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  • How you can participate in the #SaveJ1 Campaign

    On 22 June, the US government suspended a number of non-immigrant visa programs until the end of 2020.

    The government’s proclamation affects a range of different visa programs including the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program.

    J-1 participants who were hoping to travel as an intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program participant will now not be able to enter the US before the end of the year.

    The government has stated that the intention behind the visa suspensions is to boost jobs for Americans during the economic crisis.

    However, as the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is an important cultural exchange program – and not a work program – a new #SaveJ1 Campaign has been established with the aim of lifting the suspension of J-1 visas.

    What is the J-1 Program?

    The J-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa that provides a range of opportunities for international cultural exchange participants who are looking to travel and gain life and work experience in the US.

    Benefits of the J-1 Program to the US

    The combination of J-1 Programs – such as the Camp Counsellor, Intern, Trainee and Summer Work Travel – contribute more than $2.1 billion to the US economy each year.

    The J-1 Exchange Visitor category was introduced in 1961 in an effort to enhance understanding between US citizens and people from all around the world through educational and cultural exchanges.

    It also provides an opportunity for US citizens to learn about new cultures.

    What is being done to save J-1 visas?

    The #SaveJ1 campaign is striving to protect the J-1 Program for all participants. This hashtag is being shared across social media to spread awareness of the issue.

    Our partners at the Alliance for International Exchange have played a key role in driving this campaign and you can learn more about the #SaveJ1 campaign here.

     

    J-1 visa exchange program students

    How can you help?

    Learn the facts

    This fact sheet outlines everything you need to know about the suspension of the J-1 Program and the #SaveJ1 campaign. 

    Harness the power of social media

    Share your support for #SaveJ1 on social media.

    Not sure what to post? Check out this Social Media Tool Kit.

    Sign a petition

    You can sign a petition – like this one to save the Au Pair Program.

    Write a letter

    You can share your support for #SaveJ1 by writing an online letter to the White House or Congress.

    Where to find more information

    Learn more about the #SaveJ1 campaign at the links below.

    https://www.americansforculturalexchange.org/take-action-now

    https://www.iapa.org/call-to-action-help-us-to-save-the-u-s-a-au-pair-program-savej1/

    https://www.iena.org/blog/savej1-campaign/

     

     

  • Dreaming of a work and travel trip to the US? Here’s how to turn your dream into a reality!

    J-1 Work and Travel job opportunities

    College semester coming to an end? Striving to find something new? You may be considering venturing on a J-1 US work and travel experience of a lifetime. And you’re not alone.

    In fact 300,000 foreign visitors travel to the US each year to work and experience ‘the American dream’.

    The work and travel program enables university and college students from around the world to spend an amazing summer working and travelling in the US. Participants can gather new knowledge, gain work experience and make new friends.

    But there’s one downside. For many people, the J-1 visa application process is extremely daunting. Where do you begin? And what if you can’t find a job in the US?

    Fortunately there are a number of organisations out there that can manage your J-1 visa application for you. Some of them will even guarantee to find you work!

    Let’s take a look at some of the best options below.

    Continue reading “Dreaming of a work and travel trip to the US? Here’s how to turn your dream into a reality!” »

  • Independence Day and Uncle Sam

    Hello friends,

    Hope that you had an amazing year at university and you managed to cope with everything new– settling into a new place, making friends, studying new subjects and, of course, taking your end-of-year exams.

    The vacation is very close and most international students are going back home to spend an amazing summer with family and friends. However, if you have decided to stay in the US for the summer or you haven’t had a chance to book a ticket home yet, don’t worry! We guarantee that if you hang around, you will not get bored, especially during the summer as the US becomes such a festive and colorful place. There are bound to be new experiences aplenty for you to enjoy so make the most of them. It’s a topical time to write about two iconic parts of American cultureIndependence Day and Uncle Sam.

    Independence Day

    One of the biggest celebrations in the US calendar is just around the corner – Independence Day on the 4th of July. Wherever you are in the US, there’s bound to be a lot going on to mark this day with parties, parades, barbecues and fireworks displays, just to mention a few.

    Independence Day is a commemoration of the 1776 Declaration of Independence when the United States of America declared independence from Great Britain.

    Independence Day or Fourth of July, as it’s sometimes called, has been a federal holiday in the US since 1941. Wherever you are on the day itself, enjoy the celebratory atmosphere.

    Uncle Sam

    Something else which is every bit as American as 4th July is Uncle Sam. Have you heard of him? Most people living in the US will be very familiar with posters or pictures of this American icon. So who was he?

    Uncle Sam was supposedly based on a real person, Samuel Wilson from Troy, New York. He was a meat packer who supplied barrels of beef to the United States army during the War of 1812. Wilson (1766-1854) stamped the barrels with the letters “U.S.” standing for United States, but soldiers began referring to the grub as “Uncle Sam’s.” The local newspaper picked up on the story and Uncle Sam eventually gained widespread acceptance as the nickname for the US federal government.

    The cartoonist Thomas Nast (1840-1902) began popularizing the image of Uncle Sam – giving him the white beard and stars-and-stripes suit that are associated with the character we know today.

    However, the most famous image of Uncle Sam was created by artist James Montgomery Flagg (1877-1960). In Flagg’s version, Uncle Sam wears a top hat and blue jacket and is pointing straight ahead at the viewer. The image, which became immensely popular, was first used on the cover of Leslie’s Weekly in July 1916 with the title “What Are You Doing for Preparedness?”

    During World War I, this portrait of Sam with the words “I Want You For The US Army” was used as a recruiting poster. The poster was widely distributed and has subsequently been re-used numerous times with different captions.

    In September 1961, US Congress recognized Samuel Wilson as “the progenitor of America’s national symbol of Uncle Sam.” Wilson died at the age of 88 in 1854, and was buried next to his wife Betsey Mann in the Oakwood Cemetery in Troy, New York, the town that calls itself to this day “The Home of Uncle Sam.”

  • Sprintax partnership with TurboTax helps even more non-resident taxpayers

    Sprintax partnership with TurboTax helps even more non-resident taxpayers

    Introducing the brand new partnership between Sprintax and TurboTax