are temporary, even if the teaching positions are permanent, and do not lead to tenure; and that these positions have duties, responsibilities, hours of employment and compensation commensurate with those of similarlysituated U.S. teachers in the school district or host school where that exchange teacher is assigned to teach. The cost to host schools is estimated at $51,774 annually ($43.12 weighted wage for a middle level school administrator multiplied by one hour multiplied by 1,200 schools) and the cost to sponsors at $18,900 ($31.50 weighted wage multiplied by 0.5 hours multiplied by 1,200 new exchange teachers). In addition, it is estimated that host schools, numbering around 250, that wish to extend their exchange teacher’s program into the fourth or fifth year, will need one hour to fulfill extension requirements, estimated at $43.12 multiplied by 250, for a total cost of $10,780. Sponsors will need to review these applications, estimated to take one hour at a weighted wage of $31.50 multiplied by 250, for a total cost of $7,875. This is a new cost for sponsors. Sponsors also will need to keep on file the criteria and supporting documentation justifying exchange teacher extensions for no less than three years. Recordkeeping costs for keeping 250 extension requests on file annually at $5 per exchange teacher result in a total for all sponsors of $1,250. The cost is based on average private sector estimates of file storage costs in an office environment per one-quartercubic foot of files. Finally, to ensure that this program remains an educational and cultural exchange program, the Department mandates that exchange teachers organize an activity in a public setting where there is direct interaction with host school students or with the host community and, in addition, organize an activity that involves U.S. students in a dialogue or other activity with schools or students in another country, preferably the exchange teacher’s home school. It is estimated that it will take an exchange teacher three hours to PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 perform the cross-cultural activity component and file his or her report with the sponsor, at $26.26 weighted wage multiplied by 4,000 teachers, for a total of $315,120 annually. In addition, the Department estimates that it will take sponsors one hour, a 0.5 hour increase, to assist the exchange teacher with the cross-cultural component and review these reports, which, at $31.50 per hour weighted wage for up to 4,000 reports, will total $126,000 annually (or $63,000 in new costs). Recordkeeping for sponsors’ maintenance of crosscultural reports on file for three years (an estimated 7,000 files multiplied by $5 per exchange teacher) comes to a total of $35,000 annually or $105,000 over the required three years of retention. The cost is based on average private sector estimates of file storage costs in an office environment per onequarter cubic foot of files or by electronic means. Teacher exchange programs conducted under the authorities of the Exchange Visitor Program promote mutual understanding by providing foreign teachers the opportunity to teach in U.S. primary and secondary schools and participate in daily educational curricula in the United States. Foreign teachers participating in the Exchange Visitor Program gain an understanding of and an appreciation for the similarities and differences between their own cultures and that of the United States. Upon their return home, these teachers enrich their schools and communities with their fresh perspectives of U.S. culture. Teacher exchanges also foster enduring relationships and lifelong friendships that help build longstanding ties between the people of the United States and other countries. In reciprocal fashion, U.S. primary and secondary school teachers and students are provided opportunities to increase their knowledge and understanding of the world through these friendships. Although the benefits of these exchanges to the United States and its people cannot be monetized, the Department is nonetheless of the opinion that such benefits far outweigh the costs associated with this regulation. The non-monetary benefits to the Teacher exchange program contained in this rule are many: In conducting a cross-cultural component, the exchange teacher will acquaint a wide number of students in the host school and members of the host community with the teacher’s home culture, and students in the exchange teacher’s home and host countries will have the opportunity to learn about each other’s cultures. In addition, requiring sponsors to disclose E:\FR\FM\29JAR1.SGM 29JAR1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 19 / Friday, January 29, 2016 / Rules and Regulations fees and costs of the exchange to prospective exchange teachers at the time of recruitment and at the time of program selection will protect the exchange teacher and also may reduce program costs in the long run, as the disclosures can reduce turnover resulting from teachers who opt to return home early after facing unexpected costs. Finally, permitting individuals who have an advanced degree to apply for the program shortly after completing that degree will enable additional qualified, highly educated and knowledgeable exchange teachers to participate in the program. Executive Order 12988 The Department has reviewed this rulemaking in light of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988 to eliminate ambiguity, minimize litigation, establish clear legal standards, and reduce burdens. jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES Executive Orders 12372 and 13132— Federalism Acknowledging that the administration of schools is primarily a state function, the Department finds that this regulation will not have substantial direct effect on the states, on the relationships between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, in accordance with section 6 of Executive Order 13132, it is determined that this rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to require consultations or warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement. Executive Order 12372, regarding intergovernmental consultation on federal programs and activities, does not apply to this rule. Paperwork Reduction Act This rule requires new collection of information by sponsors for screening, program disclosure, the cross-cultural component, and program extensions under an existing collection. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, all agencies are required to submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval the reporting and recordkeeping requirements contained in any rule covered under the PRA. The information collection requirements contained in this rulemaking are issued pursuant to the PRA and OMB Control Number 1405–0147, and consist of Form DS–7000 (within the overall collection that includes Forms DS–3036, DS–3037 and DS–7000). VerDate Sep<11>2014 12:10 Jan 28, 2016 Jkt 238001 The Department submitted an information collection request to OMB for Forms DS–3036, DS–3037 and DS– 7000 in spring 2014 for review and approval under the PRA, and did not receive substantive comments on the collection. The collection renewal was approved by the OMB on March 21, 2014. The changes requested here were not added to the collection at that time because the collection would have expired before the final Teacher rule would enter into effect. The Department received comments in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that touched on the paperwork burden associated with the proposed rule. These comments were addressed in the supplementary information section. No amendments are required under this rulemaking for Forms DS–3036 and DS–3037, but amendments are requested under this rulemaking for Form DS–7000. 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: DS–3036, DS– 3037 and DS–7000 Recording, Reporting and Data Collection Requirements— Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Title: Submission to OMB of proposed collection of information. The Department of State has submitted the information collection described below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval. Direct requests for additional information regarding the collection listed in this notice, including requests for copies of the proposed collection instrument and supporting documents, to the Office of Policy and Program Support, ECA/EC, SA–5, Floor 5, U.S. Department of State, 2200 C Street NW., Washington, DC 20522–0505; fax: (202) 632–2701; email: JExchanges@state.gov. • Title of Information Collection: Recording, Reporting, and Data Collection—Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). • OMB Control Number: 1405–0147. • Type of Request: Revision of a Currently Approved Collection. • Originating Office: Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of Private Sector Exchange, ECA/EC. • Form Number: Forms DS–3036, DS–3037 and DS–7000. • Respondents: Foreign teachers wishing to participate as an Exchange Visitor Program teacher, schools hosting exchange teachers on the Exchange Visitor Program, U.S. government and public and private organizations wishing to become U.S. Department of State designated sponsors authorized to conduct exchange visitor programs, and PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 4953 Department of State designated sponsors. • Estimated Number of Respondents: 191,675 (DS–3036—60; DS–3037— 1,415; DS–7000—190,200). • Estimated Number of Responses: 1,558,859 (DS–3036—60; DS–3037— 2,830; DS–7000—1,555,969). • Average Time per Response: DS– 3036—8 hours; DS–3037—20 minutes; DS–7000—50 minutes. • Total Estimated Burden: 1,328,207 hours (DS–3036—480 hours; DS–3037— 943 hours; DS–7000—1,326,784 hours). • Frequency: On Occasion. • Obligation To Respond: Required to Obtain or Retain a Benefit. Estimate of the total new annual burden (in hours) associated with the collection. The estimate of the total new annual burden for sponsors for the Teacher section of 22 CFR part 62 is two and one-half hours. Previously, a nonweighted wage of $20 was used to calculate sponsor costs for Form DS– 7000. Therefore, some of the cost increase indicated in this rule stems from using the higher weighted wage figure of $31.50 for sponsors in this submission. New costs for sponsors collectively (not including recordkeeping) based on the weighted wage of $31.50 are $189,025 and based on the non-weighted wage of $20 are $133,250. (A difference of $55,775 of the overall new sponsor costs are thus attributed to using a weighted wage in these calculations.) In addition, $506,818 total costs are applicable to exchange teachers, calculated using the weighted wage of $26.26, based on the time it takes them to complete their application to the program and carry out cross-cultural activities. Costs applicable to host schools, using the weighted wage or $43.12, are $62,524 for providing exchange teachers with offer letters, making attestations to sponsors regarding temporary positions and commensurate compensation, and collecting information to file exchange teacher extensions. Individual cost figures associated with Form DS–7000 are summarized below: • Provision by sponsors, at the time of recruitment and selection, of a summary of total fees and costs as set forth by 22 CFR 62.24(g): $126,000 total costs, of which $63,000 are new costs. (0.5 hours new or one hour total burden hours multiplied by 4,000 host schools to gather information on fees and costs for recruitment and provide information on fees and costs to selected teachers from this data at $31.50 weighted wage). • Document collection by potential exchange teachers to prove their eligibility under 22 CFR 62.24(d)–(e): E:\FR\FM\29JAR1.SGM 29JAR1 jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES 4954 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 19 / Friday, January 29, 2016 / Rules and Regulations $189,072 new cost. (Six hours multiplied by 1,200 new exchange teachers multiplied by $26.26 weighted wage). • Sponsor screening of exchange teachers before accepting them for the program and matching them to a suitable host school under 22 CFR 62.24(d)–(f): $75,600, of which $18,900 are new costs. (0.5 new and two hours total burden multiplied by review of 1,200 exchange teacher files multiplied by $31.50 weighted wage). • Documentation to be provided, including translation, if applicable, by exchange teachers qualifying for the program by virtue of having completed an advanced degree as set forth at 22 CFR 62.24(d)(1)(ii): $2,626 (Two hours multiplied by 50 exchange teachers multiplied by $26.26 weighted wage). • Sponsor verification that Forms DS–2019 are not issued until potential exchange teachers have received and accepted written offers of full-time teaching positions from the accredited host school, as set forth at 22 CFR 62.24(f)(1): $18,900. This is not a new cost. (0.5 hours multiplied by 1,200 exchange teachers at $31.50 weighted wage). • Host School provision of written offer letters of full-time teaching and attestations of temporary status of teaching positions and commensurateness of compensation at 22 CFR 62.24(f)(1) and (4)–(5): $51,744. (One hour multiplied by 1,200 schools hosting exchange teachers at $43.12 weighted wage). • Host schools that wish to extend their exchange teacher’s program into a fourth and/or fifth year will need to provide documentation to the sponsor as set forth at 22 CFR 62.24(k): $10,780. (One hour to fulfill extension requirements multiplied by 250 exchange teachers at $43.12 weighted wage). • Sponsor review of host school request for extension as set forth at 22 CFR 62.24(k): $7,875 in new costs. (One hour to fulfill extension requirements multiplied by 250 exchange teachers at $31.50 weighted wage). • Exchange teacher organization of the cross-cultural program component and writing of related report under 22 CFR 62.24(h): $315,120. (Three hours multiplied by 4,000 exchange teachers on program at $26.26 weighted wage). • Sponsor assistance to exchange teachers on the cross-cultural component and review of their reports under 22 CFR 62.24(h): $126,000, of which $63,000 are new costs. (One hour multiplied by 4,000 exchange teachers at $31.50 weighted wage). VerDate Sep<11>2014 12:10 Jan 28, 2016 Jkt 238001 Additional new annual recordkeeping is as follows: • Recordkeeping for exchange teachers on extension: 250 files of extending exchange teachers annually at $5 per file to equal $1,250, which are new costs. • Storing annual report with crosscultural component: 7,000 exchange teachers multiplied by $5 per teacher to equal $35,000, which are new costs. Abstract of collection. The collection is the continuation of information collected and needed by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in administering the Exchange Visitor Program (J-Nonimmigrant) under the provisions of the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act, as amended, 22 U.S.C. 2451 et seq. This final rule will require amendment of Form DS–7000 (Non-SEVIS Collection), as follows: The Department requires sponsors under 22 CFR 62.24(g) to provide foreign teachers at the time of recruitment and again at the time of selection with a summary of program fees and costs, thereby enhancing transparency and better ensuring that exchange teachers understand the financial obligations they assume when choosing to participate in the Exchange Visitor Program. The cost of this requirement will come from adding a summary to the existing sponsor recruiting materials and Web site and disseminating this fee and cost summary to the individual exchange teacher at the time of selection into the program. Successful foreign teacher applicants must demonstrate to the sponsor, as set forth under 22 CFR 62.24(d)–(e), that they meet qualifications for teaching at the primary, including pre-kindergarten, or secondary levels in schools in their home country; are working as a teacher in their home country at the time of application; and have at least two years of full-time teaching experience. They must show that they have, at a minimum, a degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree in either education or the academic subject field in which they plan to teach, demonstrate English language proficiency, provide references to their good character, and ensure that they meet the teaching requirements of the U.S. state in which they are placed. An exchange teacher who qualifies for the program by virtue of having completed an advanced degree in education or in an academic subject matter that he or she intends to teach or that is directly related to his or her teaching subject field must provide, under 22 CFR 62.24(e)(4), a letter signed by the head of a school (or another PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 individual in an appropriate position of authority to speak for the school within the foreign country’s school system) in another country, preferably that exchange teacher’s home country, which states that school’s willingness to work with the exchange teacher on the cultural component. In addition, as set forth in 22 CFR 62.24(d)–(f), sponsors must screen prospective exchange teachers before accepting them for the program and must match them with a suitable host school. Such screening includes verifying the educational and other qualifications of each foreign teacher applicant to determine whether he or she satisfies all selection criteria; reviewing references for each foreign teacher attesting to that teacher’s good reputation, character, and teaching skills; ensuring that each selected foreign teacher possesses sufficient proficiency in the English language to function in American classrooms as well as on a day-to-day basis; checking, if applicable, that a home school letter stating that school’s willingness to work with the exchange teacher on a crosscultural component has been submitted; checking that host schools appoint exchange teachers to temporary positions and that these teachers’ salaries fall within the range paid to similarly-situated U.S. teachers; and verifying that each foreign teacher meets the requirements of the state in which he or she will teach, including criminal background check requirements. Host schools, as set forth at 22 CFR 62.24(f)(1), will need to provide the sponsor written offers of each exchange teacher’s full-time teaching position from the placement schools. In addition, host schools that wish to extend their exchange teacher’s program into the fourth or fifth year will need to have sponsors apply on their behalf to the Department for an extension, as set forth in 22 CFR 62.24(k). As also set forth in 22 CFR 62.24(k), sponsors will need to collect and submit extension requests to the Department and reply to the host school. Finally, to ensure that this program remains an educational and cultural exchange program, the Department mandates under 22 CFR 62.24(h) that exchange teachers organize an activity in a public setting where there is direct interaction with host school students or with the host community and, in addition, involve U.S. students in a dialogue or other activity with schools or students in another country, preferably with the exchange teacher’s home school. Additional costs will accrue to sponsors, who will need to assist exchange teachers with the cross- E:\FR\FM\29JAR1.SGM 29JAR1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 19 / Friday, January 29, 2016 / Rules and Regulations cultural component and review their cross-cultural activity reports, and to exchange teachers, who will need to carry out and report on these activities. Additional Information The total number of sponsor organizations designated by the Department to conduct teacher exchange program activities is 54. Around 1,200 new exchange teachers are expected annually in the Teacher exchange category to conduct exchanges in a similar number of new host schools, with an estimated 2,300 additional exchange teachers and host schools continuing their exchange on three year programs, and 250 exchange teachers annually extending their exchanges times two years, the duration of the permissible extension period, equaling an additional 500 exchange teachers, for a total of up to 4,000 exchange teachers in the United States at a given time. List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 62 Cultural exchange programs; Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. Accordingly, 22 CFR part 62 is amended as follows: PART 62—EXCHANGE VISITOR PROGRAM 1. The authority citation for Part 62 is revised to read as follows: ■ Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(J), 1182, 1184, 1258; 22 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 2451 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 2651(a); Pub. L. 105– 277, Div. G, 112 Stat. 2681 et seq.; Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1977, 3 CFR, 1977 Comp. p. 200; E.O. 12048 of March 27, 1978; 3 CFR, 1978 Comp. p. 168; Pub. L. 104– 208, Div. C, 110 Stat. 3009–546, as amended; Pub. L. 107–56, 416, 115 Stat. 354; and Pub. L. 107–173, 116 Stat. 543. 