International Visitor Program

The International Visitor Program (IVP) is a people-to-people program under the Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) and is perfect if you are a specialist of distinction, nationally or internationally, recognized as a leader or seen as having great promise and potential in your field of specialization.

International Visitor Program IVP

 IVPHow Rusi danced his way to the United States on a International Visitor Program IVP

Rusi was an odd fellow to most people in the small Parsi community of Zanzibar — he loved dancing and this was considered abnormal for a man. The only people encouraging him were his parents. With a little help from them, he traveled to India, Indonesia and Europe, joining different dance programs and mastering Indian Kathakali and Odishi, Russian ballet, and even the kecak dance of Bali.

He made his first professional dance friends when the Martha Graham Dance Troupe performed in Mumbai and Rusi went backstage to introduce himself. This led to several friendships and workshops as well as an invitation to spend eight months in the United States demonstrating his dance and conducting workshops.

Rusi was excited but also stressed. How would he get to the USA? What sort of visa would he need? This was when his friend at the Martha Graham Dance Troupe told him that he might be eligible to visit under an innovative American initiative called the Exchange Visitor Program or EVP. One of its 15 categories was the International Visitor Program, and Rusi seemed like a perfect fit.

Rusi went online and did some research to check his eligibility and learned that he had to be a recognized specialist in his field, which he didn’t think he was. Zanzibar was famous for other Parsis, such as the late, legendary Freddie Mercury of the rock group Queen, but Rusi was still only an emerging talent who was drawing good reviews and lots of attention.

Fortunately for him, the International Visitor Program IVP recognized individuals of promise and potential as well.

Under the International Visitor Program IVP, Rusi could enter the United States on a J1 visa for a period no longer than a year to carry out a pre-planned and approved list of activities. During this period, he could consult on his specialty area, observe other American specialists, carry out research or conduct demonstrations and training workshops. He could participate in observation tours, discussions, consultations, professional meetings, conferences, workshops and travel as a way to better understand US culture and society.

The Martha Graham Dance Troupe approached the US Department of State to make a case for Rusi to be invited to the USA under the International Visitor Program’s J1 visa. To his utter delight, he was approved after a period of evaluation and one of 14 approved sponsor agencies assigned to help with his trip’s arrangements. Rusi will tell you today that that visit to the USA changed his international visibility as an artist and also the trajectory of his life.

You can get more information on the International Visitor Program IVP and its J-1 Visa from the detailed, user-friendly visa guides you get when you buy one of our Visa Plans. Please bear in mind that unlike other EVP programs, the International Visitor Program is the exclusive domain of the US Department of State, who alone can select participants and issue invitations.

If you have questions or would like clarifications, please send us an email and we’ll do our best to get back to you within 24 hours with an answer.