Many employers want more information about the program for which their international staff are participating and may have questions from time to time.  ACES has taken the most frequently asked questions and has provided employers with this resource page to find the answers and for convenient access to forms and useful links.

If your question is not answered here, feel free to contact your Account Manager or email your question to [email protected]

Program Period for J1 Camp Participants

Camp Counselors: Camp Counselor dates are restricted to a maximum of 4 months employment and must be consistent with typical summer camp season dates.

Support Staff: Camp support staff are governed by the summer work travel program and as such are subject to the summer work travel permitted dates as established by their home country. Dates are subject to change.

Support Staff Program Dates

Regulations Governing J1 Camp Counselor and Summer Work Travel Participants

Both the camp counselor and summer work travel programs are exchange visitor programs and are subject to Department of State regulations.

Camp Counselor Program

Counselor Regulations

The regulations governing the summer work travel program have been under scrutiny and have undergone some changes in vetting procedure for employers, etc.

Camp Support Staff (Summer Work Travel Program)

Summer Work Travel Regulations

The full published set of regulations are available online at

http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/retrieveECFR?gp=&SID=97d595dc3601099a5bb1e0bd6030a9c4&r=PART&n=22y1.0.1.7.35

Required Employer Forms

Employers accepting international support staff are now required to submit for sponsor approval the following:

As regulations change, you can expect more information to come from the designated sponsors associated with your international staff.

Department of  State Communication with Employers Kentucky Consular Center

As part of changing regulations dictating the summer work travel program, the US Department of State occasionally   verifies work agreement information through their centralized processing facility, the Kentucky Consular Center. Please be aware that an employee of this facility may contact you to verify your company information, to ensure that   the information that has been provided is accurate and valid and to ensure  that the student does in fact have a job   waiting for them upon their arrival to the US.  You may be asked to provide a list of the students ‘names you are   expecting.  More than likely, the contact will  be  made through email,  and  your timely response would be appreciated.

Site Visits from Compliance Unit

The Department of State’s Compliance Division periodically conducts site visits to verify    participant employment,    to inspect work and living  conditions and to confirm that    employers  understand that by accepting a J1 participant,  they are taking part in a public    diplomacy program.   If a  representative visits, be sure to welcome him/her.

Taxes and J1 Staff Informational Links

There has been much debate among sponsors and employers as to what taxes must be withheld and if J1 Participants even need a social security number.  ACES recommends that employers consult with their accountant/tax preparer as tax laws may differ among states. The American Camping Association (ACA) offers some suggestions in this matter as well.  Please read through their Frequently Asked Questions.

For your convenience, we have included some links directly pertaining to the subject.

Exemption from FUTA

http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/Aliens-Employed-in-the-U.S.—FUTA

Page 6 of this publication for exempt nonimmigrant workers

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p519.pdf

Social Security and Foreign Workers

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/employer/hiring.htm

Social Security

In order to obtain a Social Security Number participants must complete an application, form SS5, at a social security office.  The Social Security Office works with the SEVIS system and timing is important. Participants cannot apply if they have not checked in with your sponsor to validate their visa. The Social Security Office requires that the visa be validated for at least 10 days prior to application with a program end date at least 14 days from the date of application to provide time for processing.  If Participants wait until after camp ends to apply, they will probably not be eligible to submit the application.  Please take this into consideration.

The online form is available at www.ssa.gov/online/ss-5.pdf .  Most camps organize a day or time for participants to do this in a group and you can locate the social security office nearest you at www.ssa.gov.  You will need to enter the zip code.

Participants will also need to present the following documents:

· Valid passport with J-1 visa
· Forms DS2019
· I-94 confirmation. This is either a white card issued upon entry into the US or in the case of electronic processing a copy will need printed.  To see more go to https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home
· Employment Agreement

Participants should make a copy of all documents and keep them safe in case of loss or theft of the originals.

The Social Security Card will be mailed to the address listed on the SS5 form.  It can take anywhere from 2-12 weeks to receive the Social Security Card, however, participants are legal to work.

There have been rare occasions when a Participant is asked for a sponsor letter to submit to the social security office. As a J-1 camp counselor or summer work travel participant, they are exempt of the sponsor letter requirement as per the https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0110211345.  Should the Social Security Officer request a letter of work authorization from the sponsor, please reference POMS Section: RM 10211.345 subsection A.

Temporary Travel Outside of the US

Both visas permit re-entry into the US but do not permit entry into another country. Participants are obligated to obtain the necessary documentation or visa as outlined between their home country and the country of the planned visit.  In addition, participants must have their sponsor sign their “Travel Validation By Responsible Officer” if they plan to visit in another country other than a contiguous territory or adjacent island.

If a participant needs this signature, they will need to contact their sponsor at least 4 weeks in advance. The sponsor’s name and contact number can be found in section 7 on the Form DS 019. A sponsoring representative must sign the Form DS2019 to indicate that they are traveling and are still in “good standing” with their employer who is expecting their return. If they leave the U.S. without this signature of “good standing” they may not be permitted to reenter the US under the J-1 visa and will forfeit their work eligibility and your insurance coverage.

If taking short trips (30 days or less) to Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean Islands during the course of a participant’s visit to the U.S., participants should hold onto their I-94; it should only be turned in when they leave the U.S. to return home.

 

Participant Forms

ParticipantReferenceFormACES_2017-2018

HealthScreening_2017-2018

Student Status Form 2017-2018 (required for summer work travel visa applicants – including camp support staff)

SEVIS Fee Payment (this fee can be paid by anyone)

DS 160 Visa Application

DS 160 FAQs

Other Useful Links.

US Embassies Worldwide

Embassy Wait Times

Deferred Inspection

Deferred Inspection Sites

Border Wait Times

Ports of Entry

US Customs and Border Protection Information Center