2. Section 62.24 is revised to read as follows: ■ jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES § 62.24 Teachers. (a) Purpose. The regulations in this section govern exchange visitors who teach full-time in accredited public and private U.S. primary and secondary schools (K–12), including prekindergarten language immersion programs offered as regular courses of study by accredited primary schools. Programs in this category promote the interchange of U.S. and foreign teachers and enhance mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries. Exchange teachers sharpen their professional skills and participate in cross-cultural activities in schools and communities, and they return home after the exchange to share their experiences and increased VerDate Sep<11>2014 12:10 Jan 28, 2016 Jkt 238001 knowledge of the United States and the U.S. educational system. Such exchanges enable foreign teachers to understand better U.S. culture, society and teaching practices at the primary and secondary levels, and enhance U.S. students’ knowledge of foreign cultures, customs and teaching approaches. (b) Designation. The Department may, in its discretion, designate bona fide programs satisfying the objectives in paragraph (a) of this section as exchange visitor programs in the Teacher category. (c) Definitions. In addition to those definitions set forth in § 62.2, the following definitions apply to the Teacher category of the Exchange Visitor Program: (1) Accredited primary or accredited secondary school: Any publicly or privately operated primary or secondary institution for educating children in the United States that offers mainly academic programs and is duly accredited by the appropriate academic accrediting authority of the jurisdiction in which such institution is located. (2) Full-time teaching: A minimum of 32 hours per week of teaching or teaching-related administrative activities. (3) Home country school: An exchange teacher’s school in his or her country of nationality or last legal country of residence. (4) Host school: The U.S.-accredited primary or secondary school in which a sponsor places an exchange teacher pursuant to the exchange teacher’s written acceptance of the placement. (5) International school: A school that is so designated by its school district, state, or other applicable governing authority, or one whose curriculum focuses predominantly on international aspects of the subject matter taught and/ or language immersion, or one that predominantly follows a national curriculum of a foreign country. (6) Language immersion program: A program that is a regular course of study offered by an accredited school having sustained and enriched instruction, in a language not native to the majority of the student population, that occurs for at least fifty percent of the school day. (7) Virtual exchange: A technologyenabled, sustained, people-to-people cross-cultural educational program that may supplement the goals of an inperson exchange and integrates global knowledge, cultural awareness, and/or foreign language into the classroom or other setting. (d) Teacher eligibility. Foreign nationals are eligible to participate in exchange visitor programs as full-time teachers if, at the time of initial PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 4955 application to the sponsor, an individual making such application demonstrates to the satisfaction of the sponsor that he or she: (1) Either: (i) Meets the qualifications for teaching at the primary, including prekindergarten, or secondary levels in schools in his or her home country; is working as a teacher in his or her home country at the time of application; and has at least two years of full-time teaching experience; or (ii) Is not working as a teacher in his or her home country at the time of application, but otherwise meets the qualifications for teaching at the primary (including pre-kindergarten) or secondary levels in schools in the home country; has had at least two years of full-time teaching experience within the past eight years; and, within 12 months of his or her application submission date for the program, has or will have completed an advanced degree (beyond a degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree) in education or in an academic subject matter that he or she intends to teach or that is directly related to his or her teaching subject field; (2) Possesses, at a minimum, a degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree in either education or the academic subject field in which he or she intends to teach; (3) Satisfies the teaching eligibility standards of the U.S. state in which he or she will teach (e.g. meets minimum educational requirements, has passed teacher training coursework at a sufficiently proficient level, has provided an evaluation of foreign teaching preparation coursework, has demonstrated the requisite prior teaching experience), to include any required criminal background or other checks; (4) Is of good reputation and character; and (5) Agrees to come to the United States temporarily as a full-time teacher of record in an accredited primary or secondary school. Exchange teachers may teach a variety of subjects and levels at their host school or schools, if qualified, but at the pre-kindergarten level, may teach only in language immersion programs. (e) Teacher selection. Sponsors must screen foreign teachers carefully before accepting them for the program. In addition to the requirements set forth in § 62.10 and all security checks required by U.S. state departments of education and host schools, sponsors also must: (1) Verify the qualifications of each foreign teacher to determine whether he or she satisfies the criteria set forth in paragraph (d) of this section; E:\FR\FM\29JAR1.SGM 29JAR1 jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES 4956 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 19 / Friday, January 29, 2016 / Rules and Regulations (2) Secure references from one colleague and one current or former supervisor of each foreign teacher, attesting to that teacher’s good reputation, character and teaching skills; (3) Verify that each selected foreign teacher applicant possesses sufficient proficiency in the English language to function in U.S. classrooms and to function on a day-to-day basis, in accordance with the provision for selection of exchange visitors set forth at § 62.10(a)(2); and (4) Verify that each foreign teacher who is eligible for the program under paragraph (d)(1)(ii) of this section has a letter from the head of a school in another country, preferably that teacher’s home country, which states that school’s willingness to work with the exchange teacher on the crosscultural activity component set forth in paragraph (h)(1)(ii). The foreign school with which the exchange teacher plans to work must be at the same academic level as the foreign teacher’s proposed host school. The letter submitted as part of the foreign teacher’s application package must be signed by the head of the school or another individual in an appropriate position of authority to speak for the school within the foreign country’s school system; the official signing the letter must list both email and telephone contact information. The letter may be submitted in English or in the original language of the home country with an English translation; the name, title/organization and contact information of the translator must be noted on the translation. (f) Teaching position. Sponsors must ensure that: (1) Forms DS–2019 are not issued until foreign teacher applicants have received and accepted written offers of full-time teaching positions from the accredited primary (including prekindergarten level) or secondary schools in which they will teach; (2) Program dates coincide with the U.S. academic year cycle to ensure a smooth transition as exchange teachers arrive and depart, unless the sponsor notifies, and receives approval from, the Department for other exchange dates before the sponsor issues any Form DS– 2019; sponsors should ensure that these dates are included in the exchange teacher’s contract; (3) Exchange teachers comply with any applicable collective bargaining agreement; (4) Exchange teacher appointments to positions within accredited primary or secondary schools are temporary, even if the teaching positions are permanent, and do not lead to tenure; exchange VerDate Sep<11>2014 12:10 Jan 28, 2016 Jkt 238001 teachers must be employees of either the host or home school during their exchange. (5) Teaching positions, including duties, responsibilities, hours of employment, and compensation, are commensurate with those of similarlysituated U.S. teachers in the school district or host school where that exchange teacher is assigned to teach; an exchange teacher, unless he or she is on a program where the Department is the sponsor, must be employed by and under the direct supervision and guidance of his or her host school and, where applicable, host school district; and (6) A pre-kindergarten level exchange teacher is assigned to teach full-time in an accredited host school (or in several schools within the same host school district, including at several academic levels, with prior permission from the Department). If an exchange teacher is placed in a private school where there is no host school district, then he or she must teach a full-time schedule of at least 32 hours in a school or schools located no more than 25 miles from the main host school; in such a situation, sponsors must ensure that reasonable and effective modes of transportation exist to such additional sites of activity. An exchange teacher may teach at the pre-kindergarten level only in a language immersion program offered as regular course of study by an accredited primary school. (g) Program disclosure. (1) As part of recruitment, in addition to the information required by § 62.10(b)–(c), sponsors must provide on their main Web sites and in their recruiting materials a general summary of fees and other costs for the program. This summary should include, but not be limited to, the sponsor fee; foreign or domestic third party or partner fees; visa fee; the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee; insurance costs; estimates for food, housing and local transportation costs; expected work-related deductions; and estimates or ranges for all other fees charged for and significant general costs related to participation in the teacher exchange program. (2) At the time a foreign teacher is selected for the program, and before the exchange visitor signs any contracts with the host school, sponsors and/or the host school must provide each individual exchange teacher the following information, either within the teacher’s contract or in a separate document: The name, location, and brief description of the host school; the terms and conditions of compensation (with deductions from gross salary); any PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 provisions affecting the ability of the exchange teacher to be accompanied abroad by a spouse or dependents (including any related assistance and allowances); a summary of the significant components of the program (including a statement of the teaching requirements and related professional obligations, as well as the required cross-cultural activity component as set forth in paragraph (h) of this section); specific information on the fees and costs for which the exchange teacher will be responsible while on exchange in that school district in accordance with paragraph (g)(1); anticipated housing options and cost implications; specific local transportation options between the exchange teacher’s residence and the host school and transportation cost estimates; insurance costs for accident or illness coverage, repatriation of remains and medical evacuation as required by § 62.14; estimated personal expense money for initial costs the exchange teacher may incur upon arrival in the United States prior to receiving his or her first paycheck; certification or licensure procedures and costs at the host school; administrative fees; and any placement fees. Exchange teacher compensation, unless provided directly to the exchange teacher through government funding, through continued support from the exchange teacher’s home school, or from both the teacher’s home and host school in a shared cost arrangement, must be paid directly by the host school or host school district in which the exchange teacher is placed. (h) Cross-cultural activity component. In addition to the requirements of § 62.10: (1) Sponsors must require each exchange teacher to complete, within the United States, and during each academic year of program participation, at least one cross-cultural activity from each of the following two categories: (i) An activity for the teacher’s classroom, larger host school or host school district population, or the community at large designed to give an overview of the history, traditions, heritage, culture, economy, educational system and/or other attributes of his or her home country. Sponsors of exchange teachers placed at international schools must require their exchange teachers to conduct at least one cross-cultural activity per academic year outside the host school in nearby schools or communities where international opportunities may be more limited than those found in their host school; and (ii) An activity that involves U.S. student dialogue with schools or students in another country, preferably E:\FR\FM\29JAR1.SGM 29JAR1 jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 19 / Friday, January 29, 2016 / Rules and Regulations in the exchange teacher’s home school, through virtual exchange or other means, in order to supplement the goals of the in-person exchange. (2) Sponsors must collect annual reports from their exchange teachers detailing the cross-cultural activity component of their exchange program. The annual report does not have to be in a specific format, but must include the exchange teacher’s full name and the program sponsor’s name. The report section about the cross-cultural activity component must contain the following information: (i) The date(s) of each activity; (ii) The location of each activity; (iii) The audience for and participants in each activity; (iv) A general overview of each activity, including the topic; and (v) The estimated impact of each activity. (i) Location of the exchange. Exchange teachers must participate in exchange visitor programs at the accredited primary or secondary schools listed on their Forms DS–2019 or at location(s) where the institutions are involved in official school activities (e.g., school field trips, teacher development programs); (j) Duration of participation. Exchange teachers may be authorized to participate in the Exchange Visitor Program for the length of time necessary to complete the program, which may not exceed three years unless a specific extension of one or two years is authorized by the Department as set forth in paragraph (k) of this section. (k) Program extensions. (1) Sponsors may request from the Department an extension of an exchange teacher’s exchange by either one or two years, but not by a semester or by other fractions of academic years. (2) The sponsor’s request for extension must include: (i) A letter of reference on official letterhead written by the host school or host school district administrator responsible for overseeing the exchange teacher that describes the exchange teacher’s performance during the previous three years of the exchange and how the host school has benefited from the exchange teacher’s presence; and (ii) a document describing how the exchange teacher over the previous three years has engaged his or her classroom, the wider host school or host school district, or community through the cross-cultural activity component, if these activities are not already detailed in the exchange teacher’s annual reports. VerDate Sep<11>2014 12:10 Jan 28, 2016 Jkt 238001 (3) Sponsors must submit their extension request and supporting documentation for the extension to the Department no later than three months prior to the beginning of the desired extension period for the exchange teacher. (4) Sponsor requests for extension must include proof of payment of the required non-refundable extension fee as set forth in § 62.17. (5) The Department, at its discretion, may authorize a sponsor to extend an exchange teacher’s participation for either one or two additional years beyond the initial three-year exchange period. Sponsors must comply with all Department guidance on creating an extension record for the teacher within SEVIS. (6) Sponsors that applied for a twoyear extension on behalf of a host school and its exchange teacher and received permission from the Department only for a one-year extension may apply again to extend the program of that host school’s exchange teacher for one additional year by following the procedures set forth in paragraphs (k)(2)–(4) of this section. The sponsor should include with such additional extension request a copy of the prior extension request submitted to enable the initial one-year extension. (l) Repeat participation. Foreign nationals who have successfully completed teacher exchange programs are eligible to participate in additional teacher exchange programs, provided that they have resided outside the United States for at least two years following the successful completion of their most recent teacher exchange program and continue to meet the eligibility requirements set forth in paragraph (d) of this section. Dated: January 14, 2016. Robin J. Lerner, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State. [FR Doc. 2016–01421 Filed 1–28–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710–05–P ACTION: 4957 Final rule. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions submitted by the State of Utah on January 28, 2010, September 16, 2010, June 18, 2013, and August 29, 2014. These submittals revise the rules, general requirements and test methods for the State of Utah. The amendments also update the version of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) incorporated by reference into the rules of the State of Utah. EPA is not taking action on an April 26, 2012 submittal or a November 4, 2013 submittal because they have been superseded by the August 29, 2014 submittal. EPA is taking this action in accordance with section 110 of the Clean Air Act (CAA). SUMMARY: This final rule is effective February 29, 2016. DATES: EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA–R08–OAR–2015–0085. All documents in the docket are listed on the www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Program, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 8, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202–1129. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to view the hard copy of the docket. You may view the hard copy of the docket Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., excluding federal holidays. ADDRESSES: Jody Ostendorf, Air Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 8, Mail Code 8P–AR, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202–1129, 303–312–7104, ostendorf.jody@epa.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA–R08–OAR–2015–0085; FRL–9933–49– Region 8] Approval and Promulgation of State Implementation Plan Revisions; Rules, General Requirements and Test Methods; Utah Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background for Our Final Action The background for today’s final rule is discussed in detail in our June 19, 2015 proposal (see 80 FR 35295). The comment period was open for 30 days and we received no comments. E:\FR\FM\29JAR1.SGM 29JAR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 19 (Friday, January 29, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 4945-4957]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-01421]



