Work & Travel USA
Work & Travel USA


Need more information about the Work & Travel USA program? You’ve come to the right place. Here are some helpful links and documents about our program.

Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

Where do seasonal international staff come from?

Our students come from more than 65 countries. Summer staff generally come from Northern Hemisphere countries and winter staff come from Southern Hemisphere countries. For employers hiring 15 or more staff members each season, we also arrange customized Recruitment Tours to different countries every season.

One of our objectives in the overseas interviews for Job Placement participants is to evaluate the English level of our applicants. You will receive an assessment of each student’s English communication skills on his or her application. In general, the English level of InterExchange students is high. However, fluent knowledge of English is not a requirement for participating in our program. As a benefit of the program, students enjoy constant exposure to English, which helps improve their conversational abilities dramatically.

Because our program offers students from more than 60 countries the opportunity to improve their English and gain a unique understanding of culture in the U.S., we discourage hiring students from your native country. Employers may be tempted to speak to their students in their native language, and this practice is an obstacle for a young person who is excited to improve his or her English skills.

InterExchange does not charge program fees to host employers. Participants pay program and insurance fees, flights, interview fees, etc.

Our participants can fill a variety of entry-level, short-term positions, including retail staff, waitstaff, kitchen staff, counter staff, maintenance, housekeeping, dishwashing, and ride operations.

International students on the Work & Travel USA program are prohibited from working in the following areas: child care, medical/patient care, domestic work (such as a housekeeper in a family’s home), camp counselors, flight attendants, and any job that jeopardizes the student’s well-being and/or safety. See the full list of prohibited positions in Host Employer Vetting section.

If you have hired staff through our Job Placement program, your InterExchange Work & Travel USA representative will contact you to determine which route (bus, plane, train) you recommend. We give each student custom instructions on how to get to their job site, including recommended times and schedule information. If you hire staff directly through our Self-Placement program, you must communicate with them about their transportation to the job site. All InterExchange Work & Travel USA students are responsible for their own transportation costs.

No. All Work & Travel USA students are responsible for their own transportation costs.

Although students may have more than one job, they should seek to maintain a healthy work and life balance and incorporate cultural excursions, contact with Americans, and improving their English as important aspects of the program.

We tell the students that they should expect to work approximately 35 to 40 hours per week. The amount of hours after that is negotiable depending on the availability of additional work. Overtime compensation laws differ in each state and should be closely followed. We ask that employers give a clear indication of the schedule that students can expect, so that we can present that information to the students in their job offer.

Wages & Taxes

What should I pay international staff?

You should pay what you would pay an American employee doing the same job, always adhering to state minimum wage laws. Information on prevailing wages can be found on the U.S. Department of Labor’s website.

While providing housing for students is not mandatory, InterExchange Work and Travel USA asks that you provide or arrange affordable housing for staff in close proximity to the job site.

Yes. The students must apply for Social Security cards when they arrive in the U.S. InterExchange will assist them with this process as part of their orientation in New York City. The students will receive a receipt that shows that they have applied for a Social Security card. The card should arrive within four to six weeks.

All InterExchange Work & Travel USA students are required to pay federal, state and local taxes. According to the IRS, students should use their U.S. address, claim single 1 and fill in “NRA” for non-resident alien in line 6 of the W-4.

No. All InterExchange Work & Travel USA students are required to pay federal, state and local taxes. While participants are all university students in their home countries, the IRS does not consider them students while they are in the U.S. For tax purposes, InterExchange Work & Travel USA students are considered non-resident aliens. International staff must file a tax return and are often eligible for a refund.

InterExchange Work & Travel USA students are non-resident aliens on a J-1 Visa. While they are subject to federal, state and local taxes, they should not have Social Security, Medicare or federal unemployment withheld. Please consult a tax professional to see if students are exempt from state unemployment taxes in your state. For more detailed tax information, please review the IRS’s Employer Tax Guide and Publication 515 at

Yes, W-2s should be mailed to them in their home countries as early as possible. Ask your staff to address an envelope that you can use for this purpose. This will help ensure you have their correct international addresses.

