DS-7002 FAQ’s for USAID Missions and Partners
- Which participants are required to have a completed DS-7002? Only those exchange visitors / participants who are categorized as Trainees in TraiNet. Though the vast majority of exchange visitors receive training while in the U.S. and USAID considers them "trainees" or "participant trainees", for purposes of the J-1 visa, the Trainee category is much narrower. Missions and partner organizations may want to review the definitions and regulations for exchange visitor categories to ensure that their exchange visitors are in the proper category.
- What are the definitions of the categories we can use, and when will I know to select the Trainee category? There are six exchange visitor categories, defined as follows:
- Student – The Exchange Visitor is entering the U.S. to study at a degree granting, post-secondary accredited educational institution. The Exchange Visitor may participate in a degree or a non-degree program. (See 22 CFR 62.23).
- Short-Term Scholar – The Exchange Visitor is entering the U.S. for a period up to six months for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating special skills at research institutions, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited educational institutions, or a similar type of institution (See 22 CFR 62.21).
- Specialist – The Exchange Visitor is an expert in a field of specialized knowledge and is entering the U.S. for a period up to one year to observe, consult, or demonstrate special skills (See 22 CFR 62.26).
- Research Scholar – The Exchange Visitor is entering the U.S. for a period up to five years primarily to conduct research, or observe or consult in connection with a research project at research institutions, corporate research facilities, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited institutions, or similar types of institutions (See 22 CFR 62.20). Note: Individuals may not travel as Research Scholars if they have traveled to the United States under an F or a J Visa within the previous 12 months, unless their presence in the U.S. was for less than six months. Furthermore, those Exchange Visitors who travel as Research Scholars may not return to the U.S. as a Research Scholar for two years following the completion of their program.
- Government Visitor – The Exchange Visitor is entering the U.S. for a period up to 18 months and is an individual who is influential or distinguished, selected by USAID to consult, observe, train, or demonstrate special skills (See 22 CFR 62.29).
- Trainee – The Exchange Visitor is entering the U.S. for a period up to 18 months to engage in training intended to enhance the Exchange Visitor's skills in his or her specialty or non-specialty. The Exchange Visitor's skills will be enhanced through participation in a structured training program and the program will improve the participant's knowledge of American techniques, methodologies, or expertise within the individual's field of endeavor (See 22 CFR 62.22). A "trainee" is an individual employed in a specialty or non-specialty area, typically at the pre-professional level. In the USAID context, most of the host country nationals who attend short courses, conferences, workshops, study tours or other programs in the U.S. are short-term scholars, rather than trainees. Note: If a Mission determines that an individual has mistakenly been classified in TraiNet (regardless of whether not a DS-2019 has been issued) as a trainee instead of as one of the other possible classifications above, you must cancel and re-enter their program in TraiNet. The category cannot be changed in TraiNet retroactively. The participant's program data would need to be re-entered, verified, approved and submitted under the correct category.
- What do we have to do differently in TraiNet? Although all sponsoring units such as USAID are required to use the new DS-7002 form as of July 19th, our actual authorization for use of the new Trainee category has not yet been processed by the State Department. Once State approves our application, TraiNet will be revised so that when you select the new Trainee Category in TraiNet Web, you will be reminded that you have to fill out the DS-7002. TraiNet Web will also provide you with a link to the DS-7002 pdf form. TraiNet Desktop user, you will not see this new reminder. We will be providing an additional reminder in the VCS so that the verifier can assist with the process.
- What do we have to do differently in VCS? If you are a verifier and the participant you are verifying is a Trainee, you will be asked to check a box to indicate that a DS-7002 was completed for this participant. You may also upload a scanned image of the form.
- Who keeps the DS-7002 after it has been signed? U.S.- bound Exchange Visitors must have the DS-7002 with them when they go for their visa interview at the consulate. Though the new regulations do not indicate that exchange visitors must keep this document with them throughout their training, USAID however asks that exchange visitors keep the DS-7002 with them along with their DS-2019 when they travel. It is also prudent for the Mission or partner organization, as appropriate, to maintain a copy in their files. It is also advisable to scan and upload the DS-7002 to the VCS.
- The DS-7002 asks us to provide information regarding phases of training and other information that is not particularly clear. How should these fields be completed? USAID is not aware of any guidance from the Department of State regarding the substantive fields of the form. Therefore, USAID asks that Missions and partners use common sense in completing these fields and attempt to be as responsive as possible.
- How do we go about getting the requisite signatures? USAID recognizes the logistical difficulties in getting the required signatures on the DS-7002. Therefore, we want to allow as much latitude as possible in this regard. Until further notice, Missions and partners may get the required signatures in the best and most convenient method available to them. This can include faxing and scanning the document. Mailing original signatures is not required at this point in time. The implementing organization will provide the supervisor signature. The Responsible Officer or Alternate Responsible Officer in Washington will provide the Sponsor signature on the form after the implementing organization and exchange visitor have signed. Please forward the signed version to Linda Walker: firstname.lastname@example.org, FAX 202-216-3229. The DS-2019 will be held by the RO or ARO in Washington until the DS-7002 is received. After signed by the RO or ARO, the DS-7002 will then be sent to the Mission along with the DS-2019, at which time the Mission must ensure that the participant takes the form with them to the consulate for their interview.
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Thank you, Jim Nindel