Frequently Asked Questions
Please contact your Pan Atlantic representative for additional information or if your question is not listed below.
I just arrived in the US and need to confirm my arrival with Pan Atlantic. Who should I contact?
You must contact your Pan Atlantic representative by email or phone at 207-871-8622 within 24 hours to let us know that you have arrived in the United States. We will validate your arrival in SEVIS so that you will show up as "active" in the system, and become eligible to apply for a Social Security card. If you go to the Social Security office before contacting Pan Atlantic to let us know about your arrival you will NOT show up as "active" in SEVIS, which will cause significant delays in receiving your social security number.
The dates on my visa are different than the dates on my DS-2019 form. Which date is valid?
The visa is the document that shows the dates during which you may apply at the US border for entry into the United States, and the DS-2019 form is the document that shows how long you are eligible to stay in the United States for your training program or internship. If your visa expires before the end date on the DS-2019 form that means that you may not exit and reenter the US during the time after the visa expires, however you can continue to train until the program end date listed on your DS-2019. If you know ahead of time that you will need to travel before your training program ends but after the expiration date on your visa you will need to contact the US embassy in your home country that issued the visa to find out how to apply for an extension.
If you do not plan to exit and reenter the US after the expiration date on your visa then there is no need to apply for the extension. You are allowed to stay in the US to finish your training, and you have a 30 day grace period after the end date on your DS-2019 form during which you may travel within the United States. You must leave the United States 30 days after the end date on the DS-2019 form.
Is my host company required to give me paid vacation time?
NO. The Fair Labor Standards Act does not require payment for time not worked, such as vacations, sick leave, or federal or other holidays. These benefits are matters of agreement between a trainee and a host company representative. (US Department of Labor) Most host properties DO provide vacation time for their intern/trainees. Please discuss this with your human resources representative at your host company in order to determine how much time you can expect.
Can I leave the US and re-enter during my training program?
YES. You may leave the US and reenter during your training program, but you may not leave the US for more than two weeks at a time or it will be considered a break in training and your program status will be in jeopardy. If you do plan to leave the US for any reason you must contact Pan Atlantic well in advance to prepare your paperwork. For more information please see Traveling Outside the US. Remember that trips to Canada, Mexico, and the Bahamas and other islands require travel validation!
Do I need my paperwork signed if I am traveling within the United States (including Alaska or Hawaii)?
NO. You can travel anywhere within the United States without having the DS-2019 form validated for travel. We encourage you to explore the United States and take in as much as you can of all the country has to offer!
What do I need to do if I want to travel outside the United States during my training?
What if I want to travel to Canada, Mexico or the Bahamas?
If I know of several travel dates can you validate them all at one time?
YES. You may provide several travel dates and we will validate them all at one time.
May I exit and reenter the United States on my J-1 visa during the 30 day "grace period" after completion of my program before I must leave the US?
NO. Once you have completed your training in the US and entered the 30-day travel grace period you may not leave and reenter the US.
Can Pan Atlantic help me get a Change of Status if I want to stay longer than the 30 day grace period after my training is done?
May I arrive before the start date on my DS-2019 form?
You may arrive in the United States up to 30 days before the start date on the DS-2019 form to get settled in before you begin your training. You must make sure to communicate with Pan Atlantic and your host company regarding your arrival date for approval. Keep in mind that your health insurance through Pan Atlantic will not start until the start date on your DS-2019 form. If you need additional coverage you must contact us and additional fees will apply.
If you plan to stay in the US during the 30 day travel grace period following the end of your training be aware that the health insurance ends on the end date shown on your DS-2019 form. To extend your health insurance contact Pan Atlantic in advance of the end of your program. Additional fees will apply.
Can my spouse (J-2 Dependent) work in the US while I am training?
A person on a J-2 visa may apply to the US government to work while they are with their J-1 spouse in the United States. Decisions on work authorization for J-2 dependents are made by USCIS. For more information about how to apply contact USCIS about an Application for Employment Authorization.
I have lost my DS-2019 form. What should I do?
Contact Pan Atlantic immediately to inform us that the form has been lost. We will reissue the form to you after receiving payment of the DS-2019 Replacement Fee ($100). The DS-2019 is a very important document, so we recommend that you keep it in a safe place at all times!
My passport and/or DS-2019 form have been stolen. What should I do?
