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J1 USA

In This Section

J1 FAQ

  1. What is a sponsor?
  2. What is A J1 VISA?
  3. What is SEVIS?
  4. What is a DS-2019?
  5. What is the DS-160?
  6. What is the I-94 Card?
  7. What is the Social Security number (SSN) ?
  8. How do I apply for my Social Security Number?
  9. How long does it take to get a Social Security Number?
  10. Can I work before I receive my Social Security Number?
  11. Do second timers need to apply for a Social Security number?
  12. What do I do if I have lost my Social Security Number?
  13. What is the Online Orientation?
  14. Do I have to show Proof of Funds when I am entering the US?
  15. Can I stay in the USA after my J1 Visa expires on September 15th?
  16. I'm in the USA and I have lost my passport/DS-2019/Social Security card. What should I do?
  17. When do I go to the Embassy?
  18. Can I book my own flights?
  19. Can I find my own job?
  20. Can I change my approved employer before I travel to the US?
  21. Can I change my job after I travel?
  22. Can I leave the US on holiday during my J1?

  1. What is a sponsor?

    A sponsor is a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting cultural awareness through a wide range of work and travel, language, volunteer, professional training, internship, and au pair programs within the United States and around the world.

    Their goal is to create affordable and exciting cultural exchange programs with an unparalleled level of support. They take great pride in the professionalism and service of their staff, and work hard to ensure a rewarding and enriching experience for everyone.

    The US Sponsor organisation are responsible for vetting your J1 job in line with Dept of State criteria and issuing your DS-2019 work paper. They are your point of contact in the US for any programme related queries or emergencies.

  2. What is A J1 VISA?

    The J1Visa is the sticker in your passport, issued by a Consular Officer at a US Embassy or Consulate in your home country. The J1Visa allows you to enter the US when you present it with your DS2019 Form at the border or airport.

    The Work & Travel J1 Visa (together with your DS2019 Form) allows you to: work up to 4 months in the US. See the prohibited jobs in the US Jobs and Terms and Conditions sections.

     

  3. What is SEVIS?

    SEVIS stands for Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). SEVIS is a United States Government computerised system that collects and manages data about foreign students and exchange visitors during their stay, including Work & Travel participants. SEVIS is maintained by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau (ICE formerly INS) and is designed to help foreign visitors follow the terms of their visas.

     

  4. What is a DS-2019?

    The DS-2019 is a very important and unique document that allows SAYIT to apply for a J1 Visa on your behalf.  This is a Government document and cannot be replaced.  The DS-2019 is one white sheet.  The front of the form contains your personal details, name and date/place of birth.  Read through the form to ensure that all details are correct and sign, place and date the bottom.  If this is not done correctly and precisely it will be returned to you and this may delay your visa application. Your work start date will be printed on your DS-2019. Your work permit only allows you to work from the 15th May until the 15th September.

    When you are going through US Immigration on your way to the US, you must present your DS-2019 and Passport to the official.  The Immigration Official MUST stamp your DS-2019 if the form is not stamped you will not be able to apply for a Social Security Card.

     

  5. What is the DS-160?

    Completion of this document is required by the US Embassy in order for a J1 visa to be issued. You must complete this form in FULL. Every question must be answered whether relevant or not.  The DS-160 must be completed online at https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/ details on how to complete all DS forms can be found in the J1 Lounge.

  6. What is the I-94 Card?

    Please click HERE for information on the I-94.

    I did not turn in my I-94 when I left the U.S., what should I do?

    If you left the US without returning you I-94 card follow the instructions available HERE. From 30th April 2014, the I94 is now electronic and will no longer be a white page attached to your passport.

  7. What is the Social Security number (SSN) ?

    The Social Security Number (SSN) is the American version of the Irish PPS number. All individuals must obtain a SSN so they can work legally in the USA.

    How do I apply for my Social Security Number?

     

  8. How do I apply for my Social Security Number?

    To apply for a Social Security Number, you need to visit your local Social Security Office in the USA destination where you will reside for the summer. You need to complete the application form and bring the follow documents with you (Supplied in your final pack).

    •   "Dear Social Security Officer" letter
    •   SS-5 (application form)
    •   DS-2019 form + SEVIS receipt
    •   Passport with your J1 Visa
    •   I-94

    Most Social Security offices are only open Monday to Friday from 9am-4pm. Try to avoid applying between the busy hours of 11am to 2pm. Please take a look at the standard application process for the SSN HERE

    The procedure and application form are available HERE

     

    We Recommend:

    •   You use your employers mailing address on your application, at least then if you move accommodation your card will go to a secure address.
    •   Check the box labelled “Legal Alien allowed to work” for question 3.
    •   Always ask for receipt of proof from the Social Security Officer.

    If you have applied for your Social Security Number before but never received the number / card, you should contact the Federal Benefits Unit in the US Embassy on 01-6688777, ext. 2112  (8.30am-11.30am Monday- Friday excluding Wed)

    Important: Make sure you get a RECEIPT after applying. Your employer will need this as proof that you have applied for your card.

