Every year, there are a number of participants who wish to remain in the United States after their AFS Program has ended and this is called a “Program Release”. While the U.S. Immigration law does allow AFS Participants to remain legally in the U.S. for up to thirty days upon successful completion of their program AFS strongly discourages program releases this year due to the realities of COVID-19. AFS program benefits and medical coverage provided to students through AFS will cease after the date of the Program Release.
Arrangements for a ‘Program Release’ must be made by the AFS Staff in your hosted participant’s home country, in communication with your hosted participant’s parent(s)/guardian(s). The parent(s)/guardian(s)s must give their permission for their teen to remain in the U.S. at the end of the AFS Program and must sign a form releasing AFS from all responsibility for their teen upon the end of the AFS Program, acknowledging that they understand that all AFS Program services will end on that date, including medical coverage.
AFS Participants who ‘Program Release’ should receive their international e-ticket from their AFS Office via e-mail. In this case, the hosted participant will be responsible for arranging their own transportation from the host community to the airport a, from which their international flight will depart. Please note: Some partner countries may be willing to work closely with the parent(s)/guardian(s) to make the international booking for the hosted participant. This information, if possible, will be communicated to you at the time the ticket is mailed to you and your hosted participant.
If you have any further questions about your hosted participant remaining in the country after their scheduled departure date, ask your participant to contact their parent(s)/guardian(s) and ask them to contact the AFS office in their home country for detailed information on the Program Release option.
Deadline for Requesting Program Release/Personal Early Return
- Summer Departure: 1 May.
- Winter Departure: 20 November
Special note for Participants from China, Ghana, FLEX, CBYX and YES Programs:
Participants from China, Ghana, and those in the FLEX, CBYX and YES programs are NOT permitted to Program Release and must return home on the dates specified for those programs. For further information on eligibility for Program Release, please contact the National Service Center at 1-800-AFS-INFO (800-237-4636).