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Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
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This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents 
having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed 
to and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published 
under 50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510.

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Prices of new books are listed in the first FEDERAL REGISTER issue of each 
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Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 19 / Friday, January 29, 2016 / Rules 
and Regulations

[[Page 4945]]



DEPARTMENT OF STATE

22 CFR Part 62

[Public Notice: 9421]
RIN 1400-AC60


Exchange Visitor Program--Teachers

AGENCY: U.S. Department of State.

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This rule makes final the Department's proposed rule published 
on May 2, 2013. The Department, with this rule, amends its existing 
regulations governing the Teacher category of the Exchange Visitor 
Program. This final rule permits program participation of teachers 
teaching full-time at accredited public or private primary and 
secondary schools (K-12), including pre-kindergarten teachers in 
``language immersion'' programs offered as regular courses of study by 
accredited primary schools; requires exchange teachers to have two 
years of full-time teaching experience; clarifies that the duration of 
program participation by exchange teachers is three years, with an 
extension permitted for one or two additional years of participation 
based on school need and exchange teacher performance during the 
exchange; permits participation by otherwise qualified teachers who are 
not currently working, but who are returning to teaching after 
successfully pursuing an advanced degree beyond the equivalent of a 
U.S. bachelor's degree; introduces a required cross-cultural activity 
component; requires program sponsors to disclose fees and costs to 
foreign teachers at the time of both recruitment and selection into the 
program; and implements a requirement that exchange teachers not be 
eligible for repeat participation unless they reside outside the United 
States for two years following their teacher exchange program. In 
amending the Teacher category regulations, the Department: Reforms the 
teacher exchange program; strengthens provisions designed to protect 
the health, safety, and welfare of exchange teachers; and reinforces 
the program's prestige as a world-class U.S. public diplomacy 
initiative. The rule applies to all J-Nonimmigrant exchange teachers, 
except when the teacher's program is covered by a separate agreement 
between the United States and the relevant foreign government as 
permitted under Department regulations.

DATES: This rule is effective on February 29, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Persons with access to the Internet also may view this rule 
by going to the regulations.gov Web site at: http://www.regulations.gov/index.cfm. For further information, contact Robin 
J. Lerner, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange, 
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State, 
SA-5, Floor 5, 2200 C Street NW., Washington, DC 20522-0505; fax: (202) 
632-2701; email: JExchanges@state.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Exchange Visitor Program (of which the 
Teacher category is one of fifteen categories of program types) is 
authorized by the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, 
as amended, 22 U.S.C. 2451 et seq. (also known as the Fulbright-Hays 
Act and hereinafter referred to as ``the Act''), and implemented 
through 22 CFR part 62 (22 CFR 62.24 pertains to the Teacher category 
in particular). The Act's stated purpose is ``to increase mutual 
understanding between the people of the United States and the people of 
other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange; to 
strengthen the ties which unite us with other nations by demonstrating 
the educational and cultural interests, developments, and achievements 
of the people of the United States and other nations, and the 
contributions being made toward a peaceful and more fruitful life for 
people throughout the world. . . .'' In the fifty years since the Act's 
passage, millions of foreign exchange visitors, Americans with whom 
they interact, and friends and families of the exchange visitors with 
whom they share their experiences upon returning home, have benefited 
from the mutual understanding and peaceful relations that can derive 
from such person-to-person contact. The Teacher exchange program 
embodies and carries forward the stated purpose and intent of the Act 
by benefiting teachers, students, host schools, and surrounding 
communities.
    Educational and cultural exchanges are a cornerstone of U.S. public 
diplomacy and an integral component of U.S. foreign policy. The purpose 
of the Teacher category of the Exchange Visitor Program is to promote 
interchange of American and foreign teachers in public and private 
schools; enhance mutual understanding between the people of the United 
States and people of other countries; allow U.S. students who lack 
opportunities to travel abroad to have early and meaningful 
relationships with individuals from other cultures; provide visiting 
teachers an opportunity to expand their understanding of U.S. 
education, culture and society; provide U.S. teachers with a greater 
understanding of international teaching practices by their working 
alongside foreign colleagues; and create opportunities to develop 
lasting links between U.S. and foreign schools and communities.
    These regulations govern exchange teachers who teach full-time in 
accredited primary and secondary public and private schools in the 
United States (including pre-kindergarten level ``language immersion'' 
programs offered as a regular course of study by accredited primary 
schools). Exchange teachers have the opportunity to broaden their 
pedagogical knowledge while in the United States and foster meaningful 
relationships with American citizens through their participation in 
U.S. schools and communities, returning home within a defined time-
period to share their experiences in their own country's educational 
system.
    It is equally important that public and private schools hosting 
foreign exchange teachers have the responsibility and intent to create 
a holistic cultural program and contemplate the overall experience that 
these teachers will take back to their home countries. The Department 
supports the hosting of exchange teachers to help U.S. students 
understand other cultures and comprehend global issues, as well as to 
promote study of foreign languages and culture. Native speakers add a 
vital dimension to foreign language instruction. Speaking another 
language

[[Page 4946]]

promotes understanding, conveys respect for other cultures, and 
strengthens the ability to engage foreign peoples and governments.
    In recent years, the Department has been strengthening the 
regulations throughout the Exchange Visitor Program to require sponsors 
to ensure, among other things, that their individual exchange visitor 
programs are consistent with the purpose of the Act. The Teacher 
exchange program is not to be used to recruit and train foreign 
teachers for permanent employment in the United States. The amended 
Teacher category regulations make clear that exchange teachers are 
expected to work on a temporary basis at the host school. Because the 
Exchange Visitor Program is an educational and cultural program, 
sponsors must ensure that an exchange teacher's appointment at the host 
school is temporary, even if the teaching position is permanent.
    The Department requires sponsors to ensure that exchange teachers, 
including pre-kindergarten ``language immersion'' teachers, are placed 
only in accredited primary and secondary schools. In addition, a 
foreign national may be admitted to the United States as a J-1 
nonimmigrant in the Teacher category only for the purpose of full-time 
teaching as a teacher of record, not as a teacher's assistant/aide, 
substitute teacher, or other non-instructional position, at an 
accredited primary or secondary school.

Analysis of Comments

    The Department published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with a 
request for comment on May 2, 2013 (RIN 1400-AC60; see 78 FR 25669). 
The Department received 60 comments in response to the proposed rule. 
Many of those commenting discussed multiple topics. Following a review 
of these comments, the Department has decided to adopt the proposed 
rule with some modifications prompted by the comments.
    Program disclosures: The proposed rule required sponsors to provide 
prospective exchange teachers with a listing of all fees and costs 
associated with the exchange program at two points, first, a general 
listing while advertising the program, and second, a more specific 
listing for those teachers accepted into the program. The Department 
received four comments, all expressing concern that the proposed 
requirements for both sponsors and host schools were overly time 
consuming, would result in an over-abundance of paperwork, and would 
result in unnecessary duplication of information from host school Web 
sites.
    The Department believes that the benefits of fee and cost 
transparency outweigh any possible duplication or additional activities 
required to gather fee and cost estimates and provide them to potential 
exchange visitors. When sponsors and host schools rely upon exchange 
visitors to conduct independent research on Web sites to locate key 
information about their exchange program and conditions of their host 
placement, these sponsors and schools cannot be sure that the 
information exchange visitors find through their research is accurate 
or comprehensive. In requiring the sponsor and host school to provide a 
summary of significant program components, fees, and other costs during 
the advertising phase and also prior to the exchange teacher's signing 
of his or her contract with the host school, the Department ensures 
that the exchange teacher has received from the program sponsor at two 
crucial points a basic summary (and understanding) of the main 
programmatic and financial obligations and responsibilities he or she 
undertakes by participating in an exchange. These requirements also 
will allow all parties involved or interested in the Exchange Visitor 
Program to ascertain in advance if fees and costs seem excessive or if 
additional costs will be charged to the teacher.
    The Department is of the view that various program fees, deductions 
from wages, and costs charged to exchange teachers by sponsors, third 
parties, partners, and host schools, if not fully disclosed, could make 
exchange teachers vulnerable to unexpected program costs. The 
Department, through its regular communications with sponsors, 
participating exchange teachers, and host schools during the course of 
its formal program monitoring efforts, has been made aware of many 
cases where, after expenses and deductions, exchange teachers' take-
home pay, contrary to what those teachers originally expected, was an 
insufficient amount of money on which to live in the United States or 
to defray the cost associated with the exchange. Moreover, because the 
Department works with program sponsors on an ongoing basis, it is aware 
that program recruitment and placement fees may vary widely depending 
upon the exchange teacher's country of origin. In addition, the cost of 
living, including housing and local transportation costs, varies in the 
different U.S. host communities where an exchange teacher may be 
placed.
    This regulation will require sponsors, first, to post a general 
summary of fees and other costs teachers can expect to pay while they 
are on exchange in one visible location on their main Web sites and in 
their recruiting materials, in order to ensure fee and cost 
transparency at the time of exchange teacher recruitment. This general 
summary of fees and other costs at the time of recruitment must 
include, at a minimum, sponsor fees; placement fees; visa fees; Student 
and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fees; insurance costs 
based on the requirements of 22 CFR 62.14; estimates (ranges) for food, 
housing and local transportation costs; foreign and domestic third 
party fees; expected work-related deductions (e.g., federal and state 
income tax withholding, Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) 
deductions, work related materials, required memberships); and 
estimates of all other fees charged for, and significant other costs 
related to, participation in the Teacher category of exchange. If these 
fees and costs vary by country, the sponsor should note this in its fee 
and cost listing, or list a range of costs to encompass all of the 
countries that sponsor serves. The Department does not require sponsors 
to list airline ticket costs in the general summary of fees and costs 
that they must post to their Web site or list in their recruitment 
materials.
    Second, at the time the official selection letter is sent to the 
teacher, sponsors must themselves, or must ensure that host schools, 
provide, in either the teacher's contract and/or through supplemental 
information, each individual exchange teacher with the name, location, 
and a brief description of the host school; the terms and conditions of 
compensation (with estimated deductions from gross salary); any 
provisions affecting the ability of the teacher to be accompanied 
abroad by a spouse or dependents (including any related assistance and 
allowances); a summary of the significant components of the program 
(including a statement of the teaching requirements, related 
professional obligations and required cross-cultural activity 
component); specific information on the fees and costs that the 
exchange teacher will be responsible for while on exchange in that 
school district; anticipated housing options and cost implications; 
specific local transportation options between the exchange teacher's 
residence and the host school and their estimated costs; insurance 
costs for accident and illness coverage, repatriation of remains, and

