Exchange Visitor Program refers to the international exchange program administered by the United States to implement the Mutual Education and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, as amended, Public Law 87-256, 22 USC 2451, et seq. (1988). The purpose of the Act is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchanges. Educational and cultural exchanges assist in furthering the United States' foreign policy objectives.
The establishment and development of the Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) may extend as far back as January 1948, when the United States Congress passed the Information and Education Exchange Act, also known as the Smith-Mundt Act. The law was intended "to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the peoples of other countries" through:
* An information service to disseminate abroad information about the United States, its people, and its policies;
* An educational exchange service to cooperate with other nations in the interchange of persons, knowledge and skills; the rendering of technical and other services; and the interchange of developments in the field of education, arts, and sciences.