Important documents of the Work and Travel, Internship/Trainee Programs

There are several main documents for the Cultural Exchange Programs (Work and Travel USA; Internship/Trainee USA programs) : DS-2019 form, J-1 visa, Job-offer (DS7002 form for the Internship/Trainee program), SEVIS I-901 form, SSN and I-94 card.

DS-2019 form

DS-2019 form (Designated Sponsorship Form) is being issued by the sponsor organization in United States of America. The form admits your permission to work officially on the territory of USA and is the main document of the Cultural Exchange programs. Without this document you will never get the J-status visa in the embassy.  Next information is presented in the DS-2019 form: your employer details during your program, the company, which organized your program on the territory of Ukraine (our company details), and your personal SEVIS number. SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor System) – is integrated database with the information about each Work and Travel or Internship/Trainee participant, including his/her  employment information, employment address, and housing address. Upon you arrival to USA, you need to register in SEVIS and leave there your housing address. Taking into the consideration the fact, that you get your visa based on your DS-2019 form, where mentioned your employment information, you need carefully make the decision about changing employer during Work and Travel Program USA (changing employer during Internship/Trainee program is prohibited, you visa will be terminated). All the issues about changing employer should be agreed with the sponsor organization and should be reasonably explained. If you employer has nothing against you leaving him, you can just inform the sponsor about the change of your placement. You need to save your DS-2019 form upon your arrival back to Ukraine, and after bring it back to our agency. Also you need to keep DS-2019 secure as well as international passport, because you will need it for applying for Social Security Card, applying for a second job and passing passport control on your way home.

J-1 visa

All the visas, issued by the council section of the United States of America embassy, are divided into different types according to the permitted period of stay on the territory of USA, aim of the trip and ability to work on the territory of USA (or absence of such ability). Participating Work and Travel and Internship/Trainee programs all the students get J-1 visa – this is Cultural Exchange visa with the official permit to work on the territory of USA (the period you can work during are stated in your DS-2019 form). If participating Work and Travel program your visa is valid in time from the moment of getting till the 1st October of the continuing year. Nevertheless, all Work and Travel participants should notice they have the official permit to work on the territory of USA till 1st September only. After 1st September  begins the “Grace period” (from 1st of September till 1st October, when participants have the permission to stay on the territory of US and travel, but don’t have permission to work any more). Maximum period of validness of J-1 visa received upon Internship/Trainee program is 18 months. Also you need to understand that it is impossible to enter USA few times with one J-1 visa, although the valid through period is not finished (that mean Work and Travel participants can not come back home for few weeks and then go to US again).

Job offer

Job offer is your employment agreement with the host company in United States of America during your Summer Work and Travel Program. This document outlines the job conditions, your salary(in most cases the wage per week mentioned, but some positions could be paid with 1-2 weeks fixed salary), the exact name of your position, clarification of your job duties, first and last name of your supervisor, number of hours per week, address of your employment and conditions of your accommodation(if one is arranged by your employer). Your job-offer is one of the most important documents visa officers take into consideration during your embassy interview, so it is a key point for you to know all the details of it.

DS-7002 form (Training Plan)

DS-7002 form – is the analog of Job-offer for the Internship/Trainee program. The host company should outline all the stages of your training in the detail form. It should contain your duties during each stage of training and what experience would you gain. Also, DS-7002 form should contain all the details about job placement (the same as job-offer), as number of hours per week, wage, details of accommodation and contacts of the host company. If you look for the Internship/Trainee placement on your own don’t forget that all the stages of your future training should correspond with your field of studying.

SEVIS I-901 form

 SEVIS I-901 form is a proof of your obligatory U.S. Department of State fee payment for Exchange visitors. The amount of that fee for Work and Travel participants equals 35 dollars, for Internship/Trainee participants – 180 dollars. Also, the form saves your DS-2019 number, therefore all your information goes to the SEVIS database. The I-901 form is the obligatory document for passing embassy interview.

Social Security Number (SSN)

Social Security Number (SSN) is your personal tax-payer number on the territory of United States of America. It is something similar to Ukrainian identification code. You will need your SSN to get paid on your main job placement and to apply for additional job placement, to open a bank account and to get tax back services after coming home. To receive your Social Security Number you need to register in SEVIS System after your arrival on the territory of USA (the information how to do that you will get in our office before your departure). After your SEVIS status become active (it would take 3-5 days after your registration) you need to go to the nearest Social Security Office (you can ask your employer for the address or find that via web). There you will be asked to fill some forms and show international passport, DS-2019 form, and in 1-3 weeks your Social Security Card (with your SSN on it) would be delivered to your address. Never forget that this number is issued only once per your life and you need to keep it for your future trips to United States, because the process of reissuance could take lots of time.

I-94 card

I-94 card is the form, which you fill during your flight to the United States of America. It would be given you by the steward. In the I-94 card you need to mention your first, last name, date of birth, passport number, the country and city of USA visa issuance, your status in the USA. The status field should be filled with “Non-immigrant”. You should show I-94 card to the officer during the passport control while entering USA, and it would be stapled into your passport. In this form officer puts your entry date and your leaving date, those dates indicates if the visa rules were violated or not. Therefore, it is very important visa officer take this form from you while you traveling back home.