[[Page 4947]]

medical evacuation as required by 22 CFR 62.14; estimated costs for 
initial personal expenses the exchange teacher may incur upon arrival 
in the United States prior to receiving his or her first paycheck; 
certification or licensure procedures and costs at the host school; 
administrative fees; and any placement fees. All of the information 
noted above must be provided to exchange teachers selected for the 
program before they sign their host school contract, in order to ensure 
that all exchange teachers fully understand the financial obligations 
they assume when signing the contract and agreeing to participate in an 
exchange program.
    As set forth at 22 CFR 62.24(f)(5), unless an exchange teacher is 
on a program where the Department is the sponsor, he or she must be 
employed by and under the direct supervision and guidance of his or her 
host school and, where applicable, the host school district. As set 
forth at 22 CFR 62.24(g)(2), unless the exchange teacher is supported 
through government funding, through continued support from the exchange 
teacher's home school, or through a combination of the exchange 
teacher's home and host school, compensation must be paid directly by 
the host school(s) or host school district in which the exchange 
teacher is placed. For example, unless the sponsor is also the host 
school, a sponsor cannot receive the exchange teacher's salary from a 
host school or host school district and then pay it on to the exchange 
teacher (often with deductions for previously undisclosed fees and 
costs), as may be the practice currently in some teacher exchange 
programs.
    Cross-cultural activity component: The proposed rule required 
completion of a mandatory annual cross-cultural activity component 
through which exchange teachers would be required to share aspects of 
their cultural heritage with their U.S. communities, including 
conducting international dialogue or other activities through virtual 
exchange or other means, with schools or students in another country, 
preferably their home school (as set forth in the final rule at 22 CFR 
62.24(h)). The Department received 11 comments regarding the cross-
cultural component aspect of the proposed rule. Many comments received 
were from faculty or administrators at international schools who 
expressed the view that a required cross-cultural activity component 
was unnecessary because their schools are living examples for students 
of international cultural exchange and that a mandated cross-cultural 
activity component would be an artificial intercultural activity by 
comparison.
    The mission of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, 
which oversees the Exchange Visitor Program under the Fulbright-Hays 
Act, is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the 
United States and the people of other countries through educational and 
cultural exchanges that support the development of peaceful relations. 
In keeping with this authority, the Department wishes to ensure that 
its visiting teachers come in contact with and convey knowledge to 
large numbers of U.S. students and community members. The Department is 
of the view that a dialogue of ideas should ensue from the Teacher 
exchange program and that, regardless of where in the United States a 
teacher is placed, a mandatory cross-cultural activity component will 
help students in the exchange teacher's classroom, and in the broader 
host school and its community, develop global awareness and interest in 
learning more about other countries. Moreover, not all exchange 
teachers participating in the program are placed in schools that 
already have an overall international focus.
    Other comments supported mandating a cross-cultural activity 
component in order for communities to learn more about the unique 
contributions of the exchange teacher. The Department agrees that 
required cross-cultural activity components are valuable tools not only 
to engage exchange teachers in their host communities--both inside and 
outside of their schools--but also to inform their host communities 
about their cultures.
    Whatever the placement setting, the sponsor, host school and 
exchange teacher should work together to develop creative cross-
cultural activity components, whether it be in the teacher's individual 
classroom, within the larger host school, or in the host school 
district or community. One example of developing a creative cross-
cultural activity for the host school district or community could be to 
have exchange teachers make a presentation in a public forum (e.g., at 
a school assembly, museum, civic organization, or businesses 
association) where there is direct interaction with the educational or 
larger community and in which they could share an aspect of their home 
countries (e.g., history, traditions, heritage, dance, art, music, 
economy, educational system). In addition, the Department strongly 
encourages sponsors who place exchange teachers in international 
schools to urge their exchange teachers to conduct at least one cross-
cultural activity per year outside their host school in a setting where 
there is less direct opportunity for students or community members to 
engage in international learning. For example, a foreign teacher placed 
in a school where he or she is teaching his or her native language 
might give a presentation in English about a home country topic to a 
school in the same district that does not have an international or 
language immersion focus or to a community group in the area where the 
host school is located. Sponsors and the Department will take the 
exchange teacher's record of cross-cultural activities into account 
when considering one- or two-year extensions for exchange teachers, 
including those placed at schools with an international or language 
immersion focus.
    In order to ensure meaningful accountability on the part of 
exchange teachers, sponsors must require exchange teachers to submit an 
annual report, one element of which should detail the cross-cultural 
activity component of their exchange program. The report does not have 
to be in a specific format, but must contain specific fields of 
information as identified in these regulations (i.e., date or dates of 
cross-cultural activities, teacher name, program sponsor name, 
location, number of individuals in attendance, topic, and a general 
overview of the activity and its overall impact within the larger 
community where the school is located). Sponsors will not be required 
to submit copies of these reports routinely to the Department, but they 
must retain such reports as part of each exchange teacher's 
documentation for a period of three years following completion of the 
teacher's exchange program, as required by 22 CFR 62.10(g). Sponsors 
are encouraged to share with the Department, as best practices, 
examples of activities that exchange teachers conduct as part of their 
cross-cultural activity component.
    Teacher eligibility: The Department received four comments on 
eligibility, evenly split on whether the criteria for eligibility 
should be changed to two years of teaching experience prior to program 
participation from the current requirement of three years, or whether 
three years should remain the requirement. It is critical to the 
success of this exchange program that foreign teachers have the 
necessary skills and teaching experience to benefit from exchange 
opportunities and achieve the intended goals of this professional 
exchange program. Exchange teachers must be able to make an immediate 
impact in the classroom and share some of their teaching methods with

[[Page 4948]]

American teachers, while learning firsthand about U.S. culture and 
teaching methodologies.
    The Department recognizes, as some comments pointed out, that 
exchange teachers come to the United States from foreign countries that 
prepare their teachers in educational systems that are different from 
that of the United States, with some systems having very different time 
periods that it takes teacher candidates to receive a degree. The 
Department believes that two years of teaching experience, combined 
with a degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree (which may be 
proven by the applicant, for example, through use of a credential 
evaluation service), would be sufficient requirements for program 
participation. This teaching experience must not be as a student 
teacher, but as a teacher of record in a foreign school; however, the 
two years of experience may be non-consecutive. All U.S. states 
currently require their teachers to have a bachelor's degree, and while 
the Department recognizes differences in teacher education systems 
around the world and, therefore, does not require its foreign teachers 
to have a bachelor's degree, it is of the view that requiring foreign 
teachers to have the equivalent of a bachelor's degree from their own 
educational system will ensure that they are considered equally 
qualified with U.S. teachers in host schools across the United States.
    A number of comments made the point that the Department should 
permit in the program teachers who are not currently teaching but have 
recent teaching experience. The Teacher exchange program is not an 
employment program, but an educational exchange experience that has a 
reciprocal element as one of its goals. In the Teacher exchange 
category, currently working teachers bring to the program opportunities 
to link their home and host schools and communities through projects 
and other contributions to mutual understanding. It is anticipated that 
the exchange experience will give exchange teachers the opportunity to 
share their experiences with their home school students through virtual 
linkages and when they return home.
    Other comments expressed concern that by requiring teachers to be 
working at the time of application, the program would exclude 
potentially highly qualified candidates who have the requisite teaching 
experience, but have not been working because they have been pursuing 
an advanced degree. The Department agrees and wishes to facilitate the 
exchange of teachers who have continued their education beyond a degree 
equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree. The Department agrees that an 
international teaching experience would be a valuable additional 
educational benefit to teachers completing advanced degrees. For this 
reason, this final rule makes one exception to the requirement that 
applicants must be working as teachers at the time of application. 
Applicants who are not currently working may participate in the program 
if they: (i) Have at least a degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's 
degree, (ii) have two years of teaching experience within the past 
eight years, and (iii) have successfully completed an advanced degree 
beyond a U.S. bachelor's degree-equivalent within one year of the date 
upon which their program application is submitted, even if they are not 
currently teaching. The advanced degree must be in the subject field 
(or a closely related one) that the exchange teacher proposes to teach 
while in the United States, or in the field of education. In making 
this exception, the Department acknowledges that potential exchange 
teachers might wish to complete an advanced degree and follow-up this 
degree by taking the opportunity to teach abroad for a period of time 
soon thereafter, before they continue their teaching careers in their 
home countries. Sponsors must require teachers who are not currently 
working, but are participating in the program by virtue of having 
recently completed an advanced degree, to locate and cooperate with a 
school, preferably in their home country and at their teaching level, 
in order to conduct the required international dialogue or virtual 
aspect of the cross-cultural activity component while on exchange. 
Sponsors must require candidates for the program, before they submit 
their application to a sponsor, to take the additional steps necessary 
to make arrangements with a suitable school outside the United States 
with which they could, if accepted to the program, complete the 
required cultural activity component.
    Pre-kindergarten teacher eligibility: The Department received 37 
comments about whether pre-kindergarten teachers should be permitted to 
participate in the Teacher category of the Exchange Visitor Program. 
All comments noted that beginning language instruction with a native 
speaker in early childhood would be beneficial for U.S. children. Those 
submitting comments also noted that preventing pre-kindergarten 
language teachers from coming to the United States on a teacher 
exchange would reduce the overall effectiveness of ``language 
immersion'' programs, whose faculty could benefit from hosting native 
speakers. In response to these comments, the Department will permit 
teachers, under the final rule, to be placed as instructors in pre-
kindergarten ``language immersion'' programs offered as regular courses 
of study by accredited primary schools. Such exchange teachers must 
teach a full-time schedule of at least 32 hours at their host school or 
at accredited schools in the same school district, even if not all of 
their instruction involves teaching at the pre-kindergarten level. If 
exchange teachers are placed in private schools where they are not 
under the governing authority of a school district, then they must 
teach a full-time schedule of at least 32 hours, any schools in which 
they teach must be located no more than 25 miles from their main host 
school, and the sponsor must ensure that reasonable and effective modes 
of transportation to such additional sites of activity exist. Pre-
kindergarten exchange teachers may not participate in exchanges at 
institutions whose primary purpose is daycare, nor may they teach in 
supplemental educational programs offered at, but not included as, a 
regular course of study by an accredited school.
    Program dates: The Department received three comments on its 
proposed new requirement (set forth in the final rule at 22 CFR 
62.24(f)(2)) that program dates should coincide with the U.S. academic 
year cycle (July 1-June 30). Some comments pointed out that school 
systems in other parts of the world follow different calendar cycles 
and expressed the view that the Teacher exchange program should 
accommodate this. The Department notes that exchange teachers will be 
teaching in U.S. schools, so it is generally necessary that they comply 
with the U.S. academic year in order to ensure a smooth transition as 
faculty arrive and depart. The Department understands that there may be 
instances where a teacher on a different academic calendar may need to 
conduct an exchange on a different year-cycle. In such a situation, 
sponsors must notify and receive approval from the Department if a host 
school has an exchange teacher beginning an exchange after the start of 
the U.S. academic year and must ensure that the host school includes 
such alternate dates in its contract with the exchange teacher. Host 
schools should give the same orientation programming and assistance to 
the incoming exchange teacher that an exchange teacher arriving at the 
normal time in the school year would ordinarily receive. When sponsors 
notify the Department that the exchange is occurring on a different

