Frequently Asked Questions
Camp Staff Placement (if you want help hiring staff)
Direct Placement (if you've already hired staff)
Wages, Taxes, and Fees
Camp Directors Already Registered with InterExchange
Camp Staff Placement
Q. How do I sign up?
A. Registration is quick, free, and easy. You can register online, or download the registration forms and send them through the mail.
Q. How much does it cost to register and look at applications?
A. Registration is free. Once you register with us, you'll receive a personal account. You can log in and review applications at no cost. You'll only need to pay if and when you choose to hire InterExchange participants.
Q. What type of camp jobs can you help me fill?
A. We can help you fill a variety of positions, including general counselors, specialty counselors, food service positions, and maintenance staff.
Q. What countries do the participants come from?
A. We recruit participants from more than 15 countries, including South Africa, Mexico, Holland, the Czech Republic, Jamaica, Switzerland, Russia, and many more.
Q. How does InterExchange screen applicants?
A. Our screening process is very thorough. It starts with our international cooperators in each country. Our cooperators carefully pre-screen applicants and invite the best candidates to an interview and orientation session. Candidates also fill out an extensive application, which includes two references, a cover letter, resume, Medical history form, and a police background check.
Q. How do I review applications?
A. We'll email you a link to view each candidate's application. You'll have an exclusive 5-day review period for every applicant. That means that no other camp director will be reviewing the same candidate at the same time. You can also log in to your personal account to view applications, accept participants, and review your staff members' J-1 Visa status. You can also contact the applicant directly or we can help arrange a skype interview for you.
Q. How long can participants work at my camp?
A. The camp counselor J-1 Visa allows participants to work up to 4 months. When you hire staff through our placement program, our stipends are based on 63 days. If you would like your staff to work longer than 63 days, you will need to pay your participant $30 per day. Post-contracted work can be directly negotiated with staff.
Q. What if I already have someone I want to hire?
A. If you already have someone in mind, then Camp USA's Direct Placement J-1 Visa Sponsorship program is for you.
Q. What if I need additional staff during the summer or for post-camp?
A. Give us a call and let us know what you are looking for. We will keep you in mind in case any staff members become available. For post-camp staff, please let us know what positions you need to fill and the dates they need to be there. When participants call us at the end of the summer looking for post-camp work, we will pass along your contact information for them to get in touch with you.
Q: I know who I want to hire. What should I do next?
A: First, register with us for free. If you have already registered, log in here to update your information. Then, be sure to send your applicant a signed contract on camp letterhead, outlining the dates of employment, position, and stipend. If this is a returning staff member, you can give him/her a performance evaluation from last summer, which can be used as his reference for the application. Once you've taken care of that, your applicant will be ready to fill out our Direct Placement Application.
Q: When should my staff send in their Direct Placement applications?
A: As early as possible. The earlier participants send them in, the earlier we'll be able to provide them with their paperwork. All applications should be submitted at least 2 months before they are supposed to be at camp. This will give them enough time to receive their paperwork, get a J-1 Visa appointment at the U.S. Embassy, and find a flight to get them to camp on time. Please remember that our Direct Placement application deadline is April 30. Applications received May 1 to May 8 will incur a $100 late fee. Applications received on or after May 9 will incur a $125 penalty. InterExchange cannot guarantee that we will process any applications received after the April 30th deadline.
Q: Who pays the Direct Placement fees?
A: Participants are responsible for paying their own program, visa, insurance and travel fees. You may elect to pay the fees for the participant, However, you're not required to do so. If you do choose to pay the program fees for your participant, please keep in mind that if they do not receive a visa or pull out of the program after their forms have been printed, applicable refunds are dependent upon them returning their forms to us. If applicants pay for their own fees, they have more incentive to return the forms in order to get a refund.
Q: One of my staff members came through another organization last year. Is it okay if she comes through InterExchange this year?
A: Yes. Participants who were sponsored through other cultural exchange programs are welcome to return through InterExchange Camp USA Direct Placement program.
Q: This is one of my staff member's third summer at camp. Is there any restriction on how many years a participant can work at camp?
A: Counselors are welcome to return for a third year or more, but InterExchange can only provide J-1 Visa sponsorship to a limited number of counselors who are returning for their third year or more. We encourage these counselors to send in their applications as early as possible so that we have a better chance of assisting them. We usually fill our quota by early April. There's no restriction involved for returning support staff other than that they must still be students.
Q: How long will it take to process an application?
