Every J-1 sponsor designated by the US Department of State is given an allotment of DS-2019 forms (approvals necessary for visa issuance) for the calendar year. This Certificate of Eligibility form is the required document which the J-1 visa applicant takes to the US embassy to have a J-1 visa issued.
In January 2012, the US Department of State announced that the annual allotments for each designated sponsor would be based on the number of J-1 participants who entered the United States on the respective program in 2011. Sponsors would be able to request program expansions in addition to this base number.
Due to an improved economy, a decrease in active designated sponsors, and increased awareness of the J-1 visa, a record number of applications for J-1 sponsorship have been submitted during the first half of the calendar year 2012 with US DOS generally not issuing additional Certificate of Eligibility forms to J-1 organizations.
Some J-1 organizations are still accepting compelling J-1 cases. Please see this news page for updates as matters develop