Employers - 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 the legal program sponsor?
HTP, not the host employer that you represent, is the legal sponsor of the exchange program.
Can my participant get a part time job while on a J-1 visa?Taxes
No. J-1 participants are not allowed to earn wages at any employer other than the host employer listed on Form DS-2019.
Can my participant change host employers during the program?
No. The location of training is specified on Form DS-2019. If terms or conditions change during the course of the training, HTP must be notified to determine if they warrant a transfer of training site.
What if we have to terminate the program?
If the host organization terminates the program, the J-1 visa status will become invalid and the participant must exit the U.S. Contact HTP immediately.
Can the J-1 visa be extended?
The maximum length of training allowed is 18 months for trainees and 12 months for interns. If the J-1 visa was issued for less than 18 months HTP may be able to extend it to 18 months. Contact HTP for information.
Does my participant have to pay taxes or file a tax return? Lost or stolen documents
Yes. J-1 participants are legally required to pay the following taxes:
Federal Taxes: Income tax is paid by all income-earning individuals to the federal government.
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. Note:
No Medicare tax or Social Security tax should be withheld from J-1participants' salaries as they are classified as “Non-Resident aliens”. For additional information, please refer to IRS Publication: 519. You may view this publication online at http://www.irs.gov/publications/p519/index.html
. How do participants file their tax return?
Since filing taxes can be a lengthy and complicated process, we recommend participants 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.
Form DS-2019 was lost or stolen. What should the participant 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
Have the participant contact their home country's embassy or consulate located in the U.S. as they are the only ones that can replace the passport. The J1 visa cannot be replaced once the participant has 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 participation in the program.
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 they 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.
My participant is going on holiday outside of the US. What should he/she do?
Please ensure that the participant does not leave the U.S. without having their DS-2019 validated for travel by HTP. There is a $50 fee payable via the participant section of our website. Send the original DS-2019 to HTP as soon as possible. HTP will need a least one-week to sign the form and return it to the participant. We strongly recommend that they send the form via FedEx or the US mail using a tracking number. Please include the following information:
- Dates of travel
- Current address including phone number and email address
- Return address and phone number
HTP will return the form via FedEx. Our signature is valid for one year from the date signed. If the participant travels again in that one-year period, please have them email travel dates to HTP at firstname.lastname@example.org
. If there is an emergency and the participant must return home immediately, have them send Form DS-2019 form to HTP immediately with complete return address overseas and phone number and we will return it via FedEx. The participant should not return to the U.S. without a signed DS 2019.How long is the participant allowed to stay in the US after the program has ended?
Upon successful completion of the program, the Department of Homeland Security allows participants to stay 30 days after the end date listed on Form DS-2019. Can the participant continue training those last 30 days instead of travelling?
No. The end date on Form DS-2019 is the last day of training. This is a J-1 Visa regulation.