The Work and Travel program enables the participants to live, work and travel in the USA during their summer holiday. Work and travel USA is a great opportunity to practice English, meet new people, gain work experience and have an unforgettable USA adventure.
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, initial job placement, your signed work agreement from your employer, courier fee of documents to your home country and the administrative fees to process your DS-2019 form. Your program also includes the monthly check in email from your sponsor verifying that your program is on track and you are receiving a satisfactory experience.
There may be additional fees charged by your Foreign Partner Agent (if applicable) and may include a registration fees, application fee, interview/screening fee, English Eligibility tests, translation of school documents, etc. and other documents as necessary/required.
No. You are allowed up to 30 days from the end date on your DS-2019 form for travel purposes only. You are also required to purchase an insurance extension before you begin your travel period. Working during the 30 day travel period is STRICTLY prohibited. You are not allowed to miss the start of your university classes according to your university’s official academic start date which may result in travel days that are less than 30 days. Your university cannot grant you generous leave to avoid this regulation. This is strictly prohibited. Not returning to your home/ school country on time may result in problems obtaining future visas to the U.S.
Typically, after you begin working there is a one to two week waiting period before you will receive your first paycheck. This waiting period will vary by employer, so be sure to ask how long you will have to wait to begin receiving paychecks. Some employers will let you begin working before you receive your Social Security number and some will not. These are questions to ask your employer before you depart for the U.S. It is your responsibility to bring enough personal funds with you to the U.S. in order to pay for your housing deposits, rent, food and other expenses. GEC will not loan money to you or make these payments for you. You are required to bring at least $1000 USD with you. Depending on the cost of your housing deposit, rent, food and the time it will take to receive your first paycheck, you may need more than $1000. We suggest you bring $1500. We recommend you bring an international credit card. Most places in the U.S accept Visa and MasterCard. USD travelers checks are accepted at most businesses as well.
No. GEC cannot extend your program after you have arrived in the U.S. Your visa was approved by the U.S. embassy in your home country based on the official summer vacation dates of your university and your original vetted job offer. Program extensions are not granted even if you have a new job offer that allows you to work longer than what was offered to you in your original work agreement. This means you may have a shorter J-1 Work and Travel program than the 4 months allowed by law.
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.
GEC is your J-1 visa sponsor. You must have a sponsor for the entire time you are in the U.S. under the J-1 visa program. If you violate the terms and conditions and the regulations of your program (not validating your program, not reporting to your employer, not updating your address within 10 days of any change, not answering your monthly monitoring questionnaires, working at a second or replacement job without GEC’s written permission, etc.), your program sponsorship will 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 home. 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. Don’t let this happen to you. Comply with the terms and conditions and regulations of your program.
Regulations state that sponsors MUST maintain MONTHLY contact with all sponsored students for the program duration. We will send monthly email reminders to you requesting that you log into your GEC record and confirm your reported SEVIS address, seek input from you regarding your work opportunity, and will ask for feedback in regards to your health and safety. It is your REQUIREMENT to complete these monthly monitoring questionnaires. If no response is received by us, we will attempt to contact you by phone, through your employer, through your Foreign Partner Agent (if applicable), or as a last result, through your Emergency Contact listed on your application. Failure to respond to these monthly monitoring requirements WILL result in the termination of your program. Your health, safety and well being are of our highest concern and that of the U.S. Department of State thus the reason for the implementation of this regulation.