While in the USA

I have lost my passport/DS-2019/Social Security card - what do I do?

It is essential you carry your important documents (passport, DS-2019, etc) with you at all times. However, in the case of lost or stolen documents please follow the steps below.

  • Passport: Contact your closest Consulate/Embassy for a new passport.
  • DS-2019 form: Contact your US Sponsor immediately. A Customer Services Agent will assist you in acquiring a new DS-2019 form. Please be aware there will be a charge for the replacement DS-2019 form.
  • Social Security Card: Contact your local Social Security Office to apply for a replacement card. DO NOT apply for a new card.

If you require more information on how to acquire new documents that have been lost or stolen please contact your US Sponsor or USIT at

Can I leave the USA for a holiday while on my J-1 visa?

Yes. BUT participants wishing to visit neighbouring countries (i.e. Canada) or return to Ireland for a short period while on the J-1 Summer Work and Travel Programme must inspect their documents carefully before leaving the USA. Check whether or not your visa allows you to make multiple entries in to the USA. This will be indicated by the letter "M" under the word "ENTRIES" on your J-1 visa. This will allow you to re-enter the USA more than once, as long as your J-1 visa and DS-2019 are both valid. If your J-1 visa and/or DS-2019 form is expired, you will NOT be able to re-enter the USA under the J-1 visa status.

However, travel to the Tijuana Metropolitan area in Mexico (includes Rosarito) is not permitted under any circumstances. Failure to abide by this will result in immediate termination from the programme.

Please Note: Before your trips please contact your US Sponsor as you must have your DS-2019 form signed by a "Responsible Officer" in the US Sponsor's office. Please refer to the J1 handbook for more detailed information on how to obtain a signature, from the US Sponsor, on your DS-2019 form.

Is finding accommodation in big cities like New York or Chicago for such a short period of time like 2 months or so difficult?

The best advice we can offer is to look to research companies like J1 Accomm who look after specific accommodation for J1 students in New York, San Francisco and Chicago. Keep an eye on the Facebook groups where people look to rent out rooms and accommodation.

Are flights in the USA expensive?

Depending on the airline and when you book you can get them for a good price, Jet Blue is a good option when you are in the US.

Do you need to get an American bank account?

Yes, your US sponsor will explain how to set this up during your online orientation before you depart.
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