  9. How long does it take to get a Social Security Number?

    On average it takes applicants between 3-5 weeks to receive their Social Security number.

  10. Can I work before I receive my Social Security Number?

    Yes, an employer can legally hire you but you must have proof that you have already applied for your SSN. If you have any problems concerning gaining a job due to the fact you are waiting for your Social Security Number, please contact your sponsor immediately.

  11. Do second timers need to apply for a Social Security number?

    No, if you already have a Social Security Numbers, you do not need to get another one. A Social Security Number is for life.

  12. What do I do if I have lost my Social Security Number?

    Unfortunately, we cannot assist you with your Social Security Number as we do not have access to participants Social Security information. You need to contact the local Social Security Office in the USA, where you are staying, with two forms of ID to get your Social Security Number.  DO NOT apply for a new Social Security Number!
     
    We advise participants who lose their social security cards to replace lost cards, especially in the event that they decide to return to work in the U.S on a future J1 SWT program. The link is HERE

    If you believe that your card may have been stolen, there is a section on the website on how to report this.

  13. What is the Online Orientation?

    The Orientation is a mandatory requirement of the program set down by the US Department of State. All students must complete the Online Orientation before their DS-2019 will be issued or risk their program sponsorship being withdrawn. It is mandatory for all J1 students to complete the online orientation. Each email is personalised and each student needs to watch the orientation through their own log-in. 

  14. Do I have to show Proof of Funds when I am entering the US?

    US Immigration Officers do require that all J1 participants have a certain amount of money to finance them when they are entering the USA on their J1 program. When entering the US you need to have your completed Job Offer Form (DS-2019) and €800 minimum available to you on arrival in the US, and you must be able to show proof of this to the US Immigration Official. A bank statement showing the funds maybe requested by US Immigration on entry.

  15. Can I stay in the USA after my J1 Visa expires on September 15th?

    Yes, but only as a tourist for a maximum of 30 days. You can't work during this period. You may not leave the US and re-enter on your J1 visa during this period. You may not be able to re-enter on an ESTA (holiday visa)  within the 30 day period after the J1 visa expires. All immigration decisions for entry to the USA are at the decretion of US Immigration.

  16. I'm in the USA and I have lost my passport/DS-2019/Social Security card. What should I do?

    If you have lost your:

    •   Passport: Contact your closest Consulate/Embassy for a new passport
    •   DS-2019 form: Contact your sponsor immediately.
    •   Social Security Card: Contact your local Social Security Office to apply for a replacement card. DO NOT apply for a new card.
  17. When do I go to the Embassy?

    SAYIT J1 will schedule your US Embassy appointment for you once your J1 job is confirmed and your DS-2019 has been received into our office. We will notify you about your appointment date and time by text. DO NOT contact the Embassy directly about scheduling an appointment.

  18. Can I book my own flights?

    No. All J1 flights must be booked either through your J1 account or through an SAYIT J1 flight booking agent with no exceptions. Further details are listed in the Flights Section of the J1 Lounge.

  19. Can I find my own job?

    Yes! We encourage students to seek out their own job offers, especially if you intend to go to California where limited jobs are in high demand. If you are offered a job you must have the employer fill out the Employment offer and Agreement form and submit this to us. Your sponsor will vet your job offer by contacting your prospective employer. If your job offer meets the J1 criteria your sponsor will issue you with a DS-2019 work paper.

  20. Can I change my approved employer before I travel to the US?

    You can only change your employer if you have not attended your US Embassy Interview. 


    If you have already attended your US Embassy Interview, you will not be allowed to change your employer until you travel to the US, submit your new job offer form to your sponsor to vett and then work with your original employer for the minimum of the 2 weeks notice required.


    If you have not attended your US Embassy Interview you will be allowed to have your second  job offer vetted by your spnsor but will have to pay a €60 DS2019 replacement fee.


    *Please note that this fee must be paid upfront before your second job offer will be vetted by your sponsor. Your first job offer will be automatically cancelled and there is no guarantee offered that your second job offer will be approved.

  21. Can I change my job after I travel?

    If you wish to change jobs after you have started work you may do so provided you have your new job vetted by your sponsor in advance of starting the new position. You must give your employer two weeks notice before leaving.

  22. Can I leave the US on holiday during my J1?

    You can leave the US during your J1 period once you inform your sponsor and have the Travel Validation part of your DS-2019 completed by them. Allow 2 weeks for this before departure. More information can be found on Travel Validation in your pre-departure final pack.

    Re-entry on the J1 programme is only possible within the dates printed on your J1 visa & DS-2019 work paper in line with your current SEVIS status.

    If your SEVIS staus is Program Ended you must not cross the border as you will not be allowed re-enter. For further details contact your US Sponsor.

    Important: J1 participants are not permitted to travel to the Tijuana Metropolitan area in Mexico. Violation of this rule will result in termination of your J1 programme.

    Trips home to Ireland are restricted to a maximum of 14 days under insurance rules.

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