[[Page 4949]]

program cycle and receive the Department's approval, the Department has 
the opportunity to monitor these exchanges to ensure that the sponsor 
and host school are providing the necessary support to an exchange 
teacher who enters a new school with a potentially more difficult 
adjustment period.
    Program extensions: The Department received 29 comments on the 
issue of program extensions, with a majority supporting either program 
extensions of up to two years beyond the proposed exchange period of 
three years or simply a five-year exchange period. A former exchange 
teacher commented that international teachers who experience the United 
States for periods longer than three years can become ``instructional 
leaders'' in their host schools. Others voiced the perspective that a 
three-year program limit may mean that some students have less 
continuity in receiving instruction from a highly qualified 
international teacher.
    The Department believes that a program duration of three years is 
most consistent with the goals and mission of the Teacher exchange, 
namely to encourage exchange teachers to learn new skills and 
perspectives while teaching in the United States, and then return to 
their home countries and foster ties between schools in their home 
countries and their host schools in the United States. However, the 
Department recognizes that program extensions beyond the three-year 
duration may be necessary or desirable where the exchange teacher has 
carried out his or her program requirements in a particularly effective 
way at the U.S. host school. Accordingly, sponsors may apply to the 
Department on behalf of a host school to extend an exchange teacher's 
program duration by one or two additional years. In permitting 
extensions of up to two years, the Department will not authorize 
exchange teachers to extend their stay by fractions of academic years. 
The Department believes this would result in considerable 
administrative complexity to both home and host schools attempting to 
make international teacher exchanges possible. In addition, having 
exchange teachers extend for fractions of years might be disruptive to 
students. Extension requests must contain documentation showing that 
the school has a particular need for the exchange teacher to remain, 
that the exchange teacher can be recommended for extension based on 
professional performance at the host school, and that the exchange 
teacher has fulfilled all aspects of the cross-cultural activity 
component. Instructions for requesting a program extension may be found 
on the Department's J-Visa Web site (www.jvisa.gov) under the 
``Participants--Adjustments and Extensions'' link at http://j1visa.state.gov/participants/current/adjustments-and-extensions. 
Sponsors must send extension requests to the Department for its 
approval at least three months prior to the beginning date of the 
requested extension.
    Teacher compensation: The Department did not receive comments on 
the issue of compensation. Accordingly, as proposed, the Department has 
amended the regulations at 22 CFR 62.24(g)(2) to make clear that 
exchange teachers are to be compensated directly by the schools or 
school districts in which they are placed, unless they are supported by 
foreign government funding, through continued support from their home 
schools, or through a combination of home and host school support. 
Exchange teachers must be under the direct supervision and guidance of 
host schools and host school districts. SEVIS records should reflect 
the funding situation for each exchange teacher. Teaching positions, 
including duties, responsibilities, hours of employment, and 
compensation, must be consistent with similarly-situated American 
teachers in the school or school district where an exchange teacher is 
assigned to teach. Sponsors should ensure that exchange teachers 
receive all information about teaching in a particular school or school 
district that is available to similarly-situated U.S. teachers.
    Repeat participation: Commenters generally supported a clause 
making clear that exchange teachers are eligible for repeat 
participation provided they reside outside the United States for two 
years following their teacher exchange program. Several commenters 
noted that inserting this provision should go hand-in-hand with 
extending the possible exchange duration to five years. The regulations 
have been amended to permit exchange teachers who have successfully 
completed their teacher exchange programs, either for a period of three 
years or, if extended, for four or five years, to participate again as 
exchange teachers in the Exchange Visitor Program. To be eligible to 
repeat the program, exchange teachers must have resided outside the 
United States for at least two years following completion of their 
program and must continue to meet all other eligibility requirements 
for this category.

Regulatory Analysis and Notices

Administrative Procedure Act

    The Department is of the opinion that the Exchange Visitor Program 
is a foreign affairs function of the U.S. Government, and that rules 
implementing this function are exempt from section 553 (Rulemaking) and 
section 554 (Adjudications) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). 
U.S. government policy and longstanding practice have been for the 
Department to oversee foreign nationals who come to the United States 
as participants in exchange visitor programs, either directly or 
through private sector program sponsors or grantee organizations. When 
problems arise, the U.S. Government is often held accountable by 
foreign governments for the treatment of their nationals, regardless of 
who is responsible for the problems. The purpose of this rule is to 
protect the health, safety and welfare of foreign nationals entering 
the United States (often on programs funded by the U.S. Government) for 
a finite period of time and with a view that they will return to their 
countries of nationality upon completion of their programs. The 
Department is of the opinion that failure to protect the health, safety 
and welfare of these foreign nationals would have direct and 
substantial adverse effects on the foreign affairs of the United 
States. Although the Department is of the opinion that this rule is 
exempt from the rulemaking provisions of the APA, the Department 
nevertheless published a proposed rule on May 2, 2013, with a 60-day 
provision for public comment and without prejudice to its determination 
that the Exchange Visitor Program is a foreign affairs function.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    This regulation is not a major rule as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804 for 
the purposes of Congressional review of agency rulemaking under the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (5 U.S.C. 
801-808). This rule will not result in an annual effect on the economy 
of $100 million or more; a major increase in costs or prices; or 
significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, 
productivity, innovation, or on the ability of U.S.-based companies to 
compete with foreign-based companies in domestic and export markets.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This regulation will not result in the expenditure by State, local 
or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of 
$100 million in any

[[Page 4950]]

year; and it will not significantly or uniquely affect small 
governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed necessary under the 
provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

Executive Order 13175--Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal 
Governments

    The Department has determined that this regulation will not have 
tribal implications; will not impose substantial direct compliance 
costs on Indian tribal governments; and will not preempt tribal law. 
Accordingly, the requirements of Executive Order 13175 do not apply to 
this rulemaking.

Regulatory Flexibility Act/Executive Order 13272: Small Business 
Impacts

    Since the Department is of the opinion that this rule is exempt 
from section 553 (Rulemaking) and section 554 (Adjudications) of the 
APA, the Department is also of the opinion that this rule is not 
subject to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). 
However, to better inform the public as to the costs and burdens of 
this rule, the Department notes that this regulation will affect the 
operations of 54 sponsors designated by the Department to conduct 
programs in the Teacher category of the Exchange Visitor Program. 
Currently, approximately 1,200 new exchange teachers may begin exchange 
programs annually with program durations of up to three years, and it 
is expected that this number will stay relatively constant; an 
estimated total of around 2,300 exchange teachers may continue their 
programs in years two and three as expected (estimated at 1,150 
exchange teachers per year), for a total number of 3,500 in their first 
three years as an exchange visitor. An estimated 500 exchange teachers 
may be on an extension of their exchange in the U.S. beyond the initial 
three years (an estimated 250 in extension status in years four and 
five), so that a total of approximately 4,000 active exchange teachers 
may be in the United States annually.
Numbers of Small Businesses
    Of the 54 currently-designated sponsors in the Teacher category of 
the Exchange Visitor Program, 16 are corporate, academic and tax-exempt 
program sponsors with annual revenues of less than $7 million. These 16 
small sponsors accounted for around 800, or approximately 32 percent, 
of the total active 2,500 participants in the Teacher category in 
calendar year 2014 and 384 of the new exchange teachers beginning the 
program. The Department estimates that exchange teachers associated 
with small sponsors may account for as many as 1,280 of the 4,000 
active participants in 2016 and beyond, once the option to extend is 
offered to exchange teachers, calculated as follows: 1,200 multiplied 
by three years for new exchange teachers minus 100 teachers who are 
estimated not to continue on to three years as expected, plus an 
estimated total of 500 exchange teachers on extension (250 in extension 
status per year in years four and five) equals 4,000 total exchange 
teachers. Multiplying this total by 0.32 equals an expected 1,280 
exchange teachers affiliated with sponsors that are small businesses.
Teacher Selection
    Sponsors already are required to screen applicants for eligibility 
(including the two-year home stay requirement through SEVIS); verify 
that applicants are currently working as teachers; verify their English 
language proficiency; and confirm their receipt of, at a minimum, a 
degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree. Department collections 
already include 1.5 hours for selection (screening, verifying language 
proficiency, and confirming degree). Sponsors also must check 
prospective host school attestations that their exchange teacher 
appointments are temporary, that the teacher's salary will fall within 
the range paid to U.S. teachers, and that the exchange teacher will 
satisfy the teaching eligibility standards of the U.S. state in which 
he or she will teach. These requirements will add 0.5 hours multiplied 
by $31.50 weighted wage for sponsors multiplied by 384 placement 
schools, or an additional total of $6,048 annually. The amount of 
$31.50 is based upon average weekly earnings for middle-range employees 
in the educational non-profit sector according to the Bureau of Labor 
Statistics, or around $24.20 per hour and benefits of around 30 percent 
of salary. In addition, host schools will have a 0.5 hour burden to 
write these attestations, which totals $8,279, based on the average 
weighted wage of $43.12 for middle-range U.S. public school 
administrators, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the 
national salary comparison Web site Payscale (www.payscale.com) (0.5 
hours multiplied by $43.12. weighted wage multiplied by 384 placement 
schools).
    Under the amended regulation, sponsors must verify that exchange 
teachers qualifying with an advanced degree have earned such a degree 
within the past 12 months in education or in the subject field (or 
closely related subject field) that the applicant would teach on 
exchange. They also will need to verify that the exchange teacher's 
application package includes a letter from the head of a school in 
another country, preferably the teacher's home country, which states 
that school's willingness to work with the exchange teacher on the 
cross-cultural component of the exchange. These items are not expected 
to add greatly to a sponsor's screening responsibilities. Sponsors 
would already regularly screen for the teacher's academic, linguistic, 
and other credentials; this added screening is simply for a higher 
level of academic credential and verification that the cross-cultural 
component letter has been submitted for the applicant.
    As set forth at 22 CFR 62.24(f)(1), sponsors must ensure that Forms 
DS-2019 are not issued until potential exchange teachers have received 
and accepted written offers of full-time teaching positions from the 
accredited primary (including pre-kindergarten level) or secondary 
schools in which they will teach. It is estimated that host schools and 
sponsors associated with the programs of small sponsors will each spend 
30 minutes either writing or reviewing such offer letters. For 
sponsors, the Department estimates an aggregate burden of $6,048 (384 
new teachers multiplied by 0.5 hours multiplied by $31.50 per hour 
weighted wage). This is not a new cost. For host schools, the 
Department estimates an aggregate burden of $8,279 (384 new teachers 
multiplied by $43.12 weighted wage of the average U.S. public school 
administrator multiplied by 0.5 hours).
Program Extension
    In regard to program extensions, as set forth at 22 CFR 62.24(k), 
sponsors must review host school extension letters and supporting 
materials, send extension applications they support to the Department 
for review, and notify host schools regarding the status of their 
extension requests. The Department estimates that these additional 
collection requirements will cost $2,520, one hour burden multiplied by 
the hourly weighted wage of $31.50 for an estimated 250 extending 
exchange teachers; or $2,520 for the 32 percent of 250 yearly extending 
exchange teachers or 80 exchange teachers, who are likely to be 
affiliated with small sponsor organizations. It is estimated that the 
hour burden to host schools affiliated with small sponsors to submit 
letters for teachers extending to a fourth or fifth year is $3,450 (80 
exchange teachers multiplied by $43.12 weighted wage for a school 
administrator multiplied by one hour). In addition, small sponsors may 
incur an estimated $400 per year associated with keeping records for

