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Once You Arrive

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Register with SEVIS

Once you arrive in the U.S. the first thing you must do is register in the SEVIS database (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System). Registering with SEVIS notifies the Department of Homeland Security that you have arrived in the U.S. and are ready to begin your J-1 Work & Travel experience. Once you register you will be assigned a SEVIS number and it will be on record that you have an “active” status. Do not make an appointment to apply for your Social Security card until you have first registered with SEVIS!


*For questions about registering in the SEVIS database please contact your sponsor.

Apply For Your Social Security Number

The Social Security office has a new online Social Security card application process. Following this process will result in getting your Social Security card faster. To apply, you must be at least age 18 and have a U.S. mailing address to receive your mail. To access the online Social Security card application, use your mobile device or computer and go to https://www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/. Please be sure all the information on the application is filled out correctly including your name, date of birth and the mailing address where you will get mail.

Once you have carefully completed the online Social Security card application and have submitted it, you must set up an appointment to visit the Social Security office in Saco, Maine. When you go to your appointment, make sure you have brought with you your passport and all of your original Work & Travel documents, plus copies of these documents. Make sure to also print or write down your online application control number and bring it with you to your appointment. This will help the person who is helping you at the Social Security office to retrieve your online application more quickly.


After the Social Security Administration verifies your documents and completes your request, you will receive your Social Security card in the mail within 14 business days.


*As long as you have your receipt from the Social Security office showing you have applied for your Social Security number, your employer can still pay you while you are waiting for your Social Security card to arrive.

Your local Social Security Administration is located at:

Social Security Administration

110 Main Street – #1450, Saco, Maine 04072

Phone: 1-(800)-772-1213

Hours: Monday-Friday from 9 am – 4 pm

Get Settled In Your Housing:

Your housing rental here in Maine will be your home away from home. Throughout the summer keep it clean, treat it with respect and follow the rules. Be sure to report any maintenance issues or housing emergencies to your landlord if they occur. In addition, pay your rent to your landlord on time, which in most cases will be weekly.


Your housing should be safe, up to local codes and have functioning locks on both the doors and windows. Keep your doors and windows locked when you are not home to protect your belongings. Your housing should never be overcrowded (it is not allowed) and there should be at least two unobstructed ways to escape your home in the event of an emergency.

Be Aware Of Housing Emergencies:

Emergencies that you should report to your landlord immediately include leaking pipes, indoor flooding or flooded basement, power outages, clogged toilets or pipes, ceiling or roof leaks, door locks that are not working properly, broken windows, fire detectors or carbon monoxide detectors that are inoperable, gas leaks, refrigerators that are not working, bug or rodent infestations, broken furnace, heat or air conditioning quits, broken stove, wild animals near your home that look sick or injured.

Get Settled In Your Job:

Congratulations on your job in Old Orchard Beach or in a surrounding community! You have been placed with an employer that has been vetted and approved by your sponsoring organization. We hope that you have a wonderful experience working in the area this summer. Here are a few tips to help you get settled at work:


  • Register with SEVIS.
  • Apply for your Social Security card if you are a 1st year J-1 student.
  • Ask your employer to provide you with your W4 and I9 paperwork. This is what you need to complete and return to your employer to get paid.
  • Provide your employer with copies of your passport, form DS-2019 and Social Security card.
  • Review your hourly wages and overtime policies with your employer.
  • Keep track of your work hours. Most employers will have you punch a time clock or fill out a timecard.
  • Find out if you will be paid weekly or bi-weekly (employers must pay you by law either once a week or every two weeks).
  • Figure out the best form of transportation for getting to and from your job.
  • Quickly make an effort to get to know your employer(s) and co-workers; be friendly and positive at work.
  • Practice your English as much as possible; speak to your employers, fellow co-workers, tourists and customers in English.
  • Take your job training seriously and don’t be afraid to ask your employers or managers lots of questions while you are learning your job.
  • Learn your schedule and be on time to work.
  • Bring snacks and drinks with you to work; stay energized and hydrated.
  • Get plenty of sleep and don’t overschedule yourself.
  • Give your employer your best efforts each day.

Reporting Your Second Job To Your Sponsor:

While you are here you may have an interest in getting a second job. Please remember that your first priority is always to your primary employer. It is certainly okay to get another job as long as it does not conflict with the work schedule given to you by your primary employer. The most important thing to remember about getting a second job is that you need to share your second job opportunity with your sponsor. Your second job must be vetted and approved by your sponsoring organization. This is usually easy for both you and the business owner where the second job opportunity exists and only requires a small amount of paperwork. Getting your second job approved also helps to ensure that the place of employment you are seeking a second job from is reputable and will provide you with a quality work experience.