Skip main content

FAQs

General Information

“SEVIS” stands for “Student and Exchange Visitors Information System”.

SEVIS is a United States Government computerized system that collects and manages data about all international students and exchange visitors, including ICEO participants. SEVIS tells the U.S. Government where exchange visitors live, work, and exchange visitors’ status during the program.

Per www.ice.gov/sevis: “SEVIS is a web-based system for maintaining information on international nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors in the United States. It is the core technology for the DHS in this critical mission.”

The DS-2019 Form or “Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status” is the primary document used in the administration of the exchange visitor program. This form permits a prospective exchange visitor to seek an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in order to obtain a J visa to enter the United States. The DS-2019 Form identifies the exchange visitor and their designated sponsor (for example ICEO) and provides a brief description of the exchange visitor’s program, including the start and end date, category of exchange program, and an estimate of the cost of the exchange program.

Form I-94 is the DHS Arrival/Departure Record issued to foreign visitors who are admitted to the United States.

To learn more please visit: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home

The “ICEO Travel Request Form” form is to be completed by all ICEO Program participants planning to re-enter the United States after a visit to another country during the ICEO Program participation. This form is included in the ICEO Program Participant Handbook.

Many US host companies require their employees to undergo testing for the use of drugs. This is completely legal and within the company’s rights. If participants want to work for a host company which requires such testing, they must comply; otherwise, they may not be hired. If they test positive for drug use, the company may disqualify them, they will not be hired and ICEO may terminate their program participation.

Participants are required to attend a Home Country Orientation Meeting before they depart to the United States. Essential information is presented at the meeting, including immigration entry procedures and arrival instructions specific to the program destination.

Participants of ICEO Programs can find detailed information about their ICEO Program in the ICEO Program Participant Handbook. Each candidate receives the handbook prior to completing a program application.

 

USA Summer Work / Travel Program - General Information

During ICEO Program, participants are prohibited in working:

  • In positions that could bring notoriety or disrepute to the Exchange Visitor Program;
  • In sales positions that require participants to purchase inventory that they must sell in order to support themselves;
  • In domestic help positions in private homes (e.g., child care, elder care, gardener, chauffeur);
  • As pedicab or rolling chair drivers or operators;
  • As operators or drivers of vehicles or vessels for which drivers’ licenses are required regardless of whether they carry passengers or not;
  • In positions related to clinical care that involves patient contact;
  • In any position in the adult entertainment industry (including, but not limited to jobs with escort services, adult book/video stores, and strip clubs);
  • In positions requiring work hours that fall predominantly between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.;
  • In positions declared hazardous to youth by the Secretary of Labor at Subpart E of 29 CFR part 570;
  • In positions that require sustained physical contact with other people and/or adherence to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Universal Blood and Body Fluid Precautions guidelines (e.g., body piercing, tattooing, massage, manicure);
  • In positions that are substantially commission-based and thus do not guarantee that participants will be paid minimum wage in accordance with federal and state standards;
  • In positions involved in gaming and gambling that include direct participation in wagering and/or betting;
  • In positions in chemical pest control, warehousing, catalogue/online order distribution centers;
  • In positions with travelling fairs or itinerant concessionaires;
  • In positions for which there is another specific J category (e.g., camp counselor, intern, trainee); or
  • In positions in the North American Industry Classification System’s (NAICS) Goods-Producing Industries occupational categories industry sectors 11, 21, 23, 31–33 numbers (set forth at http://www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag_index_htm).
  • In positions in a staffing agency; or
  • In positions that require licensing
  • In other positions ICEO deems inappropriate.

The “ICEO Employment Confirmation Letter” is a form used by ICEO to complete the details of the host company’s employment offers for Program participants. The “ICEO Employment Confirmation Letter” has to be signed by both an authorized host company representative and the program participant. ICEO requires the form every time a participant accepts new employment opportunity. A blank copy of the “ICEO Employment Confirmation Letter” is included in the Program Participant Handbook.

USA Summer Work / Travel Program - Participants / Candidates

Participants can best experience U.S. culture by becoming a part of the community and enjoying the different lifestyle each location offers. By visiting local historic sites and participating in local events, not only will the participants get to experience new activities, they will also see how American people interact and be a part of the culture. Participants will also be exposed to various interactions with their American colleagues and customers during the employment component of their program. This is a great opportunity to see and experience American lifestyle and culture in the workplace. It is important to visit and become familiar with local visitors and community centers to learn what activities are available in participant’s local community during the program.

