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Q & A

Q : Is a cultural exchage program providing work permit visa?
A : No. The program objective is to exchange cultures. US Embassy issues a student visa (J1 Visa) to get to this program to enhance work and life experience legally as regulated below.

ABOUT THE J-1 VISA

The J-1 Visa category was established by the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 to promote the foreign policy objectives of mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries, through educational and cultural activities.

Employers do not have to sponsor the candidate. The Candidate is sponsored by accredited organizations that have been authorized by the U.S. Department of State to sponsor a number of exchange visitor programs. The employer will only have to submit a training plan detailing the duties and responsibilities of the candidate.

UNDERSTANDING THE J-1 VISA PROGRAM.
The purpose of the J-1 Visa Program for trainees is to provide international participants with opportunities for professional development, insight into American know-how in the field of training, and a greater understanding of American society and culture. J-1 Trainees are expected to share the cross-cultural and professional knowledge they have gained in the U.S. upon return to their home country at the end of the training. The J-1 Program is also intended to allow Americans to learn about the culture and expertise of the participant's home country.

Using the J-1 Visa Program to immigrate into the U.S. and/or to fill the position of a regular staff member is strictly prohibited by U.S. Department of State regulations.

THE J-1 VISA ALLOWS THE APPLICANT TO:
Participate in a training program for up to 18 months. You are eligible to participate in a training program during the dates listed in Item #3 on the pink copy of your DS-2019 form. Please remember that this particular J-1 visa DOES NOT allow employment outside of the training program and is NOT extendable past 18 months under any circumstances.
Obtain a Social Security number. Obtain a U.S. driver’s license.

THE J-1 VISA DOES NOT ALLOW THE APPLICANT TO:
Change host employer or gain employment outside of the original training program.
Extend the training program past 18 months.

The visa should have been issued as an “M” or “Multiple” Entry Visa. This indicates that the participant may travel in and out of the United States until the date the J-1 visa expires. If the trainee wishes to leave and then reenter the U.S. after the J-1 visa has expired, or wishes to remain in the U.S. past the J-1 visa expiration date, the participant must apply for a tourist visa.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) recommends that the trainee apply for a change of status 45 days prior to the expiration of the J-1 visa. Applications for change of status (tourist visa, etc…) will cost the candidate approximately US$ 75. We recommend that the candidate makes and retains copies of any applications or other materials that the trainee sends to the INS.

CHANGING HOST COMPANIES
It is very important to understand that the applicant is not allowed to leave the host company in the middle of the trainee or the J-1 Visa Status will expire. Also, the candidate may not request to change to a new host company during the program. This is due to visa restrictions regarding change in companies by the Department of States and an agreement with the employer to serve as the host company in the J-1 Visa program.

If the employment is terminated for any reason, or if the candidate is laid off for any reason, the participant must return to his home country within 30 days. The candidate is not allowed to look for another position within the United States in these conditions. Under rare circumstances that are clearly beyond the candidate’s control, such as the host company going out of business, International Trainee Network will evaluate the situation separately, file the necessary approvals from the Sponsor Organization and make appropriate arrangements for the trainee to find another host company if approval is granted.

 

Q : How can I be assured that it is not being deceived to pay the program fees?
A : Before paying the program fees, participants will receive a confirmation letter (DS 2019), to bring this document to apply for a visa. The embassy will check the authenticity of the document before issuing a visa. And when you arrive, the officers of the organization as a sponsor as an administrator will take care of you. So there is no need to worry about being left behind.

Q : Am I allowed to choose, or change employer or host family?
A : If there are more than one host companies or host families who want to hire you, then you may. But you are not allowed to change host company or host family during the program unless your host company or family leaves the program. 

Q : Is it worth to invest in this program?
A :  Absolutely yes. Participants will have opportunity to earn and save up to many hundreds thousand Baht.

 

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