Insurance and Medical Issues

Do my international staff have health insurance?

All InterExchange Work & Travel USA students are required to have accident and sickness insurance for the duration of their stay in the U.S. This coverage is not the same as regular health insurance. Each student has been provided with insurance details and information about doctor visits, emergencies, and how to file a claim.

Students will have a pamphlet and claim form inside their arrival kit. This information will contain the policy number, contact telephone number, and description of coverage. Assist your students with finding a local doctor who accepts the insurance before they need one.

Always inform InterExchange of any serious injuries or illnesses. Read more information on our website.

InterExchange Work & Travel USA students are protected by the same labor laws as U.S. citizens. Like any other employees, all job-related injuries are covered by Workers’ Compensation. Employers should refer to their Workers’ Compensation insurance policy or broker.

If an employee who does physical work is injured and can no longer work in that position, be sure to file a Workers’ Compensation claim. We ask that you find an alternative position for that student. If this is not possible, please contact our office so that we can try to arrange another placement.

J-1 Visa Information

What is the J-1 Visa?

The J-1 Visa is a temporary, non-immigrant visa that allows foreign nationals to live and work in the U.S. as part of cultural exchange programs that promote the sharing of knowledge and cultural understanding.

The DS-2019 form is proof of sponsorship for a J-1 Visa. The DS-2019 form identifies InterExchange as the student’s program sponsor, describes the purpose of the program, and states the time period that the student is allowed to work. The student is allowed to work only with a valid DS-2019 form and only through the dates listed on the DS-2019. The J-1 Visa is only valid with the DS-2019 form.

InterExchange can only assist the student in obtaining the J-1 Visa to participate on our program. Under no circumstances can the J-1 Visa or the work permission be extended. A student who continues to work after the date on the DS-2019 Form is working illegally!

The dates on the student’s DS-2019 are the dates he or she is eligible to work. Students are allowed to be in the country 30 days after the last date on the DS-2019. The dates printed on the J-1 Visa describe the period of time during which the student is allowed to enter the U.S. Once the visa has expired, the student is not allowed to re-enter the U.S. This means if the student wants to travel to Canada or Mexico and then return to the U.S., he or she must do so before his or her visa expires. The dates on the visa do not describe the work period. Please refer to section 3 in the DS-2019 Form for details on your student’s last day of work eligibility.

International students are subject to the same laws and regulations as their U.S. counterparts. If there are additional rules for employee housing, they are expected to respect them. As a proprietor and an employer, you are entitled to set guidelines on behavior at your job site, e.g., employees may not drink or smoke on the premises. Other than these rules, our students are under no additional restrictions.

Support During the Program

What if I need help or have any questions during the season?

Please call us at 1.800.621.1202. InterExchange office hours are 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. There is also a 24-hour emergency assistance line for employers and students: 1.917.873.5877.

By mid-season, most of our placements are finalized. It is not uncommon for students to seek second jobs; you may want to call our office, and we can give you information on other employers in your area who may have students who would welcome the opportunity to take a second job. It is important for you to keep in mind that the student’s primary responsibility is to the first employer. Additionally, some students may finish their work commitment and realize that they would like to work until the end of their legal work period. Sometimes, further employment is not available with their original employer. In these cases, we often “relocate” students in areas where the tourist season allows for an extended period of work. If you are able to accommodate these students, please feel free to contact InterExchange. We keep a list of those employers who have mid-season openings.

No. InterExchange Work & Travel USA students are allowed to work a maximum of four months. The 30-day period at the end of the program is only for travel. It is illegal for them to work during the travel period.

One of the primary points covered during orientation is job performance. We emphasize to students that although we can find them jobs, it is up to them to work satisfactorily in order to keep their jobs. If you feel that a student is not meeting your expectations, we ask that you first talk to the student to see what might be the problem. Talk to students about their work performance and let them know what your expectations are and how they can improve. If they are shown how to improve and your expectations are clearly explained, they will most likely improve.