Sports are a big part of the American culture. Participants can actively participate in sporting events such as basketball, soccer, bike rides, cross country running or by joining different local teams or events available in their community or host company. Participating in sports with Americans will allow participants to immerse themselves even deeper within the local communities.

Sightseeing is also an important part of the overall cultural experience. In addition to visiting major cities like New York, Boston, San Francisco or Washington D.C., other famous sites like Mount Rushmore, Old Faithful, Grand Canyon or other national parks will give participants a better sense of what the American culture is about.

ICEO Arranged Cultural Events:

ICEO plans and arranges multiple cultural activities for ICEO Program participants. The events include guided sightseeing tours, local activities and community involvement.

Yes, you can. However, you must notify ICEO immediately every time you intend to change host companies, employment positions or If you decide to have additional employment. ICEO will conduct a vetting process of the proposed new employment. You may begin your new employment only after ICEO has approved your new proposed host company and/or new employment position.

Before arriving in the United States, participants should start identifying apartments, hotels or other types of accommodation in the city they will be traveling to. By contacting possible accommodation options (by email/phone call), participants will have a better understanding of the cost of living for that particular area. Aside from cost, it is also important to look at available public transportation and accommodation safety around the area. Upon arrival in the United States, hotels/hostels can be used as temporary housing while you are looking for permanent housing. Extended stay hotels are usually the best options, as they can provide both temporary and permanent housing solutions, depending on the cost and distance from the employer. Networking or sharing lodging with other participants will help minimize cost. Detailed information regarding housing can be found in the Program Participant Handbook.

In general, the answer is Yes. There are two key words to understanding what you are obligated to pay in taxes and what you do not have to pay. The term “Exempt” refers to a status, in which you do not have to pay money for a certain type of tax. The term “Non-exempt” refers to a status, in which you are obligated to pay a certain tax.

Under the J-1 non-immigrant visa status, you are not subject to the following taxes:

  • Social security and Medicare tax (FICA)
  • Federal unemployment tax (FUTA)

Detailed information regarding Taxes can be found in the Program Participant Handbook.

ICEO will terminate ICEO USA Summer Work / Travel Programs of participants who fail to comply with program regulations and ICEO rules, including but not limited to:

  • Reporting to ICEO within 10 days of the arrival to the United States
  • Reporting to ICEO initially secured residence within 10 days
  • Reporting to ICEO any change of residence within 10 days
  • Only working at ICEO approved host companies in the approved positions
  • Responding to ICEO’s mandatory monthly communication within set deadlines

USA Internship and Training Programs - General Information

Any employment type activity which is not specifically described on the “DS-7002 Form – Training / Internship Placement Plan” is prohibited. In addition, participant cannot engage in training or internship:

  • in any unskilled or casual labor position
  • in positions that require or involve childcare or elder care
  • in any kind of position that involves patient care or contact
  • in a position that involves more than 20 percent clerical work
  • with a Staffing/Employment Agency
  • in positions, occupations, or businesses that could bring the Exchange Visitor Program or the U.S Department of State and / or ICEO into notoriety or disrepute
  • in other positions ICEO deems inappropriate.

DS-7002 form is a Training / Internship Placement Plan that is completed and approved by the American host company, along with the Program participant and ICEO, prior to program participation. The DS-7002 form contains all the details of internship or training placement, including program phases, objectives, skills which participant will learn during the program and additional important information regarding participation in the internship or training. The form must be fully completed and signed by the American host company representative, an ICEO Program officer and participant. Participants must take their fully executed DS-7002 form (signed by American host company representative, ICEO Program officer and participant) to the J-1 visa interview at the U.S. Consular Post along with other documents, such as, passport and DS-2019 form.

USA Internship and Training Programs - Participants / Candidates

Participants can best experience U.S. culture by becoming a part of the community and enjoying the different lifestyle each location offers. By visiting local historic sites and participating in local events, not only will the participants get to experience new activities, they will also see how American people interact and be a part of the culture. Participants will also be exposed to various interactions with their American colleagues and customers during the employment component of their program. This is a great opportunity to see and experience American lifestyle and culture in the workplace. It is important to visit and become familiar with local visitors and community centers to learn what activities are available in participant’s local community during the program.

Sports are a big part of the American culture. Participants can actively participate in sporting events such as basketball, soccer, bike rides, cross country running or by joining different local teams or events available in their community or host company. Participating in sports with Americans will allow participants to immerse themselves even deeper within the local communities.

