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US announces changes to visa program

Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – The State Department has announced it is making major changes to its premier student-exchange program following an investigation by The Associated Press that found widespread abuses.

The agency announced new rules Friday for the J-1 Summer Work and Travel Program, which brings more than 100,000 foreign college students to the Unites States each year.

The AP investigation found some participants working in strip clubs, not always willingly, while others were put in living and working conditions they compared to indentured servitude.

Officials say the new rules limit the hours and jobs participants can work and make clear the program is about fostering cultural understanding.

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