IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE USA
1. Contact your sponsoring agency and let them know of your departure date from the US. 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 US bank account. If you leave the account open you could be hit with bank dormancy fees than can increase over time and may result in debt.
3. Make arrangements to receive your final pay check and wages before you leave. Confirm with your employer the date 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 and email address should you need to contact them after you leave the USA. Your employer could provide you have a valuable reference or recommendation for future employment.
5. Provide your employer with a mailing address in Ireland where you can receive mail. Your employer will need your address to send your end of year tax document (W2) which is required for processing your tax return.
6. Remember to file a US tax return between January & April 2016. As a J1 student you are entitled to get tax back from what you have paid during your summer employment. A service such as Tax back [www.taxback.com] can help you or contact sponsor for guidelines.
7. Connect with new contacts and your employer on LinkedIn. They may be helpful to you if you come to the US or return on the J1 IWT program.
8. Leave your summer accommodation (Frat, Dorm, Apartment) in good condition before checking out and returning keys. The accommodation must be in good condition to get your deposit is returned. Do not make excuses for not cleaning or restoring a property to the original condition.
9. Take responsibility – if something gets broken fix it. If you accidently break something within your accommodation the adult thing to do is take responsibility. Fix or replace what has been damaged or offer to pay the cost of damages to your landlord or renter.
10. Leave a positive lasting impression of J1 students and Irish visitors in the US. 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 over the summer or gave you a chance or an opportunity; be sure to thank them or show your appreciation. One good turn deserves another!
11. 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 you are issued with a court date after you return home request an earlier court date or show up and take care of it before departure. If you leave you will need to pay a US Attorney to go in your absence. Arrest record, tickets and citations will NOT go away.
12. 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.
13. Do not overstay your J1. Be sure that you depart from the US when you are scheduled to leave. Overstaying your visa may impact future travel plans to the United States.