Sightseeing is also an important part of the overall cultural experience. In addition to visiting major cities like New York, Boston, San Francisco or Washington D.C., other famous sites like Mount Rushmore, Old Faithful, Grand Canyon or other national parks will give participants a better sense of what the American culture is about.

No; You can only be employed by the host company and be involved in activities listed on your DS-7002 Form.

Before arriving in the United States, participants should start identifying apartments, hotels or other types of accommodation in the city they will be traveling to. By contacting possible accommodation options (by email/phone call), participants will have a better understanding of the cost of living for that particular area. Aside from cost, it is also important to look at available public transportation and accommodation safety around the area. Upon arrival in the United States, hotels/hostels can be used as temporary housing while you are looking for permanent housing. Extended stay hotels are usually the best options, as they can provide both temporary and permanent housing solutions, depending on the cost and distance from the employer. Networking or sharing lodging with other participants will help minimize cost. Detailed information regarding housing can be found in the Program Participant Handbook.

In general, the answer is Yes. There are two key words to understanding what you are obligated to pay in taxes and what you do not have to pay. The term “Exempt” refers to a status, in which you do not have to pay money for a certain type of tax. The term “Non-exempt” refers to a status, in which you are obligated to pay a certain tax.

Under the J-1 non-immigrant visa status, you are not subject to the following taxes:

  • Social security and Medicare tax (FICA)
  • Federal unemployment tax (FUTA)

Detailed information regarding Taxes can be found in the Program Participant Handbook.

AU & NZ 12 Month Pilot Program - General Information

During ICEO Program, participants are prohibited in working:

  • In positions that could bring notoriety or disrepute to the Exchange Visitor Program;
  • In sales positions that require participants to purchase inventory that they must sell in order to support themselves;
  • In domestic help positions in private homes (e.g., child care, elder care, gardener, chauffeur);
  • As pedicab or rolling chair drivers or operators;
  • As operators or drivers of vehicles or vessels for which drivers’ licenses are required regardless of whether they carry passengers or not;
  • In positions related to clinical care that involves patient contact;
  • In any position in the adult entertainment industry (including, but not limited to jobs with escort services, adult book/video stores, and strip clubs);
  • In positions requiring work hours that fall predominantly between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.;
  • In positions declared hazardous to youth by the Secretary of Labor at Subpart E of 29 CFR part 570;
  • In positions that require sustained physical contact with other people and/or adherence to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Universal Blood and Body Fluid Precautions guidelines (e.g., body piercing, tattooing, massage, manicure);
  • In positions that are substantially commission-based and thus do not guarantee that participants will be paid minimum wage in accordance with federal and state standards;
  • In positions involved in gaming and gambling that include direct participation in wagering and/or betting;
  • In positions in chemical pest control, warehousing, catalogue/online order distribution centers;
  • In positions with travelling fairs or itinerant concessionaires;
  • In positions for which there is another specific J category (e.g., camp counselor, intern, trainee); or
  • In positions in the North American Industry Classification System’s (NAICS) Goods-Producing Industries occupational categories industry sectors 11, 21, 23, 31–33 numbers (set forth at http://www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag_index_htm).
  • In positions in a staffing agency; or
  • In positions that require licensing
  • In other positions ICEO deems inappropriate.

The “ICEO Employment Confirmation Letter” is a form used by ICEO to complete the details of the host company’s employment offers for Program participants. The “ICEO Employment Confirmation Letter” has to be signed by both an authorized host company representative and the program participant. ICEO requires the form every time a participant accepts new employment opportunity. A blank copy of the “ICEO Employment Confirmation Letter” is included in the Program Participant Handbook.

AU & NZ 12 Month Pilot Program - Participants / Candidates

“ICEO 10-Day Arrival Info Session” is a post arrival orientation meeting, conducted by an ICEO Team Member within 10 days of a participant’s arrival to United States. Please refer to your Program Participant Handbook for scheduling procedures.

Participants can best experience U.S. culture by becoming a part of the community and enjoying the different lifestyle each location offers. By visiting local historic sites and participating in local events, not only will the participants get to experience new activities, they will also see how American people interact and be a part of the culture. Participants will also be exposed to various interactions with their American colleagues and customers during the employment component of their program. This is a great opportunity to see and experience American lifestyle and culture in the workplace. It is important to visit and become familiar with local visitors and community centers to learn what activities are available in participant’s local community during the program.