If the situation has not changed after you have attempted to speak with your student, we ask that you call our office to inform us of the problem. We will ask to speak with the student and will try to improve the situation. If, after all efforts have been made, you are still disappointed with his or her performance, we ask that you call us again to let us know that you will no longer be employing the student. One suggestion that has proven successful is a performance bonus, rewarded to exemplary workers. These bonuses are incentives for students to put extra effort into their jobs.

We do give priority to first time applicants; however, each year we do accept a percentage of returnees. Students who want to return on our program, but arrange their own jobs, must apply through our Self-Placement program. A letter offering employment (on your company letterhead) or a completed Employment Agreement Form should be sent to the applicant and should include pertinent information about wages, duties, employment dates, and accommodation.


If I am participating in E-Verify, how do I proceed with the E-Verify process if my international staff member has not yet received a Social Security number? Sometimes international participants have not received their Social Security numbers prior to starting work (allowed under the regulations of the J-1 SWT program).

If a newly hired employee has applied for, but has not yet received an SSN, attach an explanation to the employee’s Form I-9 and set it aside. Allow the employee to continue to work and create a case in E-Verify using the employee’s SSN as soon as it is available. If the case was not created by the third business day after the employee started work for pay, indicate the reason for this delay in E-Verify. You may choose a reason from the drop-down list or state a specific reason in the field provided.

You would notate this scenario on the memo with the Form I-9 as well.

No. You are required by law to complete the Form I-9. E-Verify is secondary. If you are enrolled in E-Verify and the Department of Homeland Security sees that cases are not being run, they may contact you to ensure you understand the requirements of E-Verify. E-Verify is not an enforcement/penalty program.

Read more about E-Verify.

The InterExchange Work & Travel USA Program

Program Overview

InterExchange has been a U.S. Department of State-desginated sponsor of the J-1 Summer Work Travel program since 1970. This program provides students with a way to visit the U.S. by helping them to work and earn spending money while they make friends from around the world and learn about the U.S. and its culture. During their time here, students have the opportunity to improve their English, explore host communities, act as ambassadors for their countries, and become future advocates of the United States. Students also have an optional 30-day travel period to explore the U.S. at the end of their work assignments.

The InterExchange Work & Travel USA Program

The primary purpose of the Summer Work Travel program is to offer young men and women from around the world an opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge and understanding of the United States through a combined cultural and work experience. The InterExchange Work & Travel USA program places international university students in temporary seasonal jobs throughout the U.S. We help match these motivated students with American employers who are in need of entry-level staff in locations where seasonal needs are not met by the local workforce. InterExchange Work & Travel USA participants should not be hired in place of U.S. employees.

We make every effort to recruit applicants who are hardworking, flexible, and ready for new experiences. InterExchange Work & Travel USA works with international organizations in more than 60 countries to help recruit and screen qualified applicants. Our international participants help increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries; help strengthen the ties which unite us with other nations by demonstrating the educational and cultural interests, developments, and achievements of the people of the United States and other nations; and assist in the development of friendly, sympathetic, and peaceful relations between the United States and the other countries of the world.

Summer Program

Participating employers include hotels, bed & breakfasts, national parks, restaurants, amusement parks, pools, and convenience stores.

Summer InterExchange Work & Travel USA participants are primarily from countries in the Northern Hemisphere. Participants come from many countries, including Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Türkiye, the United Kingdom, and Uzbekistan.

Winter Program

Participating employers include hotels, bed & breakfasts, and restaurants in ski resort areas and at warm weather tourist destinations.

Winter Work & Travel USA students are primarily from countries in the Southern Hemisphere. Students come from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay.

Spring Program

Participating employers are usually focused on the busy months between the winter and summer peak seasons and include hotels and resorts. Spring InterExchange Work & Travel USA students are from the Philippines.

12-Month Program

A 12-month J-1 Visa is available for citizens of Australia and New Zealand. The program allows students and recent graduates to work legally in the United States in entry-level, unskilled positions for up to 12 months.

InterExchange Work & Travel USA applicants must be:

  • Full-time university students
  • Between the ages of 18 and 28
  • Able to demonstrate a high level of maturity and adaptability
  • Able to work for a minimum of three months
  • Proficient in written and spoken English

InterExchange Work & Travel USA is committed to selecting and matching your business with the best possible seasonal staff.

