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Creditul Work and Travel BRD
Viza SUA
Plecarea / Sosirea in UK
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Oferte de munca / Self Placed

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Travelling within the USA


Travelling on your day off / Travelling after your contract ends


Although the U.S. is a large country, depending on where your job site is located, you might not have access to public transportation for travelling somewhere on your days off. One possible way of getting out on your days off would be to find someone at work with a car who has the same day off, and go with them if they have room. Another possibility would be to rent a car for the day, but most major car rental companies require that you be at least 25 years old and have a major credit card. If you decide to rent a car, find out whether any daily free unlimited mileage is included, or, if not, what the charge per mile is. Also ask about insurance, as without collision/damage/theft insurance, you will be responsible to pay for any damage to the vehicle in case of accident or theft.


You could ask the staff if it would be possible to borrow a bicycle for a half day or the whole day, and do some exploring in the area near the job site. That could be an inexpensive and enjoyable way of finding out what is right around you, and also getting a change of scenery for the day. If you do bicycle, it is advisable to wear a helmet (you only have one head!), as most car drivers in the U.S. are not accustomed to sharing the road with bicyclists. When bicycling you should always keep to the right (ride with traffic, never against it), signal before turning, come to a full stop at stop lights and stop signs (the highway code requires that bicyclists obey all traffic laws, just as vehicle drivers do) and use caution on any busy street or road. Bicycles are not generally permitted on interstate, limited access highways or toll roads.


Bus, Train or Plane?


Greyhound and other bus companies offer the cheapest means of travelling between cities, and Greyhound offers 15 and 30 day passes at a good discount. Amtrak, the national railway company has some routes between major cities as well as some long distance routes, but tickets tend to be more expensive. Ask your employer whether there are any bus or train connections close to your job site.


For coast to coast travelling, travelling by air is the most economical, considering that it takes more than three days to go by bus or train, and four or five days to drive. There are some very cheap coast-to-coast airfares available on the Internet, and also offered by travel consolidators in major cities (you can find their ads in the travel section of the Sunday edition of major metropolitan newspapers). Some U.S. airlines also offer special discount coupons for flights within the U.S. for foreign travellers, but you have to purchase these tickets in your home country (they cannot be purchased in the U.S.) You can check the airlines' websites to see what special offers they might have.

Money/Valuables


It is a good idea to have some cash on hand with you when you travel, for small purchases, snacks and other things, but it is advisable to keep most of your money in travellers cheques, as these can be replaced if they are lost or stolen, while cash cannot be replaced. Always keep two copies of the verification numbers of your travellers cheques: keep one with you, and the other in a secure place.


Whenever you travel outside of your job site, you should have your passport and the appropriate documents with you that show that you are in the U.S. legally. It is also advisable to keep a copy of each of these important documents in a secure place at your housing.


We recommend that you carry your passport and money in a thin money belt, which can be worn around the waist, under your shirt or t-shirt.


Use common sense, and listen to your intuition


Most people you will meet during your days off and travelling after your contract ends will be honest, helpful and open. However, sometimes there are people hanging out around bus and train stations, airports and on street corners who are looking for naive or inexperienced travellers to take advantage of. If someone approaches you and you feel uncomfortable about them, simply ignore them and walk away. Listen to your intuition. All of us constantly receive a lot of useful and important information about other people and our surroundings from our intuition, but sometimes we do not pay enough attention because we are too busy, or we don't think it is important. If a situation doesn't feel okay to you, avoid it, or find a way to get out of it immediately. Your intuition is a valuable asset. Listen to it, pay attention to it, trust it. It will serve you well.


Know where you are going, and know your surroundings


Whether you are just going out of your job site on your day off or travelling after your contract ends, it is a good idea to do some research before you set out so you know where you are going and which route is best. If you aren't sure about the best route/s to take, you could ask one of the staff's member who is a member of the American Automobile Association (AAA) to get the necessary maps for you and have the route/s marked in yellow highlight (this service is free for members of the AAA). During the summer, there may a lot of highway, interstate or other road construction in the part/s of the U.S. where you are travelling, and this could result in lengthy delays because of slowly moving or rerouted traffic. The AAA is a good source of information about which roads and highways are undergoing roadwork or repairs, and can suggest alternative routes.


Have a good map with you, and pay careful attention to all road signs and special highway information boards (these are often illuminated or flashing) when you are driving.


Obey the speed limit! Speeding tickets are very expensive, and one ticket could end up costing you half or more of your pocket money for the whole summer! The only exception to this is if traffic is heavy and everyone else is driving above the speed limit (this is often the case). In this situation it could be dangerous to drive much more slowly than everyone else, so it would be better to drive with the flow of traffic (you will have to use your own judgement in this, and every situation).


Pay attention to your surroundings. Make a note of landmarks, sights and places which you could easily recognize again, should you become lost or disoriented for any reason.


