Top Facts To Remember
Read your Job Offer/Training Offer in its entirety. Pay attention to:
- Program Dates
- Host Company Requirements
- Housing Information
- Arrival instructions
These facts to remember are provided to you to ensure that you have a successful start to your program.
AAG or the Host Company has provided you with temporary or permanent housing options listed in your Job/Training Offer.
- If you have housing arranged by the Host Company, be sure you know what the requirements are for the deposit.
- If your position includes housing, you cannot find your own housing.
- If your housing is Participant Arranged or AAG Assisted, please arrange and confirm your Housing BEFORE you depart for the United States. You must have housing for the entire duration of your program.
- Once you make a commitment to housing, please understand that you are obligated by U.S. law to pay rent on time and through the end of your contract.
- Bring enough money to cover deposit and first month’s rent.
- If you change your housing during your program you are required to update SEVIS with your new address within 10 days.
If you arrive in the US without pre-arranged and confirmed housing, you will have to stay in a nearby hostel/motel and pay for your room per each day, which is very expensive.
In the AAG Terms and Conditions you signed, you agreed to bring enough money with you to support yourself until you receive your first paycheck. You may not get paid for several weeks after you have started working. Some Host Companies cannot pay you until you have received your Social Security card.
Bring enough money to cover living costs until you receive your first paycheck. AAG recommends that you bring at least $1,000 to cover your living expenses.
Please note: The AAG recommended amount of $1,000 does not include the cost of traveling to your job site or any initial housing costs (first month rent and the deposit).
After you arrive to the US, you MUST register in the SEVIS system within 3 days.
- Register your U.S. home address, including your apartment or room number (where you sleep) and work address (Host Company Address) online within 3 days of your program start date at: www.allianceabroad.com/sevis . You will need your AAG ID Number (found on your AAG ID card or sponsor letter) and DS-2019 number.
- You cannot register with SEVIS before the start date on your DS-2019 form
- This registration is required to maintain good status with the U.S. Government. Click here to read more. Failure to Register with SEVIS may have serious consequences for your program.
- SEVIS registration is necessary to apply for Social Security card. If you do not register in time, your Social Security card will be delayed.
You must apply for a Social Security Card once you begin working. You must wait at least 10 business days after registering with SEVIS to apply at the Social Security Office. Be sure to apply for Social Security at the beginning of your program! If you apply in the last month of your program, your application will be rejected. Here are the steps you should follow:
1. Find your Local Social Security Office 2. Bring the following documents with you:
- Completed Social Security application form: http://ssa.gov/online/ss-5.pdf
- Passport/ Visa
- Sponsor letter
- Job Offer Letter (Company Specific)
- Electronic I-94 record print out (can be printed at the following link: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/request.html)
- Birth Certificate or at least one official picture ID (identification document) that is at least one year old. If the passport and other official ID, such as a driver’s license, are both less than one year old, a birth certificate is required.
- Provide your Host Company address on the Social Security application form. Keep your Social Security application receipt and show it to Host Company.
Each month, AAG will send you an email request to complete Monthly Check In that you MUST comply with.
- Monthly Check-In is a mandatory part of your program and is required by the U.S. Department of State (U.S. Government).
- Not completing Monthly Check-In could put your program status at risk of termination, so please take this requirement seriously.
- The link to Monthly Check In is located on AAG Website. While completing your Monthly Check-In, you must inform us of any changes to your housing address, email and phone number within 10 day of any changes.
- If you want to seek a second job you must get pre-approval from AAG prior to beginning work to ensure that the job is within your visa regulations.
- DO NOT start a second job without your sponsor’s (AAG’s) verification and approval. Doing so could be grounds for termination of your program.
- To request approval, complete the following form and submit to AAG. You are NOT authorized to work at your second job, until AAG informs you that the job is approved.
The Health Care System in the United States is very different from other countries
- Your Insurance coverage starts 1 day before your DS-2019 start date and ends 1 day after your DS-2019 end date.
- Understand Your Health Insurance: You can find full information on your health insurance on the AAG Participant page. It is important that you follow the instructions listed on this page in order to avoid paying a lot of money at a doctor’s office or hospital.
- Call your insurance company before getting treatment (unless emergency): They will ask for your unique ID number (found on insurance card), or the certificate number listed on your insurance card. The company will assist you with locating a doctor in your area. If it is an emergency you should go to the emergency room first and contact your health insurance company within 48 hours.
- Always take your insurance card, passport, and DS‐2019 form with you when you go to the doctor.
- When you go to the doctor, you will have to pay a fee for the first visit and an additional fee for each follow up visit. This cost is called a deductible and it is normal for every insurance company. Your deductible for doctor’s office visit is $100 per visit.
- Only go to a hospital in a true emergency: The deductible (fee) for a hospital is much more than a doctor’s visit ($250).
If you are having any problems at your Host Company, you MUST discuss these difficulties with your Host Company and/or AAG.
- If you leave before you talk to us, you will be in violation of your program and you will not be eligible to continue working in the U.S.
- Please call us at any time if you have any problems or concerns.
- Also remember that you may not begin working at your Host Company until the start date on your DS-2019 form.
AAG highly encourages you to participate in as many cultural exchange opportunities as possible.
- AAG will provide you with some opportunities and ideas for experiencing American culture.
- Share your experience on our Facebook page or email us. We are excited to hear your stories and see pictures from your adventures!