There are some vital documents you will need to get into the country. Your passport, your DS-2019 and your J-1 Visa. Your DS-2019 is the certificate of eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status. The DS-2019 is the official document that allows participants to work legally while on the J-1 Summer Work and Travel Programme.
Your J1 Visa goes inside your passport so make sure you don’t lose your passport before your J1 as your new one won’t have your visa inside!
It’s never any harm to keep a hard and soft copy of all your documents so email them to a trustworthy friend or family member back home.
You must have proof of your available funds when entering the country. Make sure you have printed bank statements and access to your online banking app, to prove you have at least $800 (approx €700) in your account or in cash. You can also load your An Post card with money and show them proof at Immigration. It might not be a good idea to have all your money in cash but maybe bring a small amount with you for taxis, food and the likes before you get set up in your new abode.
Bring your own plug adapters, it’s hard to get Irish to American plug converters in America and they can be expensive. Check out what the weather will be like for your Summer stateside, not all states get Californian weather, so pack wisely. The last thing you want is having to waste money on jeans and jumpers that you had at home. Pack your swimming gear and don't bank on picking up some cheap bits when you get over there - Primark is not quite as popular just yet in America, so make sure to do a shop for the essentials there before you go. And, don’t forget the teabags!
Tip: Bring a few outfits and essentials in your carry on bag in case your suitcase gets delayed between your connecting flights.
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