[[Page 4951]]

extension requests (80 extending teachers per year multiplied by $5), 
or a total of $1,200 for 80 extending teachers multiplied by $5 
multiplied by three years for the entire duration of such extension 
request recordkeeping. The $5 per record cost is based on estimates 
provided by several private sector records storage companies at an 
average of $20 per cubic foot box divided by an estimated four teacher 
cross-cultural project records per box, which includes room for 
potential storage of larger items teachers may submit to document their 
exchange experience, or to cover the cost of electronic file archival 
storage.
Program Disclosure
    22 CFR 62.24(g) requires sponsors to disclose fees and costs to 
exchange teachers at the time of their recruitment, selection into the 
program, and signing of their contracts with host schools. Department 
collections already include 0.5 burden hours for program disclosure by 
sponsors. The Department estimates total requirements in this area 
annually will cost $12,096 (384 new exchange teachers associated with 
small sponsors multiplied by $31.50 weighted wage multiplied by a total 
of one hour), or new costs of $6,048 (384 new exchange teachers 
associated with small sponsors multiplied by $31.50 weighted wage 
multiplied by a total of 0.5 hours).
Cross-Cultural Activity Component and Related Annual Report
    The final rule at 22 CFR 62.24(h) requires sponsors to assist 
exchange teachers with their cross-cultural activity components and to 
collect exchange teachers' annual reports detailing their fulfillment 
of the required cross-cultural activity components. The Department 
estimates that this assistance and the collection of these reports 
annually will cost $40,320, or one burden hour at $31.50 weighted 
hourly wage multiplied by 1,280 teachers affiliated with small sponsors 
(32 percent of 4,000) multiplied by one hour, or new costs of $20,160, 
or 0.5 burden hours at $31.50 weighted hourly wage multiplied by 1,280 
exchange teachers affiliated with small sponsors.
    In addition, small sponsor cataloguing and storing of annual 
reports with cross-cultural activity components would cost small 
sponsors $11,200 annually (7,000 reports requiring storage multiplied 
by 0.32 multiplied by $5 per report). The $5 annual cost is based upon 
conservative private sector estimates of onsite record storage in the 
office environment per cubic foot of records. The Department estimates 
that each annual report, with paper and other addenda, could take up to 
one-quarter cubic feet of space.
    Summary: Collectively, this regulation will impose new costs of no 
more than $47,176 to the 16 small program sponsors. The additional cost 
of this regulation divided by the total number of exchange teachers 
associated with small business (1,280) is $37. In 2014, the 16 small 
sponsors ranged in the number of exchange teachers they sponsored 
annually as follows: Six of the 16 small businesses brought in no more 
than seven exchange teachers for the year 2014, which meant a new 
burden cost of $259. For these businesses, annual revenue averaged 
around seven million dollars, and this amount was far less than one-
half of one percent of their revenues. Six small businesses brought in 
between 12 to 50 exchange teachers annually at a maximum cost of 
$1,850; one small business sponsored 133 exchange teachers, which 
computes to a cost of $4,921; and two sponsored around 200 teachers, 
which computes to a cost of around $7,400. For these businesses, annual 
revenue ranged from $695,000 to six million dollars, and was in all 
cases, less than 1.5 percent of their revenue. For the four small 
businesses that recruited the largest number of new exchange teachers 
(as many as 282 exchange teachers) in 2014, the cost of this regulation 
is estimated to be no greater than $10,434. For these businesses, 
annual revenues ranged from five to seven million dollars, and the new 
regulatory cost was less than one percent of their revenues. The 
Department certifies that this rule will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The total 
cost burden to host schools affiliated with small businesses is $20,008 
or around $16 per school ($20,008 divided by 1,280 host schools).

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    The Department is of the opinion that the Exchange Visitor Program 
is a foreign affairs function of the U.S. Government, and that rules 
governing the conduct of this function are exempt from the requirements 
of Executive Orders 12866 and 13563. The Department has nevertheless 
reviewed these regulations to ensure their consistency with the 
regulatory philosophy and principles set forth in those Executive 
Orders and submitted the rule to the Office of Management and Budget's 
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. The regulations governing 
the Teacher category of the Exchange Visitor Program were last amended 
on March 19, 1993.
    First, the regulations set forth in this final rule include a 
requirement for sponsors to provide full transparency on all fees and 
costs associated with teacher exchanges. The Department believes that 
requiring sponsors to provide foreign teachers at the time of 
recruitment with a comprehensive summary of total program fees and 
costs would greatly enhance transparency and better ensure that 
exchange teachers understand the financial obligations they assume when 
choosing to participate in the Exchange Visitor Program. The Department 
believes that sponsors already prepare such comprehensive summaries as 
a business practice. The cost of this requirement will come from adding 
a summary to the existing sponsor application and Web site and 
disseminating this fee and cost summary to the individual exchange 
teacher at the time of selection into the program, and is estimated at 
one hour, or 0.5 additional burden hours, for an estimated 4,000 
sponsor collections from host schools to disclose fee and cost 
information multiplied by $31.50 sponsor weighted wage, or $126,000 
divided by two, or a $63,000 new cost.
    Second, both exchange teachers and sponsors will accrue costs from 
the application process. Foreign teacher applicants who are chosen for 
the Teacher program must demonstrate that they meet the eligibility and 
selection requirements set forth in 22 CFR 62.24(d)-(e), including 
demonstrating their qualifications for teaching at either the primary, 
including pre-kindergarten, or secondary levels in schools in their 
home country; that they are working as a teacher in their home country 
at the time of application; and that they have at least two years of 
full-time teaching experience. They must show that they have, at a 
minimum, a degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree in either 
education or the academic subject field in which they plan to teach. 
They also must demonstrate that they have the requisite English 
language proficiency, provide references to their good character, and 
ensure that they meet the teaching requirements of the U.S. state in 
which they are placed, under the requirements of 22 CFR 62.24(d)-(e). 
It is anticipated that it will take 1,200 new exchange teachers six 
hours for a total of 7,200 hours to document their eligibility at 
$26.26 per hour weighted wage for a total cost of $189,072. The figure 
of $26.26 weighted wage per hour for exchange teachers approximates, 
according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the private sector 
Teacher Portal (a Web site summarizing teacher salaries nationwide at

[[Page 4952]]

www.teacherportal.com), the average teacher salary in the past academic 
year for teachers having under ten years of experience (the Exchange 
Visitor Program's main applicants) plus benefits of 30 percent of 
salary.
    Sponsors must screen exchange teachers before accepting them for 
the program and placing them in a suitable host school. Sponsors, 
therefore, must verify the educational and other qualifications of each 
foreign teacher applicant to determine whether he or she satisfies all 
selection criteria; review references for each foreign teacher 
attesting to that teacher's good reputation, character and teaching 
skills; ensure that each selected foreign teacher possesses sufficient 
proficiency in the English language to function in American classrooms 
as well as on a day-to-day basis; check, if applicable, that a home 
school letter stating the school's willingness to work with the 
exchange teacher on a cross-cultural component has been submitted; 
check that host schools appoint exchange teachers to temporary 
positions and that these teachers' salaries fall within the range paid 
to U.S. teachers; and verify that each exchange teacher meets the 
requirements of the state in which he or she will teach. It is 
estimated that 54 sponsors will need 2 hours, an increase of 0.5 hours, 
to review 1,200 successful exchange teacher applications at $31.50 
weighted wage for a total cost of $75,600 (and total new costs of 
$18,900).
    Third, an exchange teacher who qualifies for the program by virtue 
of having completed an advanced degree in education or in an academic 
subject matter that he or she intends to teach or that is directly 
related to his or her teaching subject field (see 22 CFR 
62.24(d)(1)(ii)) also must provide a letter from the head of a school 
(or another individual in an appropriate position of authority to speak 
for the school within the foreign country's school system) in another 
country, preferably that exchange teacher's home country, which states 
that school's willingness to work with the exchange teacher on the 
cross-cultural component. It will take an estimated 50 exchange 
teachers two hours to organize receipt of such a letter within their 
home country, to include a translation if not in English, and provide 
the letter as part of their application package, at $26.26 weighted 
wage multiplied by 50 multiplied by two burden hours, for a total of 
$2,626.
    Fourth, sponsors must ensure that Forms DS-2019 are not issued 
until potential exchange teachers have received and accepted written 
offers of full-time teaching positions from the accredited primary 
(including pre-kindergarten level) or secondary schools in which they 
will teach. This is not a new cost for sponsors. Sponsors will need to 
collect written offers of each exchange teacher's fulltime teaching 
position from the placement schools, and these placement schools will 
need to provide the written offer letters, estimated at a 0.5 hour 
burden. Furthermore, host schools will have an additional 0.5 hour 
burden to attest that exchange teacher appointments to positions within 
accredited primary or secondary schools are temporary, even if the 
teaching positions are permanent, and do not lead to tenure; and that 
these positions have duties, responsibilities, hours of employment and 
compensation commensurate with those of similarly-situated U.S. 
teachers in the school district or host school where that exchange 
teacher is assigned to teach. The cost to host schools is estimated at 
$51,774 annually ($43.12 weighted wage for a middle level school 
administrator multiplied by one hour multiplied by 1,200 schools) and 
the cost to sponsors at $18,900 ($31.50 weighted wage multiplied by 0.5 
hours multiplied by 1,200 new exchange teachers).
    In addition, it is estimated that host schools, numbering around 
250, that wish to extend their exchange teacher's program into the 
fourth or fifth year, will need one hour to fulfill extension 
requirements, estimated at $43.12 multiplied by 250, for a total cost 
of $10,780. Sponsors will need to review these applications, estimated 
to take one hour at a weighted wage of $31.50 multiplied by 250, for a 
total cost of $7,875. This is a new cost for sponsors. Sponsors also 
will need to keep on file the criteria and supporting documentation 
justifying exchange teacher extensions for no less than three years. 
Recordkeeping costs for keeping 250 extension requests on file annually 
at $5 per exchange teacher result in a total for all sponsors of 
$1,250. The cost is based on average private sector estimates of file 
storage costs in an office environment per one-quarter-cubic foot of 
files.
    Finally, to ensure that this program remains an educational and 
cultural exchange program, the Department mandates that exchange 
teachers organize an activity in a public setting where there is direct 
interaction with host school students or with the host community and, 
in addition, organize an activity that involves U.S. students in a 
dialogue or other activity with schools or students in another country, 
preferably the exchange teacher's home school. It is estimated that it 
will take an exchange teacher three hours to perform the cross-cultural 
activity component and file his or her report with the sponsor, at 
$26.26 weighted wage multiplied by 4,000 teachers, for a total of 
$315,120 annually. In addition, the Department estimates that it will 
take sponsors one hour, a 0.5 hour increase, to assist the exchange 
teacher with the cross-cultural component and review these reports, 
which, at $31.50 per hour weighted wage for up to 4,000 reports, will 
total $126,000 annually (or $63,000 in new costs). Recordkeeping for 
sponsors' maintenance of cross-cultural reports on file for three years 
(an estimated 7,000 files multiplied by $5 per exchange teacher) comes 
to a total of $35,000 annually or $105,000 over the required three 
years of retention. The cost is based on average private sector 
estimates of file storage costs in an office environment per one-
quarter cubic foot of files or by electronic means.
    Teacher exchange programs conducted under the authorities of the 
Exchange Visitor Program promote mutual understanding by providing 
foreign teachers the opportunity to teach in U.S. primary and secondary 
schools and participate in daily educational curricula in the United 
States. Foreign teachers participating in the Exchange Visitor Program 
gain an understanding of and an appreciation for the similarities and 
differences between their own cultures and that of the United States. 
Upon their return home, these teachers enrich their schools and 
communities with their fresh perspectives of U.S. culture. Teacher 
exchanges also foster enduring relationships and lifelong friendships 
that help build longstanding ties between the people of the United 
States and other countries. In reciprocal fashion, U.S. primary and 
secondary school teachers and students are provided opportunities to 
increase their knowledge and understanding of the world through these 
friendships.
    Although the benefits of these exchanges to the United States and 
its people cannot be monetized, the Department is nonetheless of the 
opinion that such benefits far outweigh the costs associated with this 
regulation. The non-monetary benefits to the Teacher exchange program 
contained in this rule are many: In conducting a cross-cultural 
component, the exchange teacher will acquaint a wide number of students 
in the host school and members of the host community with the teacher's 
home culture, and students in the exchange teacher's home and host 
countries will have the opportunity to learn about each other's 
cultures. In addition, requiring sponsors to disclose

[[Page 4953]]

fees and costs of the exchange to prospective exchange teachers at the 
time of recruitment and at the time of program selection will protect 
the exchange teacher and also may reduce program costs in the long run, 
as the disclosures can reduce turnover resulting from teachers who opt 
to return home early after facing unexpected costs. Finally, permitting 
individuals who have an advanced degree to apply for the program 
shortly after completing that degree will enable additional qualified, 
highly educated and knowledgeable exchange teachers to participate in 
the program.

Executive Order 12988

    The Department has reviewed this rulemaking in light of sections 
3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988 to eliminate ambiguity, 
minimize litigation, establish clear legal standards, and reduce 
burdens.