Take a compass with you. There are situations in which it can be difficult to know which direction you are driving or walking in, and if you at least know whether you are travelling north, south, east or west, you have a better chance of navigating in your surroundings and finding your way again.

Tax Refund


What kind of taxes can you pay in the USA?


The system of taxation, as it is in all other countries, is a complicated structure of different taxes. In the USA it is even more complicated by the fact that every state can alter its own system of so called state taxes. While the federal, medicare and social taxes are the same everywhere in the USA, the state tax differs according to the particular state.
In the USA you can find these kinds of individual taxes:


Federal Income Tax
For the participants of work programmes it is usually deducted at a rate of 10 - 15%.

State Income Tax
In the USA there are 52 states, 8 states don´t deduct this tax, other states use either flat rate or variable rate tax between 5-8% States which do not deduct taxes:
•    Alaska Florida
•    Nevada
•    New Hampshire
•    South Dakota
•    Texas
•    Washington
•    Wyoming

Local Tax
0 - 3% depending on your location, in some areas refunds are not possible.

Social and Medicare
Tax employers shouldn´t deduct this tax deposit, but this can happen because of the ignorance of the employers, or because of accounting programmes which don´t allow non payment of this tax. Refunding this tax is more complicated and takes longer. If this tax was deducted it is important for the refund to have all necessary documents available (the original W2, IAP-66/DS-2019 and knowledge of the Employer Identification Number).

What to think of

Before departure to the USA
Before you depart to the USA make copies of the following documents and keep them in a safe place at home:
1.    a copy of the DS-2019 
2.    a copy of your visa


What to think of during your stay in the USA
1. First apply at the SSA (Social Security Administration) for a SSN (Social Security Number). On the form you receive for the address where the Social Security Card should be sent use the address of your employer (or the address of your US sponsor).
2. For each of your employers fill in the W-4 form correctly
•    Use your permanent address on this form! The W-2 form will be sent to this address. In February of the following year your US employer will send you important documents for tax refunds - especially the W-2 form.
•    In accordance to the conditions of the exchange programmes you have the obligation to fill out the W-4 form as follows:
o    line A: fill only with a "1"
o    line G: fill only with a "1"
o    line 3: choose "single" (regardless of your actual family status)
o    line 5: fill only with a "1"

ATTENTION!!!
If you fill out the W-4 form differently, you might face a penalty. (Acc.: Publication 15, An employee who files a false W-4 form may be subjected to a $500 fine!!!) This information is also being given to the immigration office!!!
3. Check if your employer has your correct SSN. It is of the highest importance that your employer has the correct SSN. The employer pays taxes with reference to your SSN. If an incorrect SSN is being kept in the employers' database it makes the refund process very complicated if not impossible!
4. Check if your employer has your correct permanent address To this address you will receive tax refund documents sent by your employer. Make sure that your employer does not use your temporary residence address in the USA.
5. Ask for the complete contact information of your employer. It might happen that for various reasons you don't receive the W-2 form from your employer. In this case you might need to contact your employer. Have as many possible of the following pieces of information available:
•    the correct name of the employing company
•    the name of the responsible persons address
•    address
•    telephone
•    fax
•    e-mail
•    home page

6. It is a good idea to keep your "payslip". It is good to keep copies of payslips for supporting the claim of refunds. Keep them all safely with you! The most important is the last payslip, showing all the amounts of time worked with the specific employer.
7. Requesting the employer for an earlier issuing of the W-2 form. As soon as your employer issues the so called "final payslip" you can request an earlier issuing of the W-2 form in writing. Up to 30 days after handing in the claim your employer should issue you the W-2 and send it to your permanent address. The sooner you request the issuing of your W-2 form the sooner you will receive your taxes back


What and how to do after the arrival from the USA
1. Registration. If you have payslips from all of your employers register with us for filing the tax return.
2. Asking the employer for an earlier issuing of the W-2 form. If your employer has already issued you the so called "final payslip": you can request an earlier issuing of the W-2 form in writing. Up to 30 days after handing in the request your employer should issue you the W-2 and send it to your permanent address.
3. Receiving the W-2 form. The employer has the obligation to issue and send the so called W-2 form to your PERMANENT ADDRESS before the end of January of the following year. Most likely you will receive it in the middle of February, at the latest the end of February (you will receive at least one W-2 form from each employer you worked with).
4. Not receiving the W-2 form. Possible reasons:
•    the employer does not have your permanent address
•    a postal mistake - the consignement was lost
•    an employer mistake - he did not send anything to your address

In all cases it is good to make use of a year round contact address of your employer and ask him to resend the W-2 to your confirmed address. In urgent cases it is possible to accept a faxed or scanned copy (but send the original by post).
A refund is also possible without the W-2 form, if you have the final payslips from all employers and you fill in "No W2"form.