I think I used the easiest way: program that sends Finnish students to US every summer. The program is SAYL’s (Suomi-Amerikka yhdistysten liitto, The League of Finnish American Societies) summer job program.
What you need to take part of it?
- Get a seat from university or university of applied sciences in Finland (You should be 20-26 years old non-American Finn!)
- Send your application during application period (2014 that was January), you can choose two most likely jobs. My options were retail sales and lifeguard.
- I get an email where I was told that they want to interview me. There was also place and time for the interview. Just answer yes and prepare yourself for it. I googled lots of information about the program, employers and Dells. Further I thought what would I like to ask.
- Go to the interview. It lasted about an hour and included questions about… everything like my previous job experience, studies, what do I expect for summer, job, USA, etc… Interviewer was a guy who had been working in same place before so I could ask him about work and program… 🙂
- Get an email that told me they have chosen me, this was like 6th of March. That included information about Sevis and Visa payments and timetable what is going to happen next.
- Send passport copies, information of studies (from university) and receipt of the first payment…
- Buy flight tickets (it’s a lot cheaper now and all the Finns will practically get the visa so you don’t need to worry about it)
- Getting the job offer and accepting it (everything until this was between me and SAYL and this was the first time when employer contacted me). So, now you know what you will actually do.
- Do some papers to your employer. I got a link from my employer where I should go and fill in a lot of things, there were asked every basic information like name, address, etc. and something about my new job. For example I was asked to agree every rules of corporation, etc.
- Pay the second part of Visa costs, etc. And maybe sending some more papers? (There is soooo much forms and application, etc. that I’m not sure when and why I did what, haha)
- Get Sevis receipt and DS-2019 with a letter from SAYL. Write signature to DS-2019.
- Do D-160 Visa (J1) application via Internet.
- Go to embassy for the Visa interview (I’ll have this 5th of May, it’s a group interview – 3 people, 5 minutes). You need to take D-160 confirmation page, DS-2019, passport, photograph and job offer with you. After the interview we will have someone telling us about American culture, etc.
- Ready to go. Btw under 3 weeks to Chicago! 😀
What about if you are not able to go with this program? There are many possibilities and visas. If you want job for summer like me, I think the J1 visa is best for that. You have tree ways to get it 1) take part of some program that offers you visa and job, 2) take part of program called “visa sponsoring”, program where you don’t need to have job before going (for example student tour offers that kind of programs), 3) get a job where you’re employer sponsors a visa for you. And of course, if you’re American or Greencard holder you can just go. 🙂
For longer stays there are a lot of varying visa possibilities. What visa suits best for you depends on length of your stay, your education, where you’re going to work, etc.
Remember, if you really want something you can get it. For example get a job from US means relentless visa program and job searching and even when you have found them there is a lot of paperwork and stress but remember, it can be challenging but not impossible!
PS Happy May Day! 🙂 Photo is searched with Google (balloon wallpaper)