November 17, 2009

Holiday Travel for J-1 Participants

Woohoo! Looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner... turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes?Before you lose yourself in the holiday excitement, make sure that your J-1 trainee/intern is prepared for any holiday travel that he/she will be doing.

During the J-1 program, participants are allowed to travel within the U.S. without requesting permission from the program sponsor. To travel internationally, J-1 participants need the following:
  • The program end dates on the DS-2019 and J-1 visa cannot occur before or durring the travel outside the U.S.

  • The J-1 participant must have a multiple entry visa (the letter "M" will be indicated under the word "Entries" on the J-1 visa.

  • The DS-2019 must be signed by the program sponsor in the Travel Validation Section.

To grant travel validation, Global Current needs the original DS-2019, a statement of where, when and why the participant is traveling, the travel validation fee and a prepaid waybill or stamped self-addressed envelope so that we can send the approved document back. We recommend that all travel validation requests be submitted at least 2 weeks prior to travel date. If an emergency arises and we are not able to sign the DS-2019 before she leaves the U.S. then the DS-2019 can be sent directly to us for the signature and we will send it to an address abroad so that she can enter on the validated form.

The travel validation will expire after one year and will need to be renewed after that for international travel.

Now that everything is taken care of, I give you permission to enjoy the holidays :) Happy Thanksgiving!

November 12, 2009

J-1 Program Evaluations

J-1 sponsors are required to collect program evaluations from you and your J-1 candidate. Most of the time the supervisor and the trainee/intern have highly functional and effective relationships that earn high scores on program evaluations. On the rare occasion that we receive an evaluation reporting dissatisfaction, we act immediately.

As a J-1 sponsor, our main objective is to resolve the issue as quickly and effectively as possible, allowing the program to continue through to its completion. Often dissatisfaction will stem from communication issues, where one party (supervisor or participant) has specific expectations that are not being met and he/she is unsure how to communicate his/her concerns and resolve the problem. Cultural communication differences will exacerbate this problem. Our first action is to suggest him/her to meet with the supervisor/participant to discuss and reconcile expectations and improve the working situation. We do not typically get involved until all options are exhausted and it is clear that a change must be made.

We will get involved immediately only if there it is an emergency situation. Yikes!

If a company is not following through with the plan described in the DS-7002, then we will often work with the host company to help them get back on track. However, if the company is unresponsive to our efforts, then we typically allow participants to apply for a host company transfer. For a transfer, he or she will locate another host company that is able to adhere to his/her program plan and start the program where it was left off. In the case that the participant is not holding up his/her end of the agreement and is unresponsive to our efforts to rectify the problem, then we are forced to end the program.

Your sponsor is there to support you throughout the J-1 program. Though most issues can be resolved internally, we are always available for support when all other options have been exhausted.

November 09, 2009

Global Current Newsletter!

Check out Global Current's November Newsletter and learn how to evaluate a company's eligibility to host a J-1 program.