As of July 30, all Arrival Orientations must be held virtually. This is the result of a recent change in the visa application process for our incoming J-1 participants under the National Interest Exception, and guidance from the US Department of Homeland Security and the CDC, which recommend a 14-day period of home quarantine immediately upon arrival. The Virtual Arrival Orientation must take place within 7 days of arrival. Our Hosting FAQs have been updated to reflect this change.
The Arrival Orientation materials are currently being revised to include content specific to the 20-21 cycle, and to accommodate a virtual format, and will be available in the coming weeks.
Travel Rep and Airport Volunteers
Starting with the NH20 cycle, each area team must have one volunteer that is affiliated as the Travel Rep. With smaller numbers of students, for many teams, this may also be the Orientation Coordinator. Having a Travel Rep affiliation allows staff to easily pull a list of who is responsible for arrivals out of Global Link and notify this person of travel information/delays.
The Travel Rep will coordinate the pick-up of students at the airport. While the Travel Rep does not have to be at the airport for every single arrival, they will be the main point of contact for the Travel and Logistics team. The Travel Rep will identify which volunteer will meet which students, ensure they have the required documents to give the student/host family, and keep a master list of who is meeting which students. The job description can be found here.
- In all cases, a volunteer must be at the arrival point to facilitate the meeting between the Host/Event Family and the student.
- The volunteer at the airport will be the main contact for the Travel and Logistics (TLC) department. If there are delays/changes in travel, the TLC staff will contact the Travel Rep with updates who, in turn, will coordinate with airport volunteers. Event/Host Families will not be the primary contact for communication regarding students.
- The pick-up must be carried out in compliance with local, state and CDC guidelines regarding social distancing and mask use.
In addition, the volunteer must:
- Verify the identity of the Host Parent(s) by checking a form of government-issued photo ID before releasing the student.
- Ensure that the student has arrived with their ID card. Bring a copy in case the student did not bring it and/or if the Liaison or Event/Host Family information changed within three weeks prior to arrival.
- Complete the Travel Documents, Health Form Addendum & ID Card Review and immediately notify USATravelDocs@afsusa.org of any concerns as instructed therein.
- Provide in writing to the Host Family and Student:
- Date, time, instructions on how to join the Arrival Orientation Webinar
- AFS-USA Duty Officer/emergency phone number and explanation of how to use it
- Welcome to the USA/Safety Tips for the USA Addendum
- Participant & Host Family Questionnaire
- Host Family Handbook Addendum
The team must also provide the student with a Virtual Arrival Orientation within 7 days of arrival and attendance must be recorded in the Global Link Activity Module Arrival Orientation shell created by TLC staff.
For questions related to assigning students to the Arrival Orientation activity or recording their attendance, please contact Milwaukee Arrival Orientation Coordinator and Compliance Advisory Group member, volunteer Jerry Gulley, at email@example.com.