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Your orientation package: • • • Participant Handbook Insurance ID Card and Brochure Exchange Visitor Flyer Acknowledgment Form SEVIS Flyer Participant Survey Social Security Information I-94 Instructions Top 6 Facts to Remember
Before you leave today: • Ask Questions!! • Sign and drop off the orientation acknowledgement form.
Program Overview Purpose of the J-1 Work/Travel program: • To experience daily life of the U. S. through temporary employment opportunities. • To benefit from great international experience (enhance your CV!). • To return home and share your experiences with others in your country. • To encourage Americans to participate in the educational and cultural programs in other countries.
Program Overview Program Description: • The J-1 Work/Travel Visa CANNOT be extended. • You may travel in the U. S. for 30 days after completing the program, as long as the travel corresponds with university vacation & job offer dates. • Program cannot be longer than 4 months.
Program Fees Cover: • Guaranteed Placement (unless you have found your own job) • J-1 visa sponsorship including visa documentation • Medical insurance during your program • Orientation • 24/7 Support during your program.
Independent Living Budget your time and money • Costs upon arrival to the U. S. : Initial $500, Transportation to jobsite, 1 st month’s rent & housing deposit • Other housing costs Utilities, telephone service & cable T. V. • Living costs Meals, toiletries, laundry & entertainment Participant Handbook - Pages 23 -24 Penny 1 cent Dime 10 cents Nickel 5 cents Quarter 25 cents
Terms Partner Agency Exchange program in your country Sponsor Agency Alliance Abroad Group (AAG) Host Company where you will work in U. S. SEVIS Student and Exchange Visitor Information System Outreach Coordinator AAG Representative
Contact Information Alliance Abroad Group, L. P. 1221 South Mopac Expressway, Suite #250 Austin, Texas 78746 - USA Tel: 1. 512. 457. 8062 - Fax: 1. 413. 460. 3502 Toll Free Number: 1. 866. IM IN USA - (1. 866. 464. 6872) www. allianceabroad. com U. S. Department of State/ Public Communication Division PA/PL, Rm. 2206 U. S. Department of State 2201 C Street NW Washington, D. C. 20520 Tel: 1. 202. 647. 6575 Email: [email protected] gov Participant Handbook - Page 7
Culture Shock: Expect the Unexpected! Be Prepared to Adjust: • Most face cultural shock upon arrival. It’s normal! • Allow time to adjust & to miss family and friends. • It’s COLD in the winter and HOT in the summer! Cultural Shock Advice: • The program is what you make of it… Get involved! • Be independent, but seek help if you need it. • Keep a journal/diary of your memories. • Check out our website for cultural components: cultural_info. htm Participant Handbook - Page 22
The American Workplace Attitude is everything! • Look good, smell good & smile! • Be respectful to your co-workers, supervisors & customers. • • • The boss knows best. Please & Thank you Always be on time to work & meetings! Follow smoking rules! Good hygiene is important - shower every day, keep uniforms clean & brush your teeth twice a day! Participant Handbook - Pages 10 - 12
Emergencies: 1 -866 -622 -7623 Call us at any hour if… • • You are lost on arrival. You are arrested. You are hospitalized with a serious injury. You are the victim of a violent crime or in immediate danger - CALL 911 FIRST! • Another participant needs immediate help.
Your Outreach Coordinator Call us during business hours if… • You lose your passport or other documents. • You have concerns about housing. • You have employer concerns or you are fired from your job. • If you leave a message, be sure to speak slowly & include: your name, AAG ID number, job location & telephone number.
SEVIS Check-in • Register your U. S. home address online within 7 days of arrival at: sevis. htm and log in with your ID card information. • This registration is REQUIRED to maintain good status with the U. S. Government. • SEVIS registration is necessary to apply for social security card. Participant Handbook - Page 13
Monthly Check-Ins • Each month you will receive an email reminder from AAG to check in. • This is a Department of State requirement! It only takes one minute to complete, so do it! • Failure to complete monthly check-ins could result in terminating your program!
