The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals has formed a coalition to protect the J1 Summer Work Travel program from a proposed rule that would make it difficult to recruit lifeguards from other countries.

Pool-management companies take issue with language in a new rulemaking that prohibits exchange visitors from working as lifeguards at single-guard facilities.

The proposed change, which the U.S. Department of State (DOS) announced in January, comes as many pool-management companies prepare to hire this year’s lifeguards — a good number of whom come from other countries via DOS’s Summer Work Travel program.

Though it hasn’t yet been made law, some sponsors — third-parties that arrange employment and housing for international students — are showing extra caution.

“What appears to be happening with some of the sponsors is that they’re treating the proposed rule as the defacto rule,” said Carl Chidlow, a Washington, D.C.-based lobbyist retained by APSP.

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