FAQs

Getting Started

Why should I choose Infinity Abroad?

Infinity Abroad offers exciting Work & Tracel USA Programs, made available at minimal time and cost hassle to you.

Infinity Abroad provides comprehensive, flexible services to manage your participation process, in order to free up your time to cope with your busy university schedule, and achieve the ultimate goal of enjoying your experience abroad, without having to worry about the housekeeping.

Our highly qualified international co-operators are individually assigned to personally oversee your journey with us from the start to the end. They are equipped with the knowledge and expertise necessary to assist and advise you regarding any aspects of your Program.

Therefore, be assured that your lifetime adventure is in safe hands, with Infinity Abroad.

What is the Work & Travel Program?

The Work & Travel USA program offers university/college students and fresh graduates the opportunity to work in the United States and gain valuable international work experience while earning money to cover expenses. Participants may work for a maximum 4 months in the summer, spring or winter and will be rewarded extra 30 days to travel everywhere across the United States.

How can I participate in the Work & Travel Program?

You must be sponsored by one of the State Department’s designated sponsors through Infinity Abroad which authorized to conduct Work & Travel program in the United States. A qualified sponsor will issue you the mandatory legal documents in order to apply for the visa in the U.S. Embassy.

How do I apply?

Simply fill out an Information Request Form to start the application process. A representative in Infinity Abroad will contact you promptly with more information and a full application form.

How Infinity Abroad screens and selects eligible participants?

Infinity Abroad will conduct a personal interview to ensure that the program is suitable to your background, expectations, and experience according (but not limited to) the criteria defined below.

  • Student Status/ academic background
  • English proficiency
  • Age limit
  • Location Interest
  • Job interest

What is the definition of “student”?

You must be pursuing a full-time diploma, degree or post-graduate courses in a university/college outside the U.S. You may be a final year student, foreign student studying locally, local student studying internationally outside the U.S., provided you meet all the eligibility requirements.

I just graduated. Can I join Work & Travel USA?

Yes, as long as you participation date falls within 6 months of the end of your studies.

How good does my English have to be?

You do not have to be an excellent English speaker but you must possess at least conversational English skills and be able to communicate comfortably on your own in a complete English speaking environment. The level of your English language knowledge plays a large part in placement options. You must undergo an English screening interview with Infinity Abroad to determine your English level and accordingly define what types of job functions would be best suited for you.

How old do I need to be?

You must be between the ages of 18 and 28 years old.

Can I choose where I will live/work?

Many employers provide housing or housing assistance as a part of your job. You will be given at least one housing option in addition to your job placement if your housing is not provided by your employer. Infinity Abroad will work with your host company to determine to best available housing and we will make sure you have this information at the time of your placement.

How am I getting from the airport to my housing/ workplace?

If your employer will not be picking you up at the airport, you are responsible to plan your own transportation method to go to your housing/ workplace. Infinity Abroad will work with your host company to determine to best way to travel to your employer destination, and we will make sure you have this information at the time of your placement.

How much money should I bring with me to the United States?

Infinity Abroad encourages you to bring a minimum of USD500 to cover initial expenses such as rental, housing deposit and meals. This is important, as you may not receive your first pay check until after you’ve been working for two weeks.

What if I am injured or ill while working on my job in the United States?

You will be covered by workers’ compensation benefits provided by your host company.

What if I am injured or get sick outside of work while in the United States?

You are required to purchase a medical insurance policy before leaving for the United States at a minimum cost. The insurance will cover for sickness or accident during the entire program participation. For the details on insurance coverage, please refer to the insurance policy that you signed/will be signing during your application.

When will my medical insurance expire?

Your insurance coverage is terminated on the end date on your DS-2019 form.

Extending your Medical Insurance Coverage

As a participant on the Work & Travel Program it is your responsibility to maintain your health insurance for the duration of your stay. Many participants choose to stay an additional 30 days in the U.S. after they have finished working. For this reason an additional 4 weeks of medical insurance can be purchased from your sponsor. This purchase must be done before the program end date listed on your DS-2019 form.

 

Housing

Can I change my residence during my program?

