YLAI Professional Fellows Program Frequently Asked Questions

Common Questions from YLAI Professional Fellowship Program Finalists

What are the next steps in the visa application process?

Please contact the Public Affairs Section at your U.S. Embassy or nearest U.S. Consulate as soon as possible, and ask to speak with the Public Affairs or Cultural Affairs Officer. Please explain to the Public or Cultural Affairs Officer that you have been selected as a participant in the 2017 Young Leaders of the Americas (YLAI) Professional Fellows Program, and you want to verify application procedures for your J-1 visa and U.S. travel on October 4 for the program orientation. Please verify that your passport is valid through May 11, 2018, which is six months after the program ends and your anticipated departure from the U.S.

If I do not have a passport, will the program cover the cost of a passport?

No, the YLAI Professional Fellows Program will not cover the cost of a passport. It is the responsibility of the finalist to secure a passport.

I have a family and would like to bring them with me to the U.S. if I am selected. Is this allowed?

No, program rules prohibit YLAI Professional Fellows from bringing their dependents or other family members to the U.S. during the YLAI Professional Fellows Program. Visas will not be issued for dependents.

I am unable to participate in the program. Am I able to defer my acceptance to next year?

If the YLAI Professional Program occurs in 2018, we will allow you to pass through to the semi-finalist stage. Of course, there is no guarantee of participation in 2018 and you will need to compete with the other selected semifinalists for the program. You must notify the YLAI Professional Fellows Program at YLAI@meridian.org that you would like to defer. If you would like to update or change your application for next year, you must fill out a new application and will start the application process from the beginning.

I would like to transfer my spot in the fellowship to a colleague. Is this possible?

No, the finalists were selected as individuals and not as a company. You may not transfer your participation to your co-founder or other person in your entrepreneurship venture.

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