Thank you for your interest in BritishAmerican Business’s BridgeUSA Exchange Visitor Program. Upon approval of your application by BritishAmerican Business, please reference the below step by step instructions to help guide you through the visa process.
- Upon confirmation of eligibility, BritishAmerican Business (BAB) will issue relevant application materials for applicant and host company to complete.
- All application documents should initially be submitted altogether, in draft format via email for approval. (Documents sent in piecemeal emails will not be reviewed.)
- Upon BAB approval of draft documents, please collect all signatures and submit all documents to BAB in one email. Payment either via check or credit card must also be submitted concurrently with the final application materials.
- If the Host company is applying to BAB’s BridgeUSA Exchange Visitor Program for the first time, and has fewer than 25 employees or less than three million dollars in annual revenue, they must undergo a site visit and screening by BAB in order to comply with DOS.
- Upon submission, BAB will process final application and generate the DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility within 5 business days.
- Completed paperwork, inclusive of the DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility will be sent to the Host Company (via a completed FedEx form supplied by the Host Company) who will forward the Exchange Visitor’s portion to them.
- Once the Exchange Visitor has his/her DS-2019 and SEVIS number, they may schedule an appointment at the US Embassy/Consulate to get his/her visa approved.
- In order to schedule the visa appointment, Exchange Visitors must fill out the DS-160 form and pay the visa application processing fee ($160). Exchange Visitors must also pay the SEVIS I-901 fee ($180). Please bring all payment receipts and confirmations to your visa appointment.
Most Exchange Visitors will need to present the following items to the Embassy/Consulate at the time of interview:
- Original DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility
- Copy of DS-7002 Training/Internship Placement Plan
- Valid Passport (valid 6 months beyond the anticipated period of admission)
- Passport Photo (see specifications at DoS travel.state.gov)
- Proof of Paid Visa Processing Fee ($160, effective April13, 2012)
- Proof of Completed DS-160 (Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application)
- Proof of Paid SEVIS I-901fee
After your visa appointment at the U.S. Consulate your passport with visa stamp will be sent back to you via mail. Please check with your local consulate for processing times.
When you arrive in the U.S. you will apply for admission to the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (BCBP) Officer, present your passport containing your valid visa, as well as your DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility Form. If your document are in order, you will be admitted to the U.S. in J-1 visa status.
It is very important that you keep your DS-2019 with your passport and visa at all times. These documents provide evidence that you have a legal right to be in the U.S.
Immediately upon arrival you must send BAB your Notification Form along with the following supporting documents:
- Original signed DS-2019 form (which we will travel validate and send back)
- Photocopy of ID page in passport, J-1 visa and entry stamp in passport, I-94 print out
- Return fedex envelope OR fedex number (for return of your original DS-2019)
You must apply for a Social Security card after you have submitted your notification form to BAB and we have activated your program with the Department of State. The Social Security number on the card operates as a “universal identification number” used for a number of important purposes in the United States. It also serves as a “tax payer identification number” in connection with income tax withholding.
Obtaining the Social Security number is not the same as participating in the Social Security system, which is a pension plan for elderly Americans. Your host company’s payroll and the US tax system will identify you by your Social Security number. Without this number your host company may have difficulty issuing you a paycheck. You will also need this number to open a bank account or to obtain a state driver’s license.
To apply for a Social Security card, take the following items to the local Social Security office and fill out the application there:
- “Employment Letter” from BAB
- I-94 card or print out of I-94 number from cbp.gov/I94
You can call 1-800-772-1213 or visit www.ssa.gov for information on the location of the Social Security offices in your area. After you have applied for it, your Social Security card should be mailed to you within 10 business days of the date of the application. During this waiting period you will have received Form SSA-5028. This is evidence that you have applied for your Social Security card.
Exchange Visitors must complete evaluation forms. A midpoint evaluation is required at the midpoint of your program (if greater than 6 months) and a concluding evaluation is required at the end of your training program. Failure to return these completed forms may negatively influence future visa petitions into the United States.
To register your interest and check eligibility, please complete this form. Once submitted, a BritishAmerican Business team member will contact you regarding the next steps in the BridgeUSA Exchange Visitor Program. For specific program questions please contact BAB’s Manager, Membership Services, Lumi Zogaj