This depends on the terms and the arrangements you made with your employment agreement. Your agreement might have included pre-arranged accommodations in which case, you will not be allowed to seek other housing, unless your employer allows you to do so. If your housing is self-arranged, you are allowed to change, but it also depends on your housing agreements with the landlord. At all times, keep your sponsor informed of any changes of your housing locations.

Why can’t I move out now, I found something cheaper?

Since you arranged to secure your housing in advance, you are making a legal commitment. If you break this commitment, or leave, you will lose your deposit and risk facing legal action.

Why do I need to pay a cleaning fee?

A cleaning fee is usually required to have professional cleaning of carpets and furniture done after your departure. It is normal to include this type of fee when a property is rented for 3 or more months.

Why do I need to bring linens and towels?

Most housing properties no longer provide this service, due to sheets and towels being stolen or damaged by previous residents. In addition, you should bring your own for hygienic purposes. You can also purchases these items at supermarkets like Wal-Mart!

Why do I need to buy glasses, plates, forks and pots and pans?

If a housing property is not rented as “furnished”, it is the tenant choice to purchase or rent some kitchen and general household items, should you require them. The best and cheapest places to buy these items are a Thrift store of stores called “The Dollar Store”.

Why do I need to leave my housing by the date on my DS‐2019 form?

There might be other participants moving into your housing to continue the work for the Host Company. When your DS‐2019 end date passes, you legally cannot work. At that point your travel period begins. We suggest you ask your landlord or host company how long you can stay in your housing after your DS‐2019 end date. You may need to pay additional rent if space is available.

Why can’t I move into my housing earlier than what it states on my job offer?

There may be other tenants with reservations for your housing property, or the landlord may need to prepare the housing for new tenants before you can move in.

What happens if one of my roommates leaves early, or is asked to leave early, and does not pay the rent for the entire time contracted? How will this affect the weekly rent to other tenants?

You and your other roommates may be asked to pay the rent of the person that left. This is something you will need to ask your landlord. Also see if this information is stated in the lease agreement. Landlords usually expect a certain total amount each week or each month.

 

Working in the United States

Do I have to stay at one job?

Yes, you must fulfill your work commitment after signing a job offer. Infinity Abroad expects that you report to your pre-arranged employer on time and carry out all duties and responsibilities required in your employment. You are not allowed to change pre-arranged employer without prior approval from us. However, if you are experiencing difficulties, please contact your program sponsor and Infinity Abroad for assistance. We will be happy to help you in any way we can.

I am not happy with my job. May I change my employer?

No. This is not a valid reason for breaching a job contract. Under no condition should you leave your host company without permission from us. Failure to notify us before leaving your host company will result in DISMISSAL of your program and you will be required to return to your home country immediately.

What if I can’t resolve the problems in my workplace?

There may be rare instances where a change in your host employer may become necessary. Talk to your supervisors and manager and tell them about your concerns. Often, problems are a result of miscommunication. If the problems persist, we will work with you and your employer to resolve any problem you may be encountering. If you feel that it may be necessary for you to change your host employer, you must contact us to discuss your options.

Note: Please note that transfers are not a common practice for the WAT Program. Transfers are done on a case to case basis and are not guaranteed.

What should I do if I am fired?

If you are fired, you must contact your U.S. Sponsor immediately. Your U.S. Sponsor will investigate the reason and discuss the issue with you and your employer. Depending on the results, one of the below decision will be taken:

  • You may not be allowed to continue your program and you may be asked to return home.
  • You may be given a second chance by permitting you to look for alternative employment opportunities on your own or with our assistance. Normally, you will have 2 weeks to secure a new job.

What are some examples where my program could be terminated and I would have to return home?

You could be putting your program participation in jeopardy if you fail to follow the procedures and protocols made clear to you during your application and orientation. Some examples include:

  • Failure to contact your program sponsor upon your arrival to the U.S.
  • Failure to contact program sponsor should you move to another housing location
  • Leaving your employment without approval from your program sponsor
  • Being fired from by your host employer
  • Breaking U.S. laws

What will happen to my J-1 visa status if I plan to withdraw from my Work & Travel USA program?