How InterExchange Can Help Fill Seasonal Staffing Needs

As a U.S. Department of State-designated J-1 Visa sponsor, InterExchange serves as a central contact point between qualified host employers who want to hire seasonal international staff and international students who are looking for an opportunity to work and travel in the U.S. during their official university breaks.

When you choose to work with us, you can expect

Exceptional Recruiting Services

InterExchange recruits and screens students, ensures all students have accident and sickness insurance, helps students apply for their Social Security cards and provides travel directions to their work site. Staffing needs can be met easily and well in advance of the beginning of your season. Our online system allows approved employers to review applicants and submit job offers directly to qualified students.

Compliance with Regulations

InterExchange is thoroughly knowledgeable of Exchange Visitor Program regulations. InterExchange can also provide assistance to facilitate the successful completion of exchange visitor programs with regards to federal, state and local laws pertaining to employment, including the Fair Labor Standards Act and SEVIS.

J-1 Visa Processing

InterExchange processes all J-1 Visa sponsorship paperwork and prepares job offers and contracts between the student and the employer.

Cost-Free Program

There is no cost to employers. Participating students pay their own expenses, including program and travel fees.

Personalized Service and Support

A dedicated Regional Manager will take the time to learn your specific staffing needs and will submit applications for you to review. Your Regional Manager is also available throughout the year to answer questions or assist with any problems that may arise. 24-hour emergency telephone support is available throughout the season.

Participant Assistance

InterExchange hosts cultural meetups at our New York City headquarters packed with activities that acquaint participants with U.S. culture and history, as well as information on taxes, labor laws, and resources for living and working in the U.S. Participants are also given a 24-hour emergency contact number and information about applying for Social Security numbers.

Staff Commitment to Employers

Applicants sign an employment agreement agreeing to work through their full commitment and meet all job requirements. Most come to the U.S. to improve their English and learn more about U.S. culture by working alongside American staff and having constant contact with U.S. citizens. The money students earn is an additional incentive to work through an entire season, as it is a means to defray their travel and living expenses while visiting the U.S.

Comprehensive Screening & Orientation

Applicants are interviewed and tested for English proficiency. Orientation programs are held in the participant’s home country to ensure applicants have realistic working and living expectations.

Full Season Coverage

International university students have longer breaks than U.S. students, allowing participants to work throughout the busy season. By staggering staff arrival dates, employers can ensure full-season coverage.

A Diverse Workplace

International visitors on J-1 Visas arrive from more than 60 countries, adding an international flair to U.S. businesses. Students are here to learn about and experience U.S. culture, so they’re eager to engage with you, your customers, and their American peers. International staff members are carefully screened and have strong English communication skills.

As a host employer, part of your role is to assist international participants in their compliance with the U.S. Department of State’s Summer Work Travel program regulations. You’ll make their experience more successful as well as ensure that you’re able to host students through the program in future years. In accordance with our practices and the regulations of the program, please:

  • Do not allow participants to begin work at your business until InterExchange, the J-1 Visa sponsor, has fully vetted and approved your business and the positions for the students. This vetting process applies to all participants who may be taking on a second job at your business as well.
  • Notify sponsor immediately of any concerns regarding participants’ health, safety, or welfare, including housing issues, no-shows, termination, quitting a job, etc.
  • Notify sponsor immediately when participants arrive at work sites to begin their programs.
  • Notify sponsor immediately when participants do not arrive at work sites to begin their programs.
  • Notify sponsor immediately if there are any changes or deviations in job placements during participants’ programs.
  • Don’t overhire.
  • Familiarize participants with the local community.
  • Ensure that participants have opportunities to meet Americans, both in the work environment and during their free time.
  • Ensure that participants have opportunities to engage in cultural activities.
  • Don’t allow participants to work past the dates on their DS-2019 Forms.
  • Be prepared for visits, both scheduled and unscheduled, from U.S. Department of State officials or InterExchange during the season.
  • Treat all international participants with respect and act as a welcoming ambassador for the U.S.