Sports are a big part of the American culture. Participants can actively participate in sporting events such as basketball, soccer, bike rides, cross country running or by joining different local teams or events available in their community or host company. Participating in sports with Americans will allow participants to immerse themselves even deeper within the local communities.

Sightseeing is also an important part of the overall cultural experience. In addition to visiting major cities like New York, Boston, San Francisco or Washington D.C., other famous sites like Mount Rushmore, Old Faithful, Grand Canyon or other national parks will give participants a better sense of what the American culture is about.

If you are traveling to the United States without pre-arrange employment, ICEO strongly recommends that you review appropriate sections of your Program Participant Handbook. If you need assistance with identifying employment, please do not hesitate to contact ICEO.

Before arriving in the United States, participants should start identifying apartments, hotels or other types of accommodation in the city they will be traveling to. By contacting possible accommodation options (by email/phone call), participants will have a better understanding of the cost of living for that particular area. Aside from cost, it is also important to look at available public transportation and accommodation safety around the area. Upon arrival in the United States, hotels/hostels can be used as temporary housing while you are looking for permanent housing. Extended stay hotels are usually the best options, as they can provide both temporary and permanent housing solutions, depending on the cost and distance from the employer. Networking or sharing lodging with other participants will help minimize cost. Detailed information regarding housing can be found in the Program Participant Handbook.

In general, the answer is Yes. There are two key words to understanding what you are obligated to pay in taxes and what you do not have to pay. The term “Exempt” refers to a status, in which you do not have to pay money for a certain type of tax. The term “Non-exempt” refers to a status, in which you are obligated to pay a certain tax.

Under the J-1 non-immigrant visa status, you are not subject to the following taxes:

  • Social security and Medicare tax (FICA)
  • Federal unemployment tax (FUTA)

Detailed information regarding Taxes can be found in the Program Participant Handbook.

ICEO expects all of its Participants to fully embrace both aspects of the program – work and participation in cultural activities.

ICEO International Representatives

If your company is interested in becoming an ICEO International Representative, please contact ICEO to discuss available opportunities.

Please contact ICEO. We are here to provide all necessary assistance.

Host Companies / Employers

If your company is interested in hiring ICEO Program participants, please contact ICEO to discuss your project.

Please contact ICEO. We are here to provide all necessary assistance.

Outbound Program

Please contact ICEO if you are interested in participating in the ICEO Outbound Program. One of ICEO’s Program Coordinators will contact you to discuss the available options.

ICEO Participants have traveled to destinations that include Poland, Brazil, and Thailand. Please contact ICEO for the current list of available destinations.

ICEO Outbound Programs may last anywhere between 2 weeks and 3 months.

Previous ICEO Participants were able to work and/or volunteer during their program.

Please contact ICEO to discuss details of your programs.

Important Information

Arrival to the United States

Participants arriving to the United States must have their ICEO Program documents with them, including Passport with the J-1 visa and DS-2019 Form. It is also advisable to have hard copies of ICEO Program Participant Handbook and Insurance Card when traveling.

Sufficient Personal Funds

While taking part in the ICEO Programs, Participants must bring sufficient funds to support themselves during the entire stay in the United States including all housing, travel and living expenses.

SEVIS

Participant must notify ICEO of:

  • arrival to the United States within 10 days of the arrival but no later than 20 days from the Program start date listed on the participant’s DS-2019 Form and confirm current U.S. residence address.
  • any change in U.S. residence address within 10 days of the change.

In addition, participant must provide ICEO with a valid e-mail address and phone number upon arrival to the United States and notify ICEO of any change to phone number or e-mail address within 10 days of the change.

Insurance

ICEO Participants – to access your insurance ID Card and information please login to your personal MyInsurance area at: www.esecutive.com/MyInsurance

When you need to see a doctor, follow these steps:

  • Contact GBG Assist – 1.800.817.4345 or GBGAssist@gbg.com
  • See GBG Assist recommended provider
  • If necessary, file a claim for any out-of-pocket expenses

Social Security

ICEO Participants – before applying for your Social Security Number, please contact ICEO to confirm that your program has been activated in SEVIS.

If three weeks have passed and you have not received your card, call the Social Security Administration at 1.800.772.1213.

Important: Your Social Security number is yours alone. Do not allow others to use your number. Record your number in a safe place in case your card is lost or stolen. Protect both your card and your number to prevent misuse.

Communication with ICEO

During the ICEO Programs, participants should promptly inform ICEO of any issues affecting participants’ health, safety, and welfare.