We hope you enjoyed a great summer in the U.S. Here is an important checklist of things to do before you end your J1 summer adventure and leave the United States:
1. Contact your sponsoring agency and let them know your departure date from the U.S. This is particularly important if you are leaving earlier than expected. Share a summary of your flight details and your DS-2019 number.
2. Remember to close your U.S. bank account. If you leave the account open you could be subject to bank dormancy fees than can increase over time and may result in debt.
3. Make arrangements to receive your final pay check before you leave. Confirm with your employer the date you should expect to receive your last pay check and how you will receive it (money transfer, bank transfer, etc.).
4. Keep your employer’s contact details. You may need to contact them after you leave the U.S., and employer could provide you with valuable references or recommendations for future employment.
5. Provide your employer with your mailing address in Ireland. Your employer will need to mail your end of year tax document (W2) which is required for processing your U.S. tax return.
6. Remember to file a U.S. tax return between January & April 2017. As a J1 student you may be eligible to receive money back from taxes you paid during your summer employment. Contact your sponsor for guidelines.
7. Keep your Social Security Number in a safe place–once issued it is yours. Should you return to the U.S. with another visa to work, it will be useful to have the card readily accessible and would avoid having to get a duplicate number.
8. Leave your summer accommodation in good condition before checking out and returning keys. If you don’t you will not get your deposit back. Do not make excuses for not cleaning or restoring a property to the original condition.
9. Take responsibility for your actions – if something gets broken fix it or arrange to have it repaired. Fix or replace what has been damaged or offer to pay the cost of damages.
10. Be sure to turn off any utilities that are in your name and pay your final bill, i.e. electric, cable, internet, phone, etc.
11. Leave a positive lasting impression of J1 students and Irish visitors in the U.S. If there have been issues over the summer such as noise complaints or overcrowding in your apartment it is not too late to leave on a high note. Your final actions are what people will remember. Leave your landlord a thank you note or apologize if there have been problems. Think of the people that helped you over the summer or provided you an opportunity; be sure to thank them! One good turn deserves another!
If you have been arrested or received a ticket/citation during your time in the U.S. take care of it BEFORE you leave for Ireland. This may involve paying a fine, showing up in court or doing community service.
If an arrest warrant and/or court date is scheduled for after you return home, it is your responsibility to address the issue while still in the U.S. Request an earlier court date or show up and take care of it before departure. If you leave you will need to pay a U.S. Attorney to go in your absence. DO NOT IGNORE IT! Arrest records, tickets and citations will NOT go away, and may be on your permanent record, possibly impacting future travel plans to the United States. If you have questions, contact your local Irish center, they can provide referrals for legal support.
13. After you take care of your arrest/ticket/citation get a CERTIFIED copy of the police report and the citation/ticket as proof that the case was closed. You may need to provide this if you apply for a future visa or on entry to the U.S.
14. Do not overstay your J1. Be sure that you depart from the U.S. when you are scheduled to leave. Overstaying your visa may impact future travel plans to the United States.
15. Connect with new contacts and your employer on LinkedIn. You have made important connections this summer. They may be helpful to you if you travel to the U.S. again or return on the J1 IWT program. Keep in touch!