Executive Orders 12372 and 13132--Federalism

    Acknowledging that the administration of schools is primarily a 
state function, the Department finds that this regulation will not have 
substantial direct effect on the states, on the relationships between 
the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power 
and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, 
in accordance with section 6 of Executive Order 13132, it is determined 
that this rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to 
require consultations or warrant the preparation of a federalism 
summary impact statement. Executive Order 12372, regarding 
intergovernmental consultation on federal programs and activities, does 
not apply to this rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule requires new collection of information by sponsors for 
screening, program disclosure, the cross-cultural component, and 
program extensions under an existing collection. Under the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, all agencies are 
required to submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for 
review and approval the reporting and recordkeeping requirements 
contained in any rule covered under the PRA. The information collection 
requirements contained in this rulemaking are issued pursuant to the 
PRA and OMB Control Number 1405-0147, and consist of Form DS-7000 
(within the overall collection that includes Forms DS-3036, DS-3037 and 
DS-7000).
    The Department submitted an information collection request to OMB 
for Forms DS-3036, DS-3037 and DS-7000 in spring 2014 for review and 
approval under the PRA, and did not receive substantive comments on the 
collection. The collection renewal was approved by the OMB on March 21, 
2014. The changes requested here were not added to the collection at 
that time because the collection would have expired before the final 
Teacher rule would enter into effect. The Department received comments 
in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that touched on the 
paperwork burden associated with the proposed rule. These comments were 
addressed in the supplementary information section.
    No amendments are required under this rulemaking for Forms DS-3036 
and DS-3037, but amendments are requested under this rulemaking for 
Form DS-7000.
    30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: DS-3036, DS-3037 
and DS-7000 Recording, Reporting and Data Collection Requirements--
Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)
    Title: Submission to OMB of proposed collection of information.
    The Department of State has submitted the information collection 
described below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for 
approval.
    Direct requests for additional information regarding the collection 
listed in this notice, including requests for copies of the proposed 
collection instrument and supporting documents, to the Office of Policy 
and Program Support, ECA/EC, SA-5, Floor 5, U.S. Department of State, 
2200 C Street NW., Washington, DC 20522-0505; fax: (202) 632-2701; 
email: JExchanges@state.gov.
     Title of Information Collection: Recording, Reporting, and 
Data Collection--Student and Exchange Visitor Information System 
(SEVIS).
     OMB Control Number: 1405-0147.
     Type of Request: Revision of a Currently Approved 
Collection.
     Originating Office: Bureau of Educational and Cultural 
Affairs, Office of Private Sector Exchange, ECA/EC.
     Form Number: Forms DS-3036, DS-3037 and DS-7000.
     Respondents: Foreign teachers wishing to participate as an 
Exchange Visitor Program teacher, schools hosting exchange teachers on 
the Exchange Visitor Program, U.S. government and public and private 
organizations wishing to become U.S. Department of State designated 
sponsors authorized to conduct exchange visitor programs, and 
Department of State designated sponsors.
     Estimated Number of Respondents: 191,675 (DS-3036--60; DS-
3037--1,415; DS-7000--190,200).
     Estimated Number of Responses: 1,558,859 (DS-3036--60; DS-
3037--2,830; DS-7000--1,555,969).
     Average Time per Response: DS-3036--8 hours; DS-3037--20 
minutes; DS-7000--50 minutes.
     Total Estimated Burden: 1,328,207 hours (DS-3036--480 
hours; DS-3037--943 hours; DS-7000--1,326,784 hours).
     Frequency: On Occasion.
     Obligation To Respond: Required to Obtain or Retain a 
Benefit.
    Estimate of the total new annual burden (in hours) associated with 
the collection.
    The estimate of the total new annual burden for sponsors for the 
Teacher section of 22 CFR part 62 is two and one-half hours. 
Previously, a non-weighted wage of $20 was used to calculate sponsor 
costs for Form DS-7000. Therefore, some of the cost increase indicated 
in this rule stems from using the higher weighted wage figure of $31.50 
for sponsors in this submission. New costs for sponsors collectively 
(not including recordkeeping) based on the weighted wage of $31.50 are 
$189,025 and based on the non-weighted wage of $20 are $133,250. (A 
difference of $55,775 of the overall new sponsor costs are thus 
attributed to using a weighted wage in these calculations.) In 
addition, $506,818 total costs are applicable to exchange teachers, 
calculated using the weighted wage of $26.26, based on the time it 
takes them to complete their application to the program and carry out 
cross-cultural activities. Costs applicable to host schools, using the 
weighted wage or $43.12, are $62,524 for providing exchange teachers 
with offer letters, making attestations to sponsors regarding temporary 
positions and commensurate compensation, and collecting information to 
file exchange teacher extensions. Individual cost figures associated 
with Form DS-7000 are summarized below:
     Provision by sponsors, at the time of recruitment and 
selection, of a summary of total fees and costs as set forth by 22 CFR 
62.24(g): $126,000 total costs, of which $63,000 are new costs. (0.5 
hours new or one hour total burden hours multiplied by 4,000 host 
schools to gather information on fees and costs for recruitment and 
provide information on fees and costs to selected teachers from this 
data at $31.50 weighted wage).
     Document collection by potential exchange teachers to 
prove their eligibility under 22 CFR 62.24(d)-(e):

[[Page 4954]]

$189,072 new cost. (Six hours multiplied by 1,200 new exchange teachers 
multiplied by $26.26 weighted wage).
     Sponsor screening of exchange teachers before accepting 
them for the program and matching them to a suitable host school under 
22 CFR 62.24(d)-(f): $75,600, of which $18,900 are new costs. (0.5 new 
and two hours total burden multiplied by review of 1,200 exchange 
teacher files multiplied by $31.50 weighted wage).
     Documentation to be provided, including translation, if 
applicable, by exchange teachers qualifying for the program by virtue 
of having completed an advanced degree as set forth at 22 CFR 
62.24(d)(1)(ii): $2,626 (Two hours multiplied by 50 exchange teachers 
multiplied by $26.26 weighted wage).
     Sponsor verification that Forms DS-2019 are not issued 
until potential exchange teachers have received and accepted written 
offers of full-time teaching positions from the accredited host school, 
as set forth at 22 CFR 62.24(f)(1): $18,900. This is not a new cost. 
(0.5 hours multiplied by 1,200 exchange teachers at $31.50 weighted 
wage).
     Host School provision of written offer letters of full-
time teaching and attestations of temporary status of teaching 
positions and commensurateness of compensation at 22 CFR 62.24(f)(1) 
and (4)-(5): $51,744. (One hour multiplied by 1,200 schools hosting 
exchange teachers at $43.12 weighted wage).
     Host schools that wish to extend their exchange teacher's 
program into a fourth and/or fifth year will need to provide 
documentation to the sponsor as set forth at 22 CFR 62.24(k): $10,780. 
(One hour to fulfill extension requirements multiplied by 250 exchange 
teachers at $43.12 weighted wage).
     Sponsor review of host school request for extension as set 
forth at 22 CFR 62.24(k): $7,875 in new costs. (One hour to fulfill 
extension requirements multiplied by 250 exchange teachers at $31.50 
weighted wage).
     Exchange teacher organization of the cross-cultural 
program component and writing of related report under 22 CFR 62.24(h): 
$315,120. (Three hours multiplied by 4,000 exchange teachers on program 
at $26.26 weighted wage).
     Sponsor assistance to exchange teachers on the cross-
cultural component and review of their reports under 22 CFR 62.24(h): 
$126,000, of which $63,000 are new costs. (One hour multiplied by 4,000 
exchange teachers at $31.50 weighted wage).
    Additional new annual record-keeping is as follows:
     Recordkeeping for exchange teachers on extension: 250 
files of extending exchange teachers annually at $5 per file to equal 
$1,250, which are new costs.
     Storing annual report with cross-cultural component: 7,000 
exchange teachers multiplied by $5 per teacher to equal $35,000, which 
are new costs.
    Abstract of collection.
    The collection is the continuation of information collected and 
needed by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in 
administering the Exchange Visitor Program (J-Nonimmigrant) under the 
provisions of the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act, as 
amended, 22 U.S.C. 2451 et seq. This final rule will require amendment 
of Form DS-7000 (Non-SEVIS Collection), as follows:
    The Department requires sponsors under 22 CFR 62.24(g) to provide 
foreign teachers at the time of recruitment and again at the time of 
selection with a summary of program fees and costs, thereby enhancing 
transparency and better ensuring that exchange teachers understand the 
financial obligations they assume when choosing to participate in the 
Exchange Visitor Program. The cost of this requirement will come from 
adding a summary to the existing sponsor recruiting materials and Web 
site and disseminating this fee and cost summary to the individual 
exchange teacher at the time of selection into the program.
    Successful foreign teacher applicants must demonstrate to the 
sponsor, as set forth under 22 CFR 62.24(d)-(e), that they meet 
qualifications for teaching at the primary, including pre-kindergarten, 
or secondary levels in schools in their home country; are working as a 
teacher in their home country at the time of application; and have at 
least two years of full-time teaching experience. They must show that 
they have, at a minimum, a degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's 
degree in either education or the academic subject field in which they 
plan to teach, demonstrate English language proficiency, provide 
references to their good character, and ensure that they meet the 
teaching requirements of the U.S. state in which they are placed. An 
exchange teacher who qualifies for the program by virtue of having 
completed an advanced degree in education or in an academic subject 
matter that he or she intends to teach or that is directly related to 
his or her teaching subject field must provide, under 22 CFR 
62.24(e)(4), a letter signed by the head of a school (or another 
individual in an appropriate position of authority to speak for the 
school within the foreign country's school system) in another country, 
preferably that exchange teacher's home country, which states that 
school's willingness to work with the exchange teacher on the cultural 
component.
    In addition, as set forth in 22 CFR 62.24(d)-(f), sponsors must 
screen prospective exchange teachers before accepting them for the 
program and must match them with a suitable host school. Such screening 
includes verifying the educational and other qualifications of each 
foreign teacher applicant to determine whether he or she satisfies all 
selection criteria; reviewing references for each foreign teacher 
attesting to that teacher's good reputation, character, and teaching 
skills; ensuring that each selected foreign teacher possesses 
sufficient proficiency in the English language to function in American 
classrooms as well as on a day-to-day basis; checking, if applicable, 
that a home school letter stating that school's willingness to work 
with the exchange teacher on a cross-cultural component has been 
submitted; checking that host schools appoint exchange teachers to 
temporary positions and that these teachers' salaries fall within the 
range paid to similarly-situated U.S. teachers; and verifying that each 
foreign teacher meets the requirements of the state in which he or she 
will teach, including criminal background check requirements.
    Host schools, as set forth at 22 CFR 62.24(f)(1), will need to 
provide the sponsor written offers of each exchange teacher's full-time 
teaching position from the placement schools. In addition, host schools 
that wish to extend their exchange teacher's program into the fourth or 
fifth year will need to have sponsors apply on their behalf to the 
Department for an extension, as set forth in 22 CFR 62.24(k). As also 
set forth in 22 CFR 62.24(k), sponsors will need to collect and submit 
extension requests to the Department and reply to the host school.
    Finally, to ensure that this program remains an educational and 
cultural exchange program, the Department mandates under 22 CFR 
62.24(h) that exchange teachers organize an activity in a public 
setting where there is direct interaction with host school students or 
with the host community and, in addition, involve U.S. students in a 
dialogue or other activity with schools or students in another country, 
preferably with the exchange teacher's home school. Additional costs 
will accrue to sponsors, who will need to assist exchange teachers with 
the cross-

[[Page 4955]]

cultural component and review their cross-cultural activity reports, 
and to exchange teachers, who will need to carry out and report on 
these activities.
Additional Information
    The total number of sponsor organizations designated by the 
Department to conduct teacher exchange program activities is 54. Around 
1,200 new exchange teachers are expected annually in the Teacher 
exchange category to conduct exchanges in a similar number of new host 
schools, with an estimated 2,300 additional exchange teachers and host 
schools continuing their exchange on three year programs, and 250 
exchange teachers annually extending their exchanges times two years, 
the duration of the permissible extension period, equaling an 
additional 500 exchange teachers, for a total of up to 4,000 exchange 
teachers in the United States at a given time.

List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 62

    Cultural exchange programs; Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements.

    Accordingly, 22 CFR part 62 is amended as follows:

PART 62--EXCHANGE VISITOR PROGRAM

0
1. The authority citation for Part 62 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority:  8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(J), 1182, 1184, 1258; 22 U.S.C. 
1431 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 2451 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 2651(a); Pub. L. 
105-277, Div. G, 112 Stat. 2681 et seq.; Reorganization Plan No. 2 
of 1977, 3 CFR, 1977 Comp. p. 200; E.O. 12048 of March 27, 1978; 3 
CFR, 1978 Comp. p. 168; Pub. L. 104-208, Div. C, 110 Stat. 3009-546, 
as amended; Pub. L. 107-56, 416, 115 Stat. 354; and Pub. L. 107-173, 
116 Stat. 543.


0
2. Section 62.24 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  62.24  Teachers.

