Get familiar with some challenges you may face during your time in the U.S. - from Social Security info to traveling home for Christmas.
What happens if I want to finish my program before the official end date?
We encourage you to live out your American Dream to the fullest, but ending the program is not a problem as long as you have a good reason for doing so. You will have to sign a early program termination letter (which we will send you) and you have to let your Host Company know of your decision at least two weeks in advance.
What if a J1 participant loses their passport while in the USA?
The participants need to contact straight away their national embassy or consulate in the U.S. to request scheduling an appointment in order to get issued a new passport. The J1 Visa stamp has to be renewed only if the participant will travel internationally and will need to re-enter the United States of America. Please contact us if this is the case, so we can help you.
How do I apply for a Social Security number in the USA?
The Intern / Trainee has to apply for the Social Security Number at the nearest Social Security Office with their passport, DS-2019 form and an the Employer Letter (which we will send you). However you will get more detailed information on the steps to doing it right before going to the U.S. in the Pre-Departure Orientation Session by Architect-US and ASSE.
If I already have a Social Security Number can I still use that number?
Yes. If you have taken part in a J1 Visa program before (or have an SSN from before for another reason), the Social Security Number you were was issued has a lifetime validity. Therefore, there is no need to apply for a new card.
What if I change my home address during the Program?
There is no issue to change addresses during the Program but you must report any change of address within 3 days. Further instructions will be included in the Pre-Departure Orientation Session that we will provide you with before your arrival in the USA.
Are the ASSE Monthly check-ins mandatory for the program?
It is mandatory to keep your contact information up-to-date and accurate as this is Department of State law and you risk immediate repatriation and other penalties if you do not comply. Therefore, it is a requirement for all participants to complete a monthly check-in every 30 days during the Program.
How do I find housing?
One of the biggest challenges finding an affordable place to live in U.S., but it is not imposible. You can search on the Internet, you can ask your Host Company
for suggestions or you can contact an Agency. We will add you to the Architect-US participants chat
so the rest of the community can give you some advise as well. Either way, you need to take into consideration factors such as safety, price, convenient transportation to the office and distance from it. We provide helpful information
on this and other topics in our BLOG
Am I allowed to travel outside the U.S. during my Internship / Training?
If you wish to travel outside of the U.S., Mexico, and Canada during your Internship / Training, you must obtain a travel validation through our partner ASSE and you cannot be out of the country for more than two weeks (in total) for the duration of the Program. For more information, please write your Program Advisor.
Can I apply for a J1 visa extension?
Yes, if your Host Company proposes you stay longer than the originally established end date, you may apply for J1 visa extension, which will be approved up to the maximum length permitted for your category (J1 Intern - 12 months, J1 Trainee - 18 months). For example, if you are a YTainee and got an offer from an American company for a 6-month program but after starting there they like you and ask you to stay for as long as possible, you could extend the program for an additional year (so the final program length is 18 months).
How long can I stay in the U.S. after the Program?
You must leave the U.S. within 30 days of the end of your Internship
/ Training Exchange Visitor Program
. It is not recommended to travel outside of US
(including Mexico and Canada) during the 30-day Grace Period
(read more about it HERE
Can I have a second job during the Program?
No, you are forbidden to have any other source of income in the USA while on your J1 Exchange Visitor Program. The J1 Visa is issued only and specifically for your approved Internship / Training Program. If you have any other working activities besides your sponsored Internship / Training, you are violating the visa regulations, which means immediate visa and program termination, along with other penalties applied.
Can I change my Host Company during the Program?
We do not encourage Host Company Transfers and allow them only in extreme cases. You may change Host Company only if there are serious reasons for it (if you are not getting paid as established in the Training/Internship Placement Plan, the environment is unsafe, the agreed learn goals are violated, etc). In this case, the participant must contact their Program Advisor at Architect-US immediately, and the case will be reviewed in detail.