New regulation for 2011

A job offer is required prior to the visa interview. Students from six particular countries (Bulgaria, Russia, Romania, Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus) must have a job offer that has been confirmed by a sponsoring organization before the student can apply for a visa. Because of these requirements, employers and J-1 students must get a head start on the hiring and visa application process. These regulations have been initiated due to allegations of sex trade, illegal business practices, improper housing, and general vulnerability of J-1 visa recipients.

In 2011, according to a report in the New York Daily News, the United States Department of State announced that the same-sex partners of diplomats of foreign governments who move to a posting in the United States would now be allowed to apply for J-1 visas. Same-sex partners of people entering the United States for non-diplomatic reasons were not eligible under the new policy.

Previously, the same-sex partner of a foreign person working or studying in the United States on a nonimmigrant visa was generally eligible to apply for a B-2 visa. In 2013, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the United States could not define marriage as a union between one man and one woman as husband and wife. Since then, legally married same-sex partners have been treated the same as legally married opposite-sex partners for visa and other purposes.

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