Q. What happens if I am injured when I am working? A. InterExchange Work & Travel USA students are protected by the same labor laws as U.S. citizens. All job-related injuries are covered by workers’ compensation. Your host employer should refer to his or her workers’ compensation insurance policy.
Q. What if I want to stay and work past the dates on the DS-2019 Form? A. Under no circumstance can the J-1 Visa or the DS-2019 Form be extended. For further information, please contact the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau (ICE). There are branches in most large cities, with the main office located in Washington D.C. The tourist visa allows a student to stay in the United States, but prohibits them from earning any money. Continuing to work after you have changed your status is ILLEGAL!
Q. What if I have not received my Social Security card? A. If six weeks have passed after you applied for your card and you have not received your card, don’t panic. Call the Social Security Administration at 1.800.772.1213. Stay on hold until you can speak with a customer service representative. Have your receipt ready and ask about the status of your Social Security number. You can also visit www.ssa.gov to find the phone number of the Social Security office closest to your workplace. If you have additional questions, please contact InterExchange.
Q. What should I do if my employer threatens to cancel my visa? A. InterExchange is your J-1 Visa sponsor and determines your status as a participant on our program. Your employer cannot cancel your visa or work eligibility as described on the DS-2019 Form. If your host employer threatens to cancel your visa, please call InterExchange at our free number, 1.800.621.1202.
Q. What am I allowed to do on my time off? A. You are allowed to do anything you like with your free time, as long as you remember that you have to follow the same laws as Americans. If there are additional rules for employee housing, you are expected to respect them and can be removed if you do not.
Q. Can I get more than one job? A. You can get as many jobs as you want within legal guidelines. However, your primary commitment is to your InterExchange host employer. It is the job offer from your original host employer that allowed you to obtain the J-1 Visa so you should be respectful of that. Remember to get verification and approval from InterExchange before changing jobs or accepting additional jobs.
Q. What should I do if I lose my passport or other documents? A. If you lose your passport or visa, go to your closest local police station and file a police report. Then contact your nearest Embassy or Consulate as soon as possible so that they can assist you in obtaining new documentation.
If you lose your DS-2019 Form, please contact InterExchange during regular office hours (Monday – Friday, 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time), and we will provide you with a replacement.
If you lose your Social Security card, you can apply for a replacement card at the local Social Security Office. To prevent identity theft, do not share your Social Security number or other personal ID information with anyone other than your employer, or authorized persons only when absolutely necessary (e.g., opening a bank account).
Q. Do I need to turn in my printed electronic I-94 admission record when leaving the U.S.? A. No, the CBP will record your departure electronically.
Q. What if I don’t like my job or have problems with my employer? A. It is important that you communicate with your employer to work out any conflicts. Many problems result from miscommunication. If you are unable to resolve the problem, call InterExchange and we will try to help.
Q. How do I book my flight home? A. InterExchange does not book airplane tickets and we do not keep your flight information in our files. If you need your flight information, we will do our best to help you by contacting our International Cooperator in your home country. This may take a few days, so please be patient. If you need to book a flight, please call an airline directly and follow the directions already given to you by the cooperator in your country.
Q. What if I would like to work longer than my work commitment date, but there are no available positions with my current employer? A. Please call InterExchange and we will try to place you in another position and/or location. It is important to remember that this will not extend the dates on your J-1 Visa nor your DS-2019 Form. If you plan to travel after your work commitment is over, please remember that you cannot work beyond the end date on your DS-2019 Form.
Q. What should I do if I want to participate in the InterExchange Work & Travel USA program again? A. If you had a great experience and would like to return, please fill out and return your evaluation for the program you have just completed. This evaluation gives us feedback on what we can improve about our program. You may receive a new DS-2019 and J-1 Visa by returning home and applying to the InterExchange program for the next year.
InterExchange business hours are Monday-Friday, from 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. The InterExchange emergency line is available after regular business hours in the event of a serious emergency; such as an arrest, severe injury/illness or death (of a family member or other student). To reach the emergency line, dial 1.800.621.1202, ext. 2 or call directly: 917.873.5877.
Please use the emergency line with discretion.
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs U.S. Department of State, SA-5 2200 C Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20522-0500 J-1 Visa questions: write to email@example.com or call 202.632.2805
Office of Exchange Coordination and Designation U.S. Department of State Office of Exchange Coordination and Compliance ECA/EC/ECC - SA-5, Floor C2 2200 C Street, NW Washington, DC 20522-0505 Website: j1visa.state.gov Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Helpline: 1.866.283.9090 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) FAX number: 202.632.2900
U.S. Department of State 2201 C Street NW Washington, DC 20520 202.647.4000
We’re glad that you’ve chosen InterExchange to support you during your cultural exchange experience in the U.S. As a participant in our program, you can look forward to having an unforgettable time learning about American life and hopefully, making new friendships with Americans as well as others in your program. It’s our goal to make sure that everything you learn during your program will benefit you in both your personal and professional roles once you return to your home country. Your participation helps fulfill the goals of cultural exchange, creating a global community—one person at a time.
Please contact us throughout your program with any questions or concerns you may have, and our team will be very happy to help.
We have developed an exclusive Cultural Compass tool on our website at www.InterExchange.org/american-culture to help international exchange visitors learn more about the U.S. It contains travel resources, ways to increase community involvement, state-by-state guides and tips for hosts. We encourage everyone to use Cultural Compass regularly.
Enjoy your visit to the United States and make the most of your cultural exchange experience by exploring all the opportunities to learn about the USA! Don’t forget to share your experience via social media using #IEXCulture!
After your program ends, join the InterExchange J-1 Alumni Network! Our global network is a great way to stay connected to InterExchange and other J-1 alumni. As an InterExchange J-1 alumnus, you’ll enjoy benefits such as:
- Access to a global network of international alumni
- Invitations to special events in your home country
- Career tips and advice
- A forum for discussions and networking on LinkedIn and Facebook
- Opportunities to be featured on our blogs or to write for us
Read more at www.InterExchange.org/alumni and make sure to join and follow our social media pages for alumni:
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