5 Things NOT to Do as a SWT Student
We get a lot of questions about U.S laws and what applies to SWT students from abroad. To be clear, when you are in the United States, you must obey all U.S laws. We hear questions about helmet laws while riding a bike, alcohol and drug laws, motor vehicle laws, immigration laws, etc. Below are five things NOT to do while you are in the U.S. If you have other questions, please comment below and we will respond to your concerns.
- Do NOT overstay your visa. This seems obvious, and yet many students overstay their visas. This could have serious lifelong repercussions on future travel to the U.S. While some students think they will make a lot of money if they stay in the U.S, the reality is that living illegally to work creates a ceiling on your mobility, and eventually will end negatively. The best thing to do is leave when you are supposed to depart, and if you wish to return at a future date you can apply for a new visa.
- Do NOT operate a car as part of your job. Many students ask about getting a U.S driver’s license. This is not recommended in general, but more importantly, it is forbidden for SWT students to drive as part of their official work duties. If you want to pursue getting a U.S driver’s licence, you should first get an international driver’s license in Bulgaria. You can drive on this for up to 30 days in the U.S and it is required if you wish to rent a car in the States.
- Do NOT present false documents when applying for a visa. This could result in a permanent ban, and you could be barred from ever getting a U.S visa. If you do not qualify for the program, wait a year and apply again when you meet the qualifications. Providing false documents or giving false statements during an interview is serious, and the repercussions are serious.
- Do NOT do anything you think is illegal. If your employer asks you to do something that makes you uncomfortable, please call the number given to you at the end of the interview. This booklet explains your rights in the U.S and provides toll-free numbers to talk to someone about your situation. You can find more information, and contact details on Travel.State.Gov
- Do NOT drink alcohol if you are under 21. Many students ask us if they have to abide by U.S alcohol and drug laws while they are on SWT. The answer is yes! Do not attempt to purchase, and do not consume alcohol if you are under 21. It should go without saying that illegal drug use is a serious crime in the U.S and is punishable with jail time.