A: Once we receive a complete application, payment, and confirm the placement with the camp, participants will get their DS-2019 and SEVIS receipts within 3 weeks. Many times, applications are held up because something is missing from the application, we are missing payment, or we are unable to confirm the placement with the camp. As a director, you can speed up the process by confirming placements online or by sending back the Pre-Placed Director's Form as soon as you receive it. Please note that our 3-week guarantee does not apply to applications we receive after the deadline.
Q: What happens if I pay for a staff member who receives a visa rejection or pulls out of the program?
A: In order to receive a refund for these participants, they must return their DS-2019 forms to InterExchange. Without this form, we cannot issue a refund. Once we receive the DS-2019 form, we will refund you the full amount paid, minus a $100 administrative fee and the non-refundable $35 SEVIS fee if the applicant pulled out of the program after InterExchange issued a DS-2019 form or if they were rejected a J-1 Visa. This is why we recommend that camps do not pay for participants fees so that they are responsible for returning the forms.
If the participant pulled out of the program before InterExchange issued a DS-2019, you will receive a full refund minus a $50 administrative fee and the $35 SEVIS fee. All late fees and/or shipping fees are non-refundable. Please note that all refunds are processed in September, and the SEVIS, shipping, and late fees are all non-refundable.
Q: I am hiring participants through Camp USA's Regular and Direct Placement programs. If I am paying my Direct Placement participants' fees, can you add those fees onto my final invoice?
A: No. In order to process a Direct Placement application, Camp USA must have full payment. If you would like to pay for a Direct Placement participant's fee, you can pay by check or credit card. We also offer a convenient online payment plan.
Q: What is the easiest way for me to check the status of a staff member's application?
A: Log in to your personal account. On the main page, you will see a list of all of your staff members "On Review", both Regular and Direct Placement. By clicking on your Direct Placement staff member's name, you can see what is missing from his or her application, view the application, and confirm placement online.
Wages, Taxes, and Fees
Q. Are international staff exempt from paying taxes?
A. InterExchange Camp USA participants are not required to pay federal taxes as long as they earn less then $3,050. State and local tax laws vary. While some participants are university students in their home countries, the IRS does not consider them students while they are in the U.S. For tax purposes, Camp USA participants are considered non-resident aliens. International staff must file a tax return and are often eligible for a refund.
Q. Are international staff exempt from Social Security, Medicare tax, and Unemployment withholdings?
A. Yes. Participants are non-resident aliens on a J-1 Visa. They should not have Social Security, Medicare, or unemployment withheld. For more detailed information, please look at the IRS's Employer Tax Guide and Publication 515 at www.irs.gov.
Q. What is the SEVIS fee?
A. On September 1, 2004, the U.S. Department of State mandated a $35 Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee for all camp participants. This fee must be paid before Camp USA is able to print DS-2019 forms. Camp USA will provide participants with SEVIS receipts, which they must bring to the embassy as proof of payment. Participants are responsible for paying their SEVIS fee, which is included in all Regular program fees. We recommend that camps allow Pre-Placed applicants to pay the SEVIS fee on their own.
Camp Directors Already Registered with InterExchange
Q. I just registered with Camp USA. How long will it take for me to get my username and password?
A. Camp USA will e-mail you your username and password within 2 business days.
Q. What happens if I make a mistake while I'm logged on to my camp's page?
A. Nothing. If you have made a major change, like accepting or rejecting an applicant, and you need to reverse it, just call us as soon as possible. We will correct the problem on our end. Most minor changes that you make (like adjustments to your camp profile, staffing needs, etc.) you can change as many times as you like, so you can correct errors yourself.
Q. I already approved a Direct Placement applicant. Why is he or she still listed as "On Review”?
A. Pre-Placed applicants remain "On Review" until their applications are complete. For a list of items that your applicant is missing, please click on his or her name.
Q. What do I do if I want to reconsider someone I previously rejected?
A. Call us. We will tell you if the applicant is still available.
Q. My applicant's J-1 Visa status is listed as "pending." Should I be worried?
A. Probably not. Visa processing times vary by country, but most participants have to wait at least a month to receive their visas. There's no need to worry unless it's less than a month before camp starts and someone you hired several months ago is still waiting for a visa. We'll keep you updated on any potential visa problems, but feel free to call us at any time to ask about the process, or about specific countries.
Q. What if I am having a problem with one of my InterExchange Camp USA staff members?
A. Call us immediately. The Camp USA office team is here to help with any issues you might have with your staff.