The program fee that you paid for your program includes your SEVIS payment, your mandatory health insurance, your orientation and program materials, 24 hour emergency support services, your training placement, courier fee of documents to your home country and the administrative fees to process your DS-2019 form and your DS-7002 training plan.
There may be additional fees charged by your Foreign Partner Agent (if applicable) and may include registration fees, application fee, interview/screening fee, English Eligibility tests, translation of school documents, and other documents as necessary/required.
In addition to the fees for your program sponsorship and the money you bring with you to the U.S., you will be required to pay a fee to the U.S. Embassy prior to scheduling your interview.
You are also responsible for purchasing your airline ticket and for paying any fees charged for changing your flight dates before and after arriving in the U.S.
No. The purpose of your program is for cultural exchange. You must participate in cultural activities while in the U.S. Cultural activities can include touring the city where you are living, visiting museums, attending a U.S. sporting event, visiting amusement/ theme parks, attending a concert, and many, many other activities. If you are having difficulty with cultural activity ideas, please contact GEC for assistance.
If you fail to update GEC with your correct/ current address, phone number and host training site information, your program will be terminated. If your program is terminated, you may jeopardize your future chances of being able to re-enter the country. It is a matter of national security for the Department of Homeland Security to know where you are living and training at all times. Not reporting your new information is a serious violation.
No. Regulations are very strict. You MUST validate your program in SEVIS within 10 days of your arrival. If you fail to validate your program timely, it will put your program in jeopardy.
You will receive detailed instructions on how to validate your program and it is your responsibility to read and follow the instructions carefully.
By signing your DS-7002 (T/IPP) prior to your acceptance in the GEC program, you agreed to complete the terms and conditions of your program. The Host Organization Site of Activity who extended the training opportunity to you is expecting you to complete your program. If you are having issues with your training opportunity, first discuss them with your Host Organization Site of Activity supervisors. GEC can help as well and should be contacted immediately. Your J-1 Intern/Trainee program is not a work program. You are only sponsored to train at the Host Organization Site of Activity listed on your documents. Training anywhere else other than what is listed on your specific documents is grounds for immediate sponsorship termination.
You did not enter the U.S. on a tourist (B2) visa. You entered on a J-1 Intern/Trainee visa. You are expected to complete the terms of your program. If you decide you no longer wish to participate in your training opportunity in the U.S., contact GEC and we will work to resolve the problems you are having with your program. If you decide you still don’t want to train in the U.S., GEC will end your program in SEVIS. This means that you may begin your travel period of up to 30 days in the U.S. before you must return home. You cannot spend more than 30 days traveling in the U.S. (Example, you cannot stop training in June and expect to stay in the U.S. until August for tourist purposes.) It will be your responsibility to pay all costs for changing your flight back to your home country due to an early departure from the U.S. GEC must maintain accurate training information for you at all times including whether or not you are still training.
GEC MUST VET ALL HOUSING OPTIONS THAT YOU SECURE ON YOUR OWN. As your sponsor, we must know that your health, safety, and welfare are not compromised. We will determine if your housing is suitable based on the distance from your housing to your training site of activity, cost, what is included in your housing, who lives there, how many people live there, how many beds in the home, and other factors. Please understand that pre-arranged housing involved negotiations with the housing coordinator as it related to rent charged, furnishings secured and number of students per room. Not fulfilling the housing agreement creates a hardship for the landlord/ housing coordinator and the students who remain in the housing. GEC strongly encourages you to live in your pre-approved/ pre-arranged housing. You may be held responsible for rent payments at prearranged housing even if you choose to move out.
No. It is a violation of your program regulations to not report to your Host Training Site as listed on your DS-2019 form. You must report to the Host Training Site within 10 days of your arrival, and you must put forth a good faith effort to train at this Host Training Site for the duration of your program. Not reporting to or leaving your Host Training Site may be considered visa fraud and will put your program in jeopardy.
GEC is your J-1 visa sponsor. You must have a visa sponsor for your entire program duration. If you violate the terms and conditions and the regulations of your program (not validating your program, not reporting to your host training site, not updating your address within 10 days of any change, not answering your monthly monitoring questionnaires, employment outside of your training program, etc.) your program sponsorship may be terminated. Termination means that you no longer have a sponsor in the United States, and you are required to make immediate arrangements to leave the U.S. and return to your home country. Your SEVIS record will be marked accordingly. Program termination has a serious negative impact on your record and may affect future return visits to the U.S.
Yes. Regulations require that you receive a minimum of 32 hours per week. If your hours are below 32 hours per week, contact GEC for assistance. The Host Organization Site of Activity is not required to give you anything above 32 hours per week. Please remember, this is not a work program. The purpose of your program is for training purposes.
The amount of your stipend will vary depending on your DS-7002 (T/IPP). We suggest making a budget and outlining your expected housing and food costs. Research the area where you will be living and training as the expenses will vary in different parts of the U.S. Bigger cities will typically have higher rent and expenses than smaller cities. Smaller cities may have less public transportation so you may spend more getting to your host site of activity or seeing local sights.
REMEMBER: The primary purpose of your program is for training and cultural exchange, not for work and earning large sums of money.
No. GEC cannot extend your visa. The visa stamp only pertains to your ability to “enter” the U.S. So if you are already within the U.S. borders when your visa stamp expires, that is fine. You just could not depart the U.S. and then try to re-enter after your visa stamp expiration date. The most important document while you are here in the U.S. is your DS 2019 form which lists your program validity dates. Your status in the U.S. is ACTIVE until your program end date listed on your DS 2019 form.
You are required to bring at least $2000 USD. As a reminder, The Exchange Visitor program is a cultural exchange program and not a money making program. You may only earn enough money to pay for some of your expenses while in the US. Therefore, you should create a budget, as you are responsible for and required to have/bring additional funds to assist with expenses.