    (a) Purpose. The regulations in this section govern exchange 
visitors who teach full-time in accredited public and private U.S. 
primary and secondary schools (K-12), including pre-kindergarten 
language immersion programs offered as regular courses of study by 
accredited primary schools. Programs in this category promote the 
interchange of U.S. and foreign teachers and enhance mutual 
understanding between the people of the United States and other 
countries. Exchange teachers sharpen their professional skills and 
participate in cross-cultural activities in schools and communities, 
and they return home after the exchange to share their experiences and 
increased knowledge of the United States and the U.S. educational 
system. Such exchanges enable foreign teachers to understand better 
U.S. culture, society and teaching practices at the primary and 
secondary levels, and enhance U.S. students' knowledge of foreign 
cultures, customs and teaching approaches.
    (b) Designation. The Department may, in its discretion, designate 
bona fide programs satisfying the objectives in paragraph (a) of this 
section as exchange visitor programs in the Teacher category.
    (c) Definitions. In addition to those definitions set forth in 
Sec.  62.2, the following definitions apply to the Teacher category of 
the Exchange Visitor Program:
    (1) Accredited primary or accredited secondary school: Any publicly 
or privately operated primary or secondary institution for educating 
children in the United States that offers mainly academic programs and 
is duly accredited by the appropriate academic accrediting authority of 
the jurisdiction in which such institution is located.
    (2) Full-time teaching: A minimum of 32 hours per week of teaching 
or teaching-related administrative activities.
    (3) Home country school: An exchange teacher's school in his or her 
country of nationality or last legal country of residence.
    (4) Host school: The U.S.-accredited primary or secondary school in 
which a sponsor places an exchange teacher pursuant to the exchange 
teacher's written acceptance of the placement.
    (5) International school: A school that is so designated by its 
school district, state, or other applicable governing authority, or one 
whose curriculum focuses predominantly on international aspects of the 
subject matter taught and/or language immersion, or one that 
predominantly follows a national curriculum of a foreign country.
    (6) Language immersion program: A program that is a regular course 
of study offered by an accredited school having sustained and enriched 
instruction, in a language not native to the majority of the student 
population, that occurs for at least fifty percent of the school day.
    (7) Virtual exchange: A technology-enabled, sustained, people-to-
people cross-cultural educational program that may supplement the goals 
of an in-person exchange and integrates global knowledge, cultural 
awareness, and/or foreign language into the classroom or other setting.
    (d) Teacher eligibility. Foreign nationals are eligible to 
participate in exchange visitor programs as full-time teachers if, at 
the time of initial application to the sponsor, an individual making 
such application demonstrates to the satisfaction of the sponsor that 
he or she:
    (1) Either:
    (i) Meets the qualifications for teaching at the primary, including 
pre-kindergarten, or secondary levels in schools in his or her home 
country; is working as a teacher in his or her home country at the time 
of application; and has at least two years of full-time teaching 
experience; or
    (ii) Is not working as a teacher in his or her home country at the 
time of application, but otherwise meets the qualifications for 
teaching at the primary (including pre-kindergarten) or secondary 
levels in schools in the home country; has had at least two years of 
full-time teaching experience within the past eight years; and, within 
12 months of his or her application submission date for the program, 
has or will have completed an advanced degree (beyond a degree 
equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree) in education or in an academic 
subject matter that he or she intends to teach or that is directly 
related to his or her teaching subject field;
    (2) Possesses, at a minimum, a degree equivalent to a U.S. 
bachelor's degree in either education or the academic subject field in 
which he or she intends to teach;
    (3) Satisfies the teaching eligibility standards of the U.S. state 
in which he or she will teach (e.g. meets minimum educational 
requirements, has passed teacher training coursework at a sufficiently 
proficient level, has provided an evaluation of foreign teaching 
preparation coursework, has demonstrated the requisite prior teaching 
experience), to include any required criminal background or other 
checks;
    (4) Is of good reputation and character; and
    (5) Agrees to come to the United States temporarily as a full-time 
teacher of record in an accredited primary or secondary school. 
Exchange teachers may teach a variety of subjects and levels at their 
host school or schools, if qualified, but at the pre-kindergarten 
level, may teach only in language immersion programs.
    (e) Teacher selection. Sponsors must screen foreign teachers 
carefully before accepting them for the program. In addition to the 
requirements set forth in Sec.  62.10 and all security checks required 
by U.S. state departments of education and host schools, sponsors also 
must:
    (1) Verify the qualifications of each foreign teacher to determine 
whether he or she satisfies the criteria set forth in paragraph (d) of 
this section;

[[Page 4956]]

    (2) Secure references from one colleague and one current or former 
supervisor of each foreign teacher, attesting to that teacher's good 
reputation, character and teaching skills;
    (3) Verify that each selected foreign teacher applicant possesses 
sufficient proficiency in the English language to function in U.S. 
classrooms and to function on a day-to-day basis, in accordance with 
the provision for selection of exchange visitors set forth at Sec.  
62.10(a)(2); and
    (4) Verify that each foreign teacher who is eligible for the 
program under paragraph (d)(1)(ii) of this section has a letter from 
the head of a school in another country, preferably that teacher's home 
country, which states that school's willingness to work with the 
exchange teacher on the cross-cultural activity component set forth in 
paragraph (h)(1)(ii). The foreign school with which the exchange 
teacher plans to work must be at the same academic level as the foreign 
teacher's proposed host school. The letter submitted as part of the 
foreign teacher's application package must be signed by the head of the 
school or another individual in an appropriate position of authority to 
speak for the school within the foreign country's school system; the 
official signing the letter must list both email and telephone contact 
information. The letter may be submitted in English or in the original 
language of the home country with an English translation; the name, 
title/organization and contact information of the translator must be 
noted on the translation.
    (f) Teaching position. Sponsors must ensure that:
    (1) Forms DS-2019 are not issued until foreign teacher applicants 
have received and accepted written offers of full-time teaching 
positions from the accredited primary (including pre-kindergarten 
level) or secondary schools in which they will teach;
    (2) Program dates coincide with the U.S. academic year cycle to 
ensure a smooth transition as exchange teachers arrive and depart, 
unless the sponsor notifies, and receives approval from, the Department 
for other exchange dates before the sponsor issues any Form DS-2019; 
sponsors should ensure that these dates are included in the exchange 
teacher's contract;
    (3) Exchange teachers comply with any applicable collective 
bargaining agreement;
    (4) Exchange teacher appointments to positions within accredited 
primary or secondary schools are temporary, even if the teaching 
positions are permanent, and do not lead to tenure; exchange teachers 
must be employees of either the host or home school during their 
exchange.
    (5) Teaching positions, including duties, responsibilities, hours 
of employment, and compensation, are commensurate with those of 
similarly-situated U.S. teachers in the school district or host school 
where that exchange teacher is assigned to teach; an exchange teacher, 
unless he or she is on a program where the Department is the sponsor, 
must be employed by and under the direct supervision and guidance of 
his or her host school and, where applicable, host school district; and
    (6) A pre-kindergarten level exchange teacher is assigned to teach 
full-time in an accredited host school (or in several schools within 
the same host school district, including at several academic levels, 
with prior permission from the Department). If an exchange teacher is 
placed in a private school where there is no host school district, then 
he or she must teach a full-time schedule of at least 32 hours in a 
school or schools located no more than 25 miles from the main host 
school; in such a situation, sponsors must ensure that reasonable and 
effective modes of transportation exist to such additional sites of 
activity. An exchange teacher may teach at the pre-kindergarten level 
only in a language immersion program offered as regular course of study 
by an accredited primary school.
    (g) Program disclosure. (1) As part of recruitment, in addition to 
the information required by Sec.  62.10(b)-(c), sponsors must provide 
on their main Web sites and in their recruiting materials a general 
summary of fees and other costs for the program. This summary should 
include, but not be limited to, the sponsor fee; foreign or domestic 
third party or partner fees; visa fee; the Student and Exchange Visitor 
Information System (SEVIS) fee; insurance costs; estimates for food, 
housing and local transportation costs; expected work-related 
deductions; and estimates or ranges for all other fees charged for and 
significant general costs related to participation in the teacher 
exchange program.
    (2) At the time a foreign teacher is selected for the program, and 
before the exchange visitor signs any contracts with the host school, 
sponsors and/or the host school must provide each individual exchange 
teacher the following information, either within the teacher's contract 
or in a separate document: The name, location, and brief description of 
the host school; the terms and conditions of compensation (with 
deductions from gross salary); any provisions affecting the ability of 
the exchange teacher to be accompanied abroad by a spouse or dependents 
(including any related assistance and allowances); a summary of the 
significant components of the program (including a statement of the 
teaching requirements and related professional obligations, as well as 
the required cross-cultural activity component as set forth in 
paragraph (h) of this section); specific information on the fees and 
costs for which the exchange teacher will be responsible while on 
exchange in that school district in accordance with paragraph (g)(1); 
anticipated housing options and cost implications; specific local 
transportation options between the exchange teacher's residence and the 
host school and transportation cost estimates; insurance costs for 
accident or illness coverage, repatriation of remains and medical 
evacuation as required by Sec.  62.14; estimated personal expense money 
for initial costs the exchange teacher may incur upon arrival in the 
United States prior to receiving his or her first paycheck; 
certification or licensure procedures and costs at the host school; 
administrative fees; and any placement fees. Exchange teacher 
compensation, unless provided directly to the exchange teacher through 
government funding, through continued support from the exchange 
teacher's home school, or from both the teacher's home and host school 
in a shared cost arrangement, must be paid directly by the host school 
or host school district in which the exchange teacher is placed.
    (h) Cross-cultural activity component. In addition to the 
requirements of Sec.  62.10:
    (1) Sponsors must require each exchange teacher to complete, within 
the United States, and during each academic year of program 
participation, at least one cross-cultural activity from each of the 
following two categories:
    (i) An activity for the teacher's classroom, larger host school or 
host school district population, or the community at large designed to 
give an overview of the history, traditions, heritage, culture, 
economy, educational system and/or other attributes of his or her home 
country. Sponsors of exchange teachers placed at international schools 
must require their exchange teachers to conduct at least one cross-
cultural activity per academic year outside the host school in nearby 
schools or communities where international opportunities may be more 
limited than those found in their host school; and
    (ii) An activity that involves U.S. student dialogue with schools 
or students in another country, preferably

[[Page 4957]]

in the exchange teacher's home school, through virtual exchange or 
other means, in order to supplement the goals of the in-person 
exchange.
    (2) Sponsors must collect annual reports from their exchange 
teachers detailing the cross-cultural activity component of their 
exchange program. The annual report does not have to be in a specific 
format, but must include the exchange teacher's full name and the 
program sponsor's name. The report section about the cross-cultural 
activity component must contain the following information:
    (i) The date(s) of each activity;
    (ii) The location of each activity;
    (iii) The audience for and participants in each activity;
    (iv) A general overview of each activity, including the topic; and
    (v) The estimated impact of each activity.
    (i) Location of the exchange. Exchange teachers must participate in 
exchange visitor programs at the accredited primary or secondary 
schools listed on their Forms DS-2019 or at location(s) where the 
institutions are involved in official school activities (e.g., school 
field trips, teacher development programs);
    (j) Duration of participation. Exchange teachers may be authorized 
to participate in the Exchange Visitor Program for the length of time 
necessary to complete the program, which may not exceed three years 
unless a specific extension of one or two years is authorized by the 
Department as set forth in paragraph (k) of this section.
    (k) Program extensions. (1) Sponsors may request from the 
Department an extension of an exchange teacher's exchange by either one 
or two years, but not by a semester or by other fractions of academic 
years.
    (2) The sponsor's request for extension must include:
    (i) A letter of reference on official letterhead written by the 
host school or host school district administrator responsible for 
overseeing the exchange teacher that describes the exchange teacher's 
performance during the previous three years of the exchange and how the 
host school has benefited from the exchange teacher's presence; and
    (ii) a document describing how the exchange teacher over the 
previous three years has engaged his or her classroom, the wider host 
school or host school district, or community through the cross-cultural 
activity component, if these activities are not already detailed in the 
exchange teacher's annual reports.
    (3) Sponsors must submit their extension request and supporting 
documentation for the extension to the Department no later than three 
months prior to the beginning of the desired extension period for the 
exchange teacher.
    (4) Sponsor requests for extension must include proof of payment of 
the required non-refundable extension fee as set forth in Sec.  62.17.
    (5) The Department, at its discretion, may authorize a sponsor to 
extend an exchange teacher's participation for either one or two 
additional years beyond the initial three-year exchange period. 
Sponsors must comply with all Department guidance on creating an 
extension record for the teacher within SEVIS.
    (6) Sponsors that applied for a two-year extension on behalf of a 
host school and its exchange teacher and received permission from the 
Department only for a one-year extension may apply again to extend the 
program of that host school's exchange teacher for one additional year 
by following the procedures set forth in paragraphs (k)(2)-(4) of this 
section. The sponsor should include with such additional extension 
request a copy of the prior extension request submitted to enable the 
initial one-year extension.
    (l) Repeat participation. Foreign nationals who have successfully 
completed teacher exchange programs are eligible to participate in 
additional teacher exchange programs, provided that they have resided 
outside the United States for at least two years following the 
successful completion of their most recent teacher exchange program and 
continue to meet the eligibility requirements set forth in paragraph 
(d) of this section.

    Dated: January 14, 2016.
Robin J. Lerner,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange, Bureau of 
Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State.
[FR Doc. 2016-01421 Filed 1-28-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-05-P