Contact Pan Atlantic as soon as possible. We will take care of getting a new DS 2019 form to you, and you will need to contact your home country's Embassy regarding your passport. The replacement fee for the DS-2019 form is $100. You will also need to obtain a replacement I-94 card. The I-94 card is stapled into your passport when you enter the US to show that you entered legally. It is removed each time you exit the US. For information on obtaining a replacement I-94 card please click here.
I have started my training and I do not like location/company/roommates etc. What should I do?
An important part of training in the United States is to learn how to get along with those whose cultural and personal attitudes are different than yours. We encourage you to use your good judgment and try your best to resolve difficult situations. Your program supervisor should work with you to address difficulties in your training program. If you have discussed your concerns with your program supervisor and are still having a problem please contact Pan Atlantic. As your designated program sponsors we are responsible for you and it is important for you to let us know as soon as possible if there is a problem with your training so that we can address the situation. When an intern/trainee contacts us early we have a very high success rate of being able to help resolve the problem.
How long may I stay in the US after completing my program?
You may stay in the US for up to 30 days after the end date on your DS-2019 form. You may not participate in training after the end date on your DS-2019 form.
May I transfer to a new host company?
It is extremely rare for an intern/trainee to be transferred from one company to another. Only under certain serious circumstances will a transfer be considered, and you MUST contact Pan Atlantic to discuss your situation. NEVER leave your training program, give your notice, or try to transfer to another property without first contacting Pan Atlantic. Doing so is grounds for immediate revocation of your J-1 visa.
May I get a second job?
NO. You may not train or work at any location other than the company listed on your DS-2019. Unauthorized work will result in termination of your J-1 training program.
May I take a class?
You may take a class during your time in the US but it must not interfere with your training program, which is the priority!
When can I apply for my social security card?
You may apply for a Social Security card approximately ten (10) days after Pan Atlantic has validated your arrival in the government database. If you go sooner than ten days after validation you may not show up as active in the government system, which can cause delays in being issued your number.
How do I apply for a social security card?
How long will it be before I receive the social security card?
It usually takes 2-4 weeks to receive your social security card. If it has been longer than 2-4 weeks please contact the social security office at which you applied to follow up.
I applied for and was granted a social security card but I haven't gotten my card yet. Who should I call?
You should return to the Social Security office where you applied and ask them for assistance. Leave a number where the Social Security officer can call you when your status has been checked.
What if I am turned down for a social security card?
Must I pay Federal, State and Local Income Taxes (FUTA)?
YES. You are obligated to pay Federal, State and Local taxes, which will be withheld from each of your paychecks over the course of your training program.
Will I get back any money I paid for Federal, State and Local tax withholdings?
MAYBE. You need to file an income tax return by April 15 of each year that you are training. You will complete the 1040-EZ NR form to file with the federal government, and you will also need to complete the forms required by State and Local governments in the state where you trained.
Pan Atlantic is not a licensed tax advisor and we cannot provide official tax advice. Please contact a professional tax advisor or the IRS to determine your specific tax situation.
Must I pay Social Security and Medicare taxes (FICA)?
NO. All J-1 intern/trainees are exempt from paying Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you host company withholds these taxes from your paycheck you may refer them to IRS Publication 15, Circular E, which describes the proper tax withholding for those under special rules.
Please contact Pan Atlantic if you have additional questions on this topic.
May I apply to have any sales tax I paid returned?
NO. There is no refund for sales tax paid during your time in the United States.
Can I still get paid while I am waiting to get my social security card?
Yes. You will need to provide your host company with a receipt from the Social Security Office or proof that you applied. If you supervisor has questions about this they may call Pan Atlantic and we can discuss the matter with them.
I am sick and need to go to the doctor. What should I do?
If at all possible please call your insurance company BEFORE visiting a doctor. The insurance company can tell you in detail what sorts of visits are covered, and which doctors and hospitals are in your network. Of course, if the situation is an emergency you should go to your nearest hospital. Make sure to keep copies of your receipts, and if you receive a bill be sure to call the insurance company if it is not clear.
I am nearing the end of my training. What do I need to do before I leave?
How long can I stay in the US after completing my training program?
You must leave the United States within 30 days of the end date on your DS-2019. You may not continue to train after the end date on the DS-2019 form, but you may stay in the US for up to 30 days after the end date for travel and personal plans.