Before you Depart • Check job offer for contact information, directions and arrival instructions. • Be sure to contact your host company if you do not know when or where you should report to work. • Update AAG with your flight and arrival information before departure to the U. S. Participant Handbook - Page 13
Don’t leave your job! • Do not change without permission from Alliance Abroad Group and the employer. • Resolve problems with employer first; call AAG if you can’t resolve it. • Don’t put your visa status at risk! Participant Handbook - Page 13
Housing • Read the job offer. • If your job includes housing, you must accept the housing offered. You may not find your own housing. • Pay rent on time and stay for your entire contract. • Alliance Abroad Group is not the landlord. • Pay deposit if required. • Provide your landlord with forwarding address. Participant Handbook - Pages 24 - 26
Housing Damages and consequences • Your deposit will NOT be refunded. • Your last paycheck will go toward paying for damages. • If there additional charges, AAG will contact your family. Participant Handbook - Page 13
Rules, Laws & Regulations Stay out of trouble! • NO DRUGS, NO ALCOHOL… • STAY SAFE: stay out of lonely and dark areas, don’t take big risks. • STAY LEGAL: know the laws of the U. S. : Drugs, shoplifting, drinking under the age of 21, driving under the influence of alcohol can all get you arrested, fired and will definitely get you sent home! Participant Handbook - Page 31
Jobs Wages: • Federal minimum wage (pay) = $7. 25/hr • “Tipped employees” (waiter/waitress) must be paid a cash wage of at least $2. 13/hr. Total wage must be at least minimum wage. • You must be paid equivalent of American counterparts • Never get paid in cash. It is not legal. Contact Alliance Abroad if this occurs.
Jobs Employment of Summer Work Travel participants must: • Be seasonal or temporary • Require only minimal training • Provide opportunities for interactions with U. S. citizens • Not displace domestic U. S. workers • Be with companies who have not experienced layoffs in the past 120 days or currently have workers on strike • Not fall into the expanded list of prohibited placements, including positions requiring a license, work hours that fall predominantly from 10 pm – 6 am, commissionbased, manufacturing, construction or traveling concessions.
Second Jobs • Your second job must be approved by AAG before you begin working. Working in an unauthorized job is cause for termination! Ask your Outreach Coordinator for instructions. • Do not accept a second job if it might interfere with your first job. • Be sure to avoid jobs on the prohibited jobs list! Participant Handbook - Page 31
Social Security Card What is it? • Employers cannot pay you unless you have applied for a Social Security card. • Issued by the local Social Security Administration. • Wait at least 10 days to apply after registering with SEVIS. • Keep your Social Security application receipt. Participant Handbook – Pages 19 - 20 123 - 45 - 6789
Social Security Card How to get it: • Register with SEVIS at www. allianceabroad. com/sevis. • You will need to have 2 copies of each document below: ü DS 2019 form (front & back) ü Social Security Application form ü Passport (photo/signature page) ü I-94 form (front & back) ü J-1 visa, Job offer and Sponsor letter ü Birth certificate or official picture ID that is at least one year old For more information visit our website and read the insurance brochure in your orientation package Participant Handbook – Page 20
Completing the Social Security Form CHAOWAT JITKAEW Employer name & address Nov 3 1984 Bangkok, Thailand X URAI X MANAT PATTIMA PANU SANTITRAKUL JITKAEW
Completing the Social Security Form X X X Dec. 1, 2005 Chaowat Jitkaew YOUR EMPLOYER’S TEL.
Taxes W-4 and W-2 Forms: • W-4 tax form Employee’s Withholding • W-2 tax form will be sent to you after end of the year • Leave your home country address with employer • File for taxes online before April 15 of next year Participant Handbook - Pages 15 - 16
Health Insurance United Health. Care: 1 -800 -251 -1712 (SAVE THIS NUMBER IN YOUR PHONE!) • ALWAYS CALL THE INSURANCE COMPANY BEFORE RECEIVING TREATMENT TO AVOID PAYING A LOT OF MONEY! They will tell you which doctor/hospital to go to. • One week before start date you will receive an email inviting you to create a personalized insurance account. Participant Handbook - Pages 17 Deductible: Doctor’s Office: $100 Emergency Room: $250 (if not resulting in hospitalization)
Don’t Forget… Participant Handbook - Don’t leave home without it! • How to contact AAG & the State Department • Workplace Protocol • Work/Travel program regulations • Insurance • Social Security cards • Taxes and W-2 forms • Life and customs in the U. S. • Safety and much more!
Don’t Forget… Documents to bring with you: Travel & entry into the U. S. • DS 2019 form • I-94 form • Passport with J-1 stamp/sticker • Sponsor letter • Insurance card • Job offer • Birth certificate (or other official picture ID at least 1 year old)