If you plan to withdraw from your program you must notify your U.S. Sponsor. If you withdraw, your program sponsor will enter this information into SEVIS and terminate your J-1 Visa status, and you will be expected to depart the United States immediately. You will not be entitled to the post-completion 30 day travel period because you did not successfully complete your program.

What if I want to stay and work longer?

Extensions beyond 4 months are not allowed for the J-1 Work & Travel USA program. However, if you started out with a 3 month contract, Infinity Abroad may extend your program to its maximum regulatory duration of 4 months, provided your host company approves your extension. Please notify your Sponsor of your expected last working date in order to modify the record in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).

What if I would like to work longer than my commitment date, but there is not a position with my current employer?

Please contact your U.S. Sponsor. We will try to match you with another employer who is looking for staff but it is not guaranteed. Please note that, in most cases, employers will only hire students who are able to work for at least three weeks.

What am I allowed to do during my time off from work?

You are allowed to go where you want to go and do what you want to do, from a short getaway to shopping, provided you obey U.S. laws and Work & Travel USA Program rules.

Can I work at more than one job in my free time?

Yes. You may apply for a second job to make extra money, as long as it does not affect your schedule or performance at your primary position. However, check with your sponsor prior to accepting a second position to make sure the particular position is not prohibited.

What if I’m injured on the job?

All job-related injuries are covered by Worker’s Compensation. Your employer should refer to their Worker’s Compensation insurance policy.

Who do I contact in case of an emergency?

Your program sponsor will normally provide you with a 24-hour emergency help line during your stay in the U.S. However, should you have life threatening emergency, you should call the appropriate authorities (police, fire department and ambulance) by dialing 911 from any telephone.

Who do I contact if I have other concerns about my program while I am in the United States?

Please always contact your U.S. Sponsor first. They will be your immediate contact and provide firsthand assistance to you. Having said so, Infinity Abroad will also be here to help you with any queries you may encounter.

Do I need to pay income taxes?

Yes. Anyone who works in the United States is required to pay taxes. However, as a J-1 Work & Travel USA participant, you are required to pay Federal, State and City (if applicable) taxes only. You will not have to pay Social Security and Medicare Tax (FICA) or Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA). You may be able to claim back part or most of the income taxes you’ve paid in the following year.

Can I change my residence during my program?

It depends on the contract or arrangements you made with your sponsor or the pre-arranged employer. Some pre-arranged employment conditions include accommodations as a part of the employment agreement. In this case, you cannot seek other housing. If housing is not included in your job contract, you can change housing. You must however, keep your sponsor informed of your U.S. address.

 

Social Security Card Information

Important: The 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.

What if I have not received my Social Security card?

If it has been 6 weeks and you still have not received your SS card, please contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-722-1213. Have your Social Security receipt ready to provide your details as required.

Do I need to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN)?

A SSN is a MUST. Everyone who works in the States must have a SSN for documentation and tax filing purposes. You need your SSN to open a bank account as well. One of the first things you should do upon your arrival is visit the local Social Security Administration Office to apply for your SSN.

I already have a SSN from my previous Work and Travel Program.

If you already have a SSN, you do not need to apply for a new one.

How long will it take for me to receive my social security card after applying?

It can take around 4 – 6 weeks for your SS card to arrive. The card will be mailed straight to the mailing address or the PO Box you requested the card to be sent to.

Why would the Social Security office reject my application or say it cannot be verified in the system?

In certain situations, your information on your I-94 might not match your record with the SSA Office. In this case, your SSA Office will request secondary verification through a special Department of Homeland Security in Los Angeles, who will check your record on SEVIS.

However, if you did not write your information accurately on your I-94 form, these errors will have to be manually corrected by a DHS immigration official at the nearest international airport, which takes time. The DHS keys in your handwritten information on the I-94 into their system. Therefore, it is important to write your information, such as your legal (passport) name and date of birth, clearly and legibly on the I-94.

What if the Social Security office rejects my application due to incorrect information on the application?

