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Students come to the U.S.A for the following reasons (not limited to):

• To interact with the U.S. citizens, and to experience U.S culture while sharing their own with those they meet

• To gain independence by living and developing social skills among other international young adults

• To practice their English in its native environment; to improve their language and communication skills

• To gain professional work experience by working in seasonal jobs, that require minimal training, in order to earn funds to help defray a portion of travel and living expenses

• To travel and learn about the U.S.

Before Your Arrival

Once You Have Arrived

Above the Clouds

  1. Passport

  2. DS 2019 Form

  3. J-1 Visa

  4. Intent to Bind Letter

Pre- Arrival Required Documents:

  1. Arrival Check In

  2. Await SEVIS Validation Confirmation

  3. Social Security Application:

  Students will need to bring the following documents when applying for their Social Security card:

       •Passport with J-1 visa

       •I-94 print out

       •DS-2019 form

       •Form SS-5 (application form)

       •AWA “Dear Social Security Officer” letter

Arrival Requirements:

Students Must Acknowledge that:

  • They should not apply for their Social Security card unless they have completed their Arrival Check-In AND received confirmation from AWA that their Arrival Check-In has been validated in SEVIS.

  • It is their responsibility to complete their Arrival Check-In in a timely manner, so they will be able to apply for their Social Security card.

  • It is their responsibility to arrange transportation to the nearest Social Security Office, so they can apply for their Social Security Card.

  • It is their responsibility to check on the status/processing of their Social Security Card application. This will require them to visit/call the Social Security Office where they originally completed their application. DO NOT call AWA as we cannot assist Students with their application status.

  • They understand that failure to submit their Arrival Check-In, nor having their visa validated in SEVIS before applying for a Social Security card may result in their Social Security number being delayed for up to 12-weeks or more.

  • They will need to obtain a receipt of their Social Security application and provide a copy to their Host Employer for their records.

  • Once they receive their Social Security Card, they must show it to their Host Employer, so they can make a copy for their records.

  • AWA can only advise about problems encountered in the process of applying for a Social Security number. STUDENTS MUST COMMUNICATE with the Social Security office directly regarding any concerns they may have.

Deferred Inspection Sites

If it has been more than six weeks and a Student still has not received their Social Security Card, they should contact AWA. AWA will then check their record in SEVIS and try to determine the issue. If AWA does not find any errors, it indicates that a clerical error ocurred when their I-94 admission was completed.

If the Student’s information has been entered incorrectly, they will need to visit the closest Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Deferred Inspection Site, or a Port of Entry (POE) that has a Deferred Inspection office, to have their admission corrected.

Click this link to obtain the list of all 70 Deferred Inspection Site locations:


AWA Students will need a copy of their I-94 (record of admission) for employment authorization (Form I-9), as well as, when you apply for your social security number. Go to this link: and on the right hand side of the page click "Get I-94 Number now."


AWA goes through a screening process for all Student housing. Students need to understand and acknowledge that the housing options provided in the U.S may not be comparable to the surroundings they are accustomed to in their home countries.



Example Housing:

  • Apartment rentals/shares/sublets

  • Dormitory-style apartments and university housing

  • Hostels

Furnished Housing vs. Semi-Furnished Housing

Students must understand the difference between furnished and semi-furnished housing. Students may not find all necessary items in their housing (such as: linen, silverware, etc.), because their Host Employer does not provide them. In that case, Students will need to bring them from their home country, or purchase them upon arrival. Students should refer to their Job Offer to ensure they understand and acknowledge the terms of their employment, as well as, their housing option.

Housing Deposits and Reservations

• If a housing deposit is required, it will be clearly stated on the Job Offer. On the Job Offer, the following information about deposits will be included:

• The amount of housing deposit

• When is it due? (Prior to Student arrival, upon arrival, etc.)

• Is it refundable? (If not, what is deducted for; if yes, when and how is it going to be refunded)


Housing Agreements

• If Students are required to sign an additional Housing Agreement, their employer will indicate such information on the Job Offer. It is extremely important that Students understand the difference between their Job Offer and Housing Agreement, as they often may not correspond with one another.


Monthly Check-In 

Every thirty days, Students will be required to complete their Monthly Check-In, a short survey accessible on their SAM Student Account. This is a mandatory requirement for all Students. Students will be expected to maintain contact with AWA and respond to communication from AWA throughout the duration of their programs. Students must agree to:

• Participate in Monthly Monitoring communication as required by the U.S. Department of State.

• Understand that failure to respond to AWA Monthly Check-Ins and Monitoring communication will place their program in jeopardy of termination.

Reasons for Monthly-Check in

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