Participants - Frequently Asked Questions
Please click on one of the categories below to view the respective questions and answers;General
What is the J-1 visa program?Questions regarding the training program
The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program was enacted as a result of the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, also known as the Fulbright-Hays Act. The purpose of the Act is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and people of other countries through educational and cultural exchanges. Activities specified in the Act are facilitated, in part, through the designation of public and private entities as “Sponsors” of the Exchange Visitor Program.
Through the Exchange Visitor Program, foreign nationals may visit the United States temporarily to teach, lecture, study, observe, conduct research, consult, train, or demonstrate special skills. Designated sponsoring organizations facilitate the entry of foreign nationals into the United States to complete the objectives of any one of 13 program categories. At the conclusion of their program, participants are expected to return to their home countries.
In which industries does HTP administer its programs?
HTP is desginated to administer programs in Hospitality and Tourism; Information Media and Communications; Management, Business, Commerce and Finance; Public Administration and Law; and The Sciences, Engineering, Architecture, Mathematics and Industrial Occupations.
What is HTP’s role in the J-1 visa program?
HTP is designated by the U.S. Department of State as a sponsor of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program. As such, HTP evaluates each participant and host employer application to ensure they meet J-1 visa regulations before issuing Form DS-2019.
What is Form DS-2019?
Form DS-2019 (also known as the “Certificate of Eligibility”) is a document that HTP issues to a participant when it has determined that the participant and host employer meet all requirement of the J-1 visa regulations. The participant presents Form DS-2019 to a U.S. consulate or Embassy for application of the J-1 visa.
Who is my legal sponsor?
HTP, not your host employer, is the legal sponsor of your training program.
Can I get a part time job while I’m on my J-1?Taxes
No. While on a J-1 visa you are not allowed earn wages at any employer other than the host employer listed on Form DS-2019.
Can I change host employer during my program?
No. The location of training is specified on Form DS-2019. If terms or conditions change during the course of the training, participants must call HTP to determine if they warrant a transfer of training site.
What if my training is terminated?
If your training is terminated for any reason, either your doing or your host property, your J-1 visa status will become invalid and you must exit the U.S. Contact HTP immediately.
Can I extend my visa?
The maximum length of training allowed is 18 months. If you visa was issued for less than 18 months HTP may be able to extend your stay to 18 months. Contact HTP for information.
Do I Have to Pay Taxes or File a Tax Return? Lost or stolen documents
Yes. You are legally required to pay the following taxes:
Federal Taxes: Income tax is paid by all income-earning individuals to the federal government. It is paid on income from salaries, wages, and tips. Approximately 25% of your salary will be held for federal income tax, a portion of which you may claim back as a refund at the end of the year.
State and City Income Taxes: States and cities levy income taxes according to local tax codes. These codes vary from state to state and city to city. To find out about the taxes that are imposed by your state and city, ask your host company. These tax codes may define “resident” and “non-resident” differently than federal codes. As with your federal tax, you may be able to claim a refund for a portion of these taxes at the end of the year.
Note: No Medicare tax or Social Security tax should be withheld from your pay as you are classified as a “Non-Resident alien”. For additional information, please refer to IRS Publication: 519. You may view this publication online at http://www.irs.gov/publications/p519/index.html. If Social Security and Medicare taxes were withheld from your paycheck, contact your host employer for reimbursement. If you are unable to get a refund from the employer, file a claim for a refund with the IRS.
How do I file my tax return?
Since filing taxes can be a lengthy and complicated process, it is highly recommended that you use a local tax preparation service (such as H&R Block or Jackson-Hewitt) or an online service that specializes in Non-Resident Alien tax returns such as www.taxback.com, www.taxact.com or www.cintax.com.
My Form DS-2019 was lost or stolen. What do I do?Travel-related questions
Contact HTP @1.888.549.4HTP, during normal office hours for a replacement. A replacement fee of will apply.
Lost or stolen passport
Contact your home countries embassy or consulate located in the U.S. as they are the only ones that can replace your passport. Your J1 visa cannot be replaced once you have entered the U.S. as the purpose of the visa is only for entry into the U.S. If requested, HTP will issue a support letter confirming your participation in the program. If you lose your original passport with your J1 visa you should carry your photocopied passport with your original visa along with your new passport at all times.
I-94 Arrival and Departure Card
The I-94 card is the document that the Department of Homeland Security uses to determine that participants entered the U.S. legally. Without the card, participants are subject to deportation. Therefore, it is imperative that you apply for a renewal card. Applying for a replacement card takes up to 8 weeks and requires a fee. Go to http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-102.pdf or visit www.uscis.gov/ for replacement information.
Social Security Card
Contact the Social Security Administration directly at (1800.772.1213) or visit their website www.socialsecurity.gov for instructions for applying for a replacement card.
Contact HTP @1.888.549.4HTP, during normal office hours for a replacement card.
I'm going on holiday outside of the US. What do I need to do?
Please do not leave the U.S. without having your DS-2019 validated for travel by HTP. There is a $75 fee payable via the "Payment" section on the left. Send your original DS-2019 to HTP, 339 Johnson Ferry Rd, NE, Atlanta, GA 30328. HTP will need a least one-week to sign the form and return it to you. We strongly recommend that you send your form via FedEx or the US mail using a tracking number. Please include the following information with your DS form:
- Dates you will be traveling
- Current address including phone number and email address
- Address and phone number where we should return your DS form
HTP will return your form via FedEx. Our signature is valid for one year from the date signed. If you should travel again in that one-year period, please email your travel dates to HTP at firstname.lastname@example.org
. If there is an emergency and you must return home immediately, send your DS form to HTP immediately with your complete address and phone number where to send it and we will return it to you via FedEx. Do not return to the U.S. without your signed DS 2019.How long am I allowed to stay in the US after my program has ended?
If you have successfully completed your program the Department of Homeland Security allows you to stay 30 days after your end date to put your affairs in order and travel the USA before you must leave the country. Overstaying your visa is a serious offense and will jeopardize future entries into the U.S.
Can I continue training those last 30 days instead of travelling? No. The end date on your Form DS-2019 is the last day you can train. This is a J-1 Visa regulation.