If your application is rejected, please contact the Social Security office that rejected it for assistance with correcting the matter. If you do not receive help from the office, you will have to visit the nearest international airport to correct the documents.

Visit the Customs and Border Patrol website at www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/toolbox/contacts/deferred_inspection/ to determine the location of the deferred inspection site and to make an appointment, if required.

What should I do if I have been waiting for my Social Security card for over six weeks?

Please keep in mind that some Social Security offices are much slower than others, depending on the volume of applications received. To check on your application status, you can contact the national Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213, or visit www.ssa.gov/locator to find your local office location.

If you have been waiting for over six weeks, you should review your documents to determine any possible errors in your information. If you find that you have made a mistake, contact the Social Security office immediately to amend the problem, instead of waiting for a rejection letter to arrive.

What should I do if I have to leave the United States at the end of my program before receiving my Social Security number? Or, what if I never completed the application process for a Social Security number?

You require the Social Security number to file for tax returns. If you do not have a social security number, you should contact your home country’s U.S. Embassy to obtain an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. If not, you should download and complete Form W-7 along with your tax return documents before sending them together to the IRS.

What if I make a mistake on my forms at the airport?

You will need to contact the Social Security office where you applied for your Social Security number. They will be able to help you determine the mistake and then correct the problem.

What if I leave the United States without giving the customs officer the I-94 card?

The original I-94 card must be surrendered when returning to your home country after your program is complete. If for some reason you didn’t surrender your I-94 to the customs officials, the original I-94 should be sent to:

ACS, Inc. ACS-USCIS 1084 South Laurel Road

OR

PO Box 7125 London, Kentucky 40744 London, KY 40742 USA.

This must be submitted with proof of departure. Without this proof of the departure, there is no guarantee that the information will be entered into their system. The proof of departure should include (1) a copy of the arrival stamp in one’s passport and (2) the boarding pass from the flight. Please keep photocopies of these documents before submitting them.

I already have a Social Security number from a previous program. Can I still use that number?

Yes. A Social Security number is valid for life. You do not have to apply for a new card.

 

Traveling in the United States

How long can I travel after my work commitment is done?

After your work commitment period is stated in your DS-2019. After your commitment is done, you may explore the United States for up to 30 days (past the date on your DS-2019). However, you are not allowed to work during this period, just travel!

May I travel in the United States in my days off?

Yes. You are allowed to do anything you would like to do in your free time, provided you obey U.S. laws and Work & Travel USA Program rules. You might be able to go for a short trip for a few days. However, you must notify your sponsor, and have your short leave approved by your supervisor or manager prior to leaving for your trip.

Can I stay longer than my 30 extra travel days?

No. Your maximum stay in the United States after your job is done is 30 days and you must return to your home country immediately afterwards.

Am I allowed to travel to neighborhood countries, like Canada and Mexico with my J-1 Visa?

Yes. But you must make sure your visa is marked as “M” under entries, authorizing multiple entries. You do not need a visa to travel to Mexico but you must apply for a Canadian Visa If you would like to travel to Canada. However, you must re-enter the United States before the last date stated in your DS-2019 form.

What do I need to do if I want to travel outside the U.S. during my program?

You must discuss with your supervisors or manager authorizing the time away from work. You will also need to send your original DS-2019 to your sponsor in order to have it stamped/signed for re-entry in the United States. Failure to do so may cause you to be detained at the border upon your return, or worse, you may be barred from entering the United States to continue your program.

Note: You are only allowed to travel outside the US for 30 consecutive days.

 

Post Program

How do I get my tax refund?

During your employment you will be required to pay taxes, which will be deducted automatically from your pay check by your employer. After you complete your employment, and have returned to Malaysia, you are able to file for a refund of a portion of the taxes that you paid. We will assist you with this process.

How much will I get refunded for the taxes I paid?

It depends on how much you earn during the period. Most people are able to claim back most or part of the income taxes they have paid in the previous year, normally ranging from 400USD to 600USD.

Can I participate in Work & Travel USA program again?

Yes of course! You can participate more than once during your following official school break as long as you still meet the eligibility requirements for the Work and Travel program.

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