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Frequently Asked Questions

May I extend my visa?

No.  The J1 Summer Work/Travel Visa cannot be extended.  

Do I have to keep working while in the U.S.?

You are expected to work from your visa start date to your visa end date.  If you quit your job or are fired from your job, you have 3 weeks in which to find a new job.  If you decide not to find a new job, or if you are not able to find a new job within 3 weeks, the U.S. Government requires ERDT to end your visa.  This just means that ERDT will change your visa end date to end immediately.  It does not have a negative effect on your future ability to come to the U.S.  You still will have 30 days to travel.    

Can I go home, or leave my job, early?

Yes, you can go home early.  Remember, though, that there may be penalties for leaving your housing or job early - for example, you may not receive your housing deposit back.  Read your housing agreement carefully to ensure you understand any penalties for leaving early.

What do I need to do if I wish to leave the U.S., and return?

You may travel outside the U.S. if you have your original passport, DS-2019 form and J-1 visa, and if your travel dates are within the dates of your visa period.  You may not re-enter the U.S. after your visa end date.

To return to the U.S., you must have your DS-2019 signed a second time. This signature tells the U.S. immigration official that you are in good standing with the program.  Mail your original DS-2019 form, along with a letter listing your itinerary, and a prepaid, self-addressed envelope to:

ERDT Work & Travel Program
2601 Ocean Park Blvd. Ste 322
Santa Monica, CA 90405

The easiest way to get a prepaid, self-addressed envelope is by visiting a post office or FedEx or UPS center.  If you do not enclose a prepaid, self-addressed envelope, ERDT will send your DS-2019 form back via regular U.S. mail. 

What must I do to receive my tax refund?

1. Ensure your employer has your Social Security Number.

2. Be sure that your employer knows where to send you your W2.  They will send it to you sometime next January, and you must file your taxes by April 15.

3. Make a plan for how you will file your taxes.  You can get a blank tax form from the U.S. Embassy in your country and file your taxes yourself, for free; however, the U.S. tax refund system is very complicated, even for U.S. citizens.  If you file your tax refund incorrectly, you may not get all the money you are owed, or you could even be charged a penalty.  There are companies who specialize in helping Work & Travel participants with their tax refunds, such as  These companies charge a small fee.

My final paycheck and/or housing deposit refund check will not be ready until after I have returned home. What should I do? 

Ask your employer if he/she will deposit the money in your bank account.  If not, please contact your agent in your home country for their recommendation.