Congratulations on becoming a Spirit J-1 participant!
Spirit is your J-1 program sponsor and advocate while you are in the USA. We will check on you and provide support when you need help. If you have questions during your Work and Travel program, you can call or email us. Here are some reminders to help you prepare for your program.
What should I do before I arrive in the USA?
- Log in to the Participant Support Center – Log in to view your online orientation, access the monthly check-in form and view information on insurance, cultural activities and much more.
- Review your job offer – Your job offer has very important information on your position, housing, cultural activity suggestions and arrival transportation information. All participants are required to read and review their job offers in order to prepare for their Work and Travel Program. Follow instructions on your job offer to reserve housing and make appropriate travel plans.
- Reserve your housing – You must reserve housing before arrival to ensure the best rate and availability! We recommend reserving your housing as soon as you accept your job offer. Participants who wait too long risk losing their housing options.
- Reserve transportation – International flights can become more expensive if not purchased early enough. Contact your home sending agency about purchasing your transportation to the USA as soon as possible. Make sure your agency also sends your travel reservations to Spirit so we know when to expect your arrival.
- Financial Support – Arrive in the USA with enough money to cover food and housing expenses until you receive your first paycheck. Most participants do not receive their first paycheck until 2 – 3 weeks after they begin working.
What should I do after I arrive in the USA?
- Stay in contact – Call your employer during regular business hours and let them know that you have arrived and are traveling to your job. If you flight is delayed, call your employer and let them know your new arrival time. Contact your relatives back home to let them know that you have safely arrived in the USA.
- Submit a SEVIS update – SEVIS is a United States government system that tracks your program status and where you live and work during your program.
- Log into MyInsurance - Log in to access your medical insurance information. More information is also available in the Participant Support Center.
Why and when do I use SEVIS?
In order to maintain an active program status, SEVIS Updates need to be submitted to Spirit for the following reasons:
- Within 7 days of arrival in the USA.
- Within 7 days of changing your housing address or job. (Remember: All job changes must be screened and approved by Spirit before you start work.)
- Every thirty days in order to submit monthly check-ins.
Enjoy cultural activities –participating in cultural activities is the best way to experience life and culture in the USA. It’s important that you enjoy as many activities as possible during your Work and Travel Program and at least two per month. Read your job offer for cultural activity suggestions in your local area while in the USA.
More resources are available within the Participant Support Center! Log in to view your online Orientation and other important materials.