What is required of me once I am in the US?
So you've arrived safe and sound, have started your Internship and are settling into American life. Great!! But don't forget there are a few things you MUST do while in the US to keep in line with the rules and regulations of the programme.
Register with Sevis
Student and Exchange Visitor Information System was implemented post 9/11 in order to allow the US Government to track the location of all participants on student exchange based programmes, including the Internship USA programme. The system is now fully implemented and in order to comply with SEVIS, you must register your living and working details in it's system within 20 days of your programme start in the USA. It is extremely easy to register your details with SEVIS. You can either:
- Email your details to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call CIEE on 1-888-268-6245
Please note, you can only register your details with SEVIS when you have entered the US.
Apply for Social Security Card
Whether your Internship is paid or unpaid, it is extremely important that you apply for and receive a Social Security number. You will have to go to your nearest Social Security office. (Find your nearest SS office here)
Your card may take between 4 and 6 weeks to arrive in the post, and you will be able to check on it's status approximately 10 days after having applied for the card.
If you were on a previous J1 Visa and were issued a Social Security number, you do not need to apply for another! Your Social Security number is one unique to you that you can use life. If you have a record of your number but have lost your card, you will need to apply for a 'Replacement Card' when you get to the US.
Leaving and Re-entering the USA
If you intend to travel outside of the US you will need to have your DS-2019 signed by a responsible officer at CIEE in Portland, Maine. You must do this whether you're going to Canada/Mexico for a weekend or returning home for the holidays. Make sure to plan ahead! Full instructions on how to send your DS2019 away to CIEE to be signed can be found on page 25 of the participant handbook USIT sent you in your pre-departure pack.
Remember – While you are in the USA, CIEE are your main point of contact. They are there to help if you are having problems at your workplace, struggling to adjust to American life.
300 Fore Street
Tel: 1-888-268-6245 (US Free Toll Number)