What is an Emergency?

Contact ERDT immediately at (424) 259-1192

  • In the event of a death or medical emergency
  • If you are a victim of a crime
  • If you have been arrested

The following are NOT emergencies

In these cases, contact ERDT during the office hours (9:00am to 5:00 pm Pacific Standard Time):

  • You have been fired from your job
  • You have lost your DS-2019 and/or I-94 card
  • You have lost your passport
  • You have problems with your accommodations/living conditions
  • You need basic legal information and advice for procedures and contacts
  • If you are a victim of theft or a non-violent crime (lost valuables, luggage, etc.)
  • You have workplace questions & concerns (tax questions, notice, final paycheck)
  • You have Social Security and tax problems
  • You are having problems with receiving your Social Security Card
  • You have general questions about jobs and housing

Call 911 for the Police

We know that you will do everything to stay out of trouble, but in an emergency situation, dial 911 for the police or other emergency service.  Make sure you answer all questions clearly and carefully.  Do not be afraid to approach the police at any time. 

Following the law

Familiarize yourself with laws in your state and city.  In many cases, the punishment for breaking a law can be more serious for a J1 participant than for a U.S. citizen.

  • Laws regarding alcohol & drugs The legal limit for drinking in the U.S. is 21 in all states.  Drinking in public is not allowed.  While marijuana use is legal in some states, it is against U.S. law.

  • Laws regarding drunk driving  This is one of the most serious crimes to easily commit.  A drunk driving charge will put you in jail, probably end up costing you about $10,000, and prevent you from coming back to the U.S. in the future.

  • Laws regarding sex  Sex with someone under 18, or sex with someone who is drunk and unconscious can be considered rape, and punishable by years in prison.

  • Laws regarding shoplifting  ERDT once had a J1 Work & Travel student in jail for several weeks for shoplifting cosmetics.  Most stores take shoplifting very seriously, and have cameras, security devices and security guards.  

  • Laws regarding biking and walking  A police officer may issue a ticket to someone who is riding a bicycle on the sidewalk or walking across the street without being in a crosswalk, for example.

  • Laws regarding housing  In most areas there is a time beyond which you cannot make too much noise.  Also, most areas have a limit on how many people can live in an apartment.

If you are arrested

If you are arrested, ERDT should be your first phone call. You may only get one phone call and ERDT can speak with the police to try to help you, assist you with locating a lawyer if needed, and inform your family. 

For minor crimes, the police will often release you from jail or drop charges if ERDT tells the police that you will immediately go back to your home country. 

If this is not possible, you many need to hire a lawyer and pay bail or fines. If you leave the U.S. with unpaid fines or pending charges, you may have trouble entering the U.S. again, or you could even be extradited (arrested in your home country and brought back to the U.S.) for more serious offences.