Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Attorney General's office send out renewal notices?

Notices are no longer mailed to International Student Placement Organizations. Organizations were notified in November 2003 to check the Attorney General's web site for updates and application renewal information.

When is the renewal application due?

The renewal deadline is January 15 of each year. Submission of renewal registration documents at least two months before the deadline will ensure timely registration. Maintaining current registration is important since California law requires that International Student Placement Organizations first obtain approval from the school and the California Attorney General's office before arranging for a student's arrival into the U.S.

What happens if I miss the January 15 deadline to renew my application?

The registration for an organization that does not renew its application as of January 15 each year is terminated as of that date and its name removed from our website. Your organization may re-apply as a new application. The new application will be effective on the date of approval.

Our organization is not current in its filing requirements with one or more government agencies. Why can't I renew my registration as an International Student Exchange Placement Organization?

An International Student Exchange Placement Organization must be in compliance with all local, state and federal statutes and regulations in order to remain registered in California. If not, the organization's registration will automatically terminate.

The instructions on the Registration page asks for a list of the exchange students sponsored in the previous year. If our academic semester runs from the fall through spring, do you want a list of students placed during the fall or the spring semester?

Since each organization must renew its registration by January 15 each year, the names of the students sponsored by your organization during the previous calendar year, from January through December, must be provided.

Application Item #3 asks for the in-state telephone agreement. Do we need an in-state agreement between the person answering the phone and our organization if the telephone number given is our organization's California business phone?

California organizations that have a business office need not provide an agreement but must state on the application the name of the person in the California office who will be responsible to answer questions. Only corporations hiring third parties responsible for the in-state telephone must provide an agreement between the third party and the organization.

What information should be included in the in-state telephone agreement?

The agreement, signed and dated by the third party and organization, must state that the third party agrees to be responsible for responding to in-state telephone calls for the organization in California and that the organization agrees to hire the third party for that purpose. It would be helpful to the organization to identify in the agreement the duties the third party is to provide to the organization. If the person responsible for the in-state phone is also an Area Manager or state coordinator, a copy of the standard employment agreement that the organization normally uses when hiring such employees is sufficient.

My organization no longer issues J1 visas for the students. We are hired by public and private schools to sponsor the exchange student while they are in California. Will we still need to register even though the schools issue the visas?

California law (Government Code section 12621) defines an ISEVPO organization as one that regularly arranges the placement of exchange students for the purpose of providing opportunity to attend schools up to grade K-12 in the U.S. It does not limit registration to the type of visa issued or whether the student will attend a public or private school.

My organization has been designated by the U.S. State Department to sponsor exchange students in any American school grades K-12. Why must we register with any other governmental agency when we are already designated to sponsor exchange students by the State Department?

When the U.S. State Department issues a designation letter to an organization that sponsors exchange students in any U.S. schools, it is with a requirement that the "sponsors shall remain in compliance with all local, state, federal and professional requirements necessary to carry out the activity for which they are designated." 22 CFR 62.9c. See also CCR 380(c).

We place students in California, but do not have a business office in the state. Our host families are "volunteers" and we do not pay them to take care of the exchange student. Why must we register?

If your organization places students in California schools, it is subject to California law. The purpose of the ISEVPO Act is to protect students attending schools in California. The character of the host family is not a criteria for registration and reporting.

Our organization is a for-profit corporation that sponsors foreign exchange students. What must I do if the U. S. State Department does not issue designation letters to for-profit corporations?

If placing foreign exchange students in California, for-profit corporations must register with the necessary California agencies, for example, the Secretary of State and the Attorney General's International Student Exchange Visitors Program. If the State Department does not issue a designation letter, as in your case, a notarized statement in lieu of a designation letter must be provided. The statement must declare that your organization has adhered to the standards and regulations of the ISEVPO Act.

Our organization is a nonprofit corporation that places foreign exchange students in California. In addition to registering with the Attorney General’s Registry of International Student Exchange Visitor Placement Organizations, must it also register with the Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts?

Yes. A nonprofit public benefit corporation, and any other person or entity who holds assets for charitable purposes, has an independent obligation to register and file annual reports with the Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts. These independent registration and reporting requirements are contained in the Supervision of Trustees and Fundraisers for Charitable Purposes Act (Government Code sections 12580-12599.8).