VISA FAQs

If I have a summer job at a non-CampGroup camp or elsewhere, will GreatCampJobs still sponsor me?

No, visa sponsorship through GreatCampJobs and CampGroup LLC is only available to people with accepted job offers for the coming summer at one of CampGroup's premier summer camps.

What is visa sponsorship?

Before you can apply for a J-1visa, a properly designated United States, ("U.S.") organization must sponsor you. GreatCampJobs, a division of CampGroup, LLC, ("GreatCampJobs") is a properly designated sponsor.

How do I apply for visa sponsorship?

The first step in obtaining visa sponsorship is to complete the sponsorship application and return it to GreatCampJobs. Be sure that all of the information on the application matches the information on your passport.

What happens after I submit the sponsorship application?

After you submit your visa sponsorship application, GreatCampJobs will verify your employment with your camp employer. The information on your application will then be entered into the Student Exchange and Visitors Information System otherwise known as SEVIS. GreatCampJobs, as a designated sponsor, will then issue a DS 2019 form to you. You can expect to receive the DS 2019 form in the mail 2-5 weeks after GreatCampJobs receives your application.

What is the DS 2019 form?

The DS 2019 form verifies that you have sponsorship and that your information has been entered into the SEVIS system. It contains general biographical information, employment information, program dates, and your assigned SEVIS ID number.

What is SEVIS?

SEVIS is the acronym for Student Exchange and Visitors Information System which is the internet-based system implemented by the United States Government to facilitate the reporting and monitoring of all international students and exchange visitors in the U.S.

What do I do when I receive the DS 2019 form?

Immediately review the DS 2019 form for accuracy. If you find any errors on the form, immediately contact GreatCampJobs. Errors can be easily corrected but an error on the DS 2019 form may delay the processing of your visa at the embassy or at the port of entry. This form is very important! You will need it in order to obtain your J-1 visa. You will need it to enter the U.S. and you will need it in order to obtain a social security number so that you can get paid for your summer employment.

After I obtain the DS 2019 form, how do I obtain my visa?

Included in the package that you will receive with your DS 2019 form will be a booklet that provides instructions for obtaining a visa in your home country, obtaining insurance and emergency contact information, a receipt for the I-901 SEVIS fee and all other forms that you will need when applying for your visa.

Will I need to go to the embassy for an interview?

If you are a citizen of any country other than Canada and you are applying for a J-1 visa for the first time, you must schedule a personal interview at the closest U.S. embassy in your home country. If you are a returning staff member, you may be able to apply for a visa by mail depending on your country of residence. While specific details are provided for you in the booklet you receive, we strongly recommended that you call the U.S. embassy closest to you to verify this information as procedures change frequently.

Do I need an embassy appointment if I am a Canadian citizen?

If you are a Canadian citizen, you do not need to visit an embassy to receive a J-1 visa. The DS 2019 form, the receipt for the I-901 $35 SEVIS fee and your passport are all you need to present at the port of entry.

When should I schedule my embassy interview?

If you need to schedule an interview at the embassy in your home country, you should call the embassy immediately after you have received and inspected your DS 2019 form from the staffing office! Many countries require in-person interviews and it can take weeks to arrange an interview appointment.

What will I need to take with me to the embassy?

You will need to take with you the DS 2019 form, the I-901 SEVIS Fee receipt, your passport, a copy of your camp contract, the booklet you received, and any documents proving your ties back to your home country such as university enrollment, a car payment, a letter indicating you will be employed when you return, etc. You will also need to complete and bring with you all of the other papers that are included in your package.

What happens at my embassy interview?

The consular officer will inspect your documents to determine whether you meet the requirements for issuing the J-1 visa. After inspecting your documents, the consular officer will either grant or deny the J-1 visa. Denials are unusual but can happen if the information on the DS 2019 form is incorrect or if the consular officer believes that there is insufficient evidence presented to guarantee that you will return to your home country. If the J-1 visa is granted, the DS 2019 form and your passport will be mailed back to you. Attached to your passport will be an envelope that contains immigration documents. Do not open this envelope. A Customs and Border Protection Officer at the U.S. port of entry will open it when you enter the U.S.

What fees must be paid to obtain the J-1 visa?

A $360 visa sponsor fee (which includes insurance) will automatically be deducted from your contracted summer salary. There may be additional fees imposed by the embassy for the visa application and issuance. You are responsible for any additional expenses regarding the acquisition of the J-1 visa.

Do I need to get insurance?

You will automatically be covered under the CampGroup Exchange Visitor Medical Insurance Policy. All participants MUST be enrolled in this policy in order to meet the federal guidelines for the Exchange Visitor Program. Medical coverage is provided for your entire stay in the U.S. as long as you maintain your legal status as a J-1 Exchange Visitor.

Can I travel outside of the United States on my J-1 visa?

If you travel outside of the U.S. as part of your camp duties, you will need the Responsible Officer for your camp to sign the DS 2019 form and to indicate on that form that you are traveling and are still in "good standing" with your employer who is expecting you to return. If you leave the U.S. without this signature of "good standing" you may not be permitted to reenter the U.S. under the J-1 visa and you will forfeit your insurance coverage.

How long can I stay in the United States after camp?

The J-1 visa allows you to travel within the continental U.S. for not more than thirty days after your camp employment ends.

What will I need to have when I enter the United States?

When traveling to the U.S., you should carry important documents with you. You will need to have access to: Your passport (including attached envelope of immigration documents) with visa, DS 2019 form, Booklet with emergency contact information and a pen. DO NOT CHECK ANY OF THESE FORMS IN YOUR BAGGAGE!

What will happen when I reach a United States border?

You will go through an initial inspection with a Customs and Border Protection Officer. It is important that you tell the inspector that you will be working in the U.S. for the summer as an Exchange Visitor. The officer MUST sign and return your DS 2019 form to you. You will also be directed to a place where your index fingers will be scanned and you will be digitally photographed.

What happens if I cannot locate the required documents or information?

If you cannot locate or provide all of your information or if the information provided cannot be verified by the inspector, you will need to go through a "secondary inspection." Officials will direct you to an interview area set apart from the primary inspection lines. If you fail to provide the necessary documents at the U.S. port of entry you may be refused entry under the J-1 visa. In certain circumstances, the Customs and Border Protection Officer may issue you an I-515A form, Notice to Student or Exchange Visitor. This form temporarily permits your admission to the U.S.

What happens if I receive an I-515A form?

If you are issued an I-515A form, you will need to obtain the proper documentation and mail it to the address indicated on the form. Do not mail original documents unless instructed. After the documents are processed by the Customs and Border Protection Office, they are mailed back to the camp address. Contact GreatCampJobs for additional assistance.

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