Program Options

All InterExchange Work & Travel USA students participate in one of two program types.

The Job Placement Program

InterExchange Regional Managers and Local Representatives work with host employers to find applicants that help support seasonal needs. Based on the employer’s requests and the applicant’s qualifications, you will be able to view and select participants using the InterExchange Online Application. As participants sign up, you can view applications of participants who have expressed interest in your location and job type. Employers are able to search this database for qualified participants.


  • No hiring costs
  • Upload all your documents and choose your participants using the InterExchange online application
  • Review full applications for participants who have applied to work for specific job types and locations
  • We work with you personally and respond to your changing staffing needs
  • Fixed arrival dates for your staff
  • Access to pre-screened students from many countries during the recruitment process
  • Accurate assessment of English skills and online videos that allow you to hear participants’ English-speaking abilities
  • Hassle free: We screen the students for you
  • Security: Be confident that the student you hire has the documentation to apply for a visa and has been properly screened for the program.
  • Assistance with the social security application

Students who choose the Job Placement program have asked InterExchange to find the best possible job for them. Since there are a limited number of spots, this is a very competitive program. Once a student is accepted, InterExchange provides a student with a job placement.

The Self-Placement program is for host employers who already know whom they’d like to hire, or who prefer to hire candidates who contact them directly.

This program is ideal for employers who want to hire returning student staff. InterExchange Work & Travel USA provides applicants with the documents they need to apply for their J-1 Visa as well as 24-hour support. This program does not include assistance with the Social Security application or employer matching through InterExchange.

Some employers choose to hire a combination of students from both the Job Placement and Self-Placement programs. If you are unsure which program is right for you, please contact InterExchange. Our regional managers will be happy to discuss your hiring needs: 1.800.621.1202 or [email protected].

International Recruitment Tours

InterExchange organizes international recruiting tours throughout the year to different regions of the world. We arrange for host employers to go overseas with our staff to recruit the best international student staff while discovering the unique cultures of students’ home countries up close.

NYC Virtual Recruitment Tours

If your schedule doesn’t allow you to join us on an International Recruitment Tour, consider attending a Virtual Recruitment Tour at our New York City office. Through video conferencing, you will interview candidates from our pool of pre-qualified applicants from around the world.

For more information about our recruitment tour options, call us at 1.800.621.1202 or email [email protected].

Recruiting minimums apply for participation in international and virtual recruitment tours. Contact our team at [email protected] to confirm recruiting minimums.

How to Register for Job Placement

The Enrollment Process

Registration is simple and free!

We review all employer registrations with each employer so that we can answer any questions you may have before we begin the recruitment and visa process. This helps us avoid any misunderstandings.


Most of our students expect to work between 35 and 40 hours per week. Many are willing to work overtime. If additional hours are not available, the J-1 Visa allows a student to get a second job. InterExchange emphasizes to students that a second job should not interfere with their primary jobs. If second jobs are available in your area, please let us know on the Employer Registration Form.


All of our students are covered by minimum wage and overtime laws as they apply from state to state. As of January 1st, 2015, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Where state law requires a higher minimum wage, the higher standard applies.

InterExchange students should be paid the same wages as American employees in the same position. If you are providing room and/or board we recommend that these costs be kept separate from the hourly wage. Students appreciate the transparency of having housing and food costs separate from their salaries. Please consult a tax professional regarding regulations if you are deducting housing and food costs from a student’s salary.


InterExchange realizes that most of the positions offered to students will vary according to the students’ skills, the season, and available hours. Positions must require minimal training and not displace American workers. Positions must allow routine interaction with Americans and others in the host community to allow for cultural exchange.


We ask that employers assist students with coordinating affordable, suitable accommodations before arrival. If you are unable to pre-arrange housing, InterExchange will only consider placing students at the job site if appropriate and affordable accommodation can be found quickly and easily upon the students’ arrival. Additionally, the employer should be available to provide advice and assistance in finding and securing accommodations. Please remember that for many of our students, this is their first time in the U.S., so they may be unfamiliar with how to find housing and will need your assistance.

Note: If a housing deposit is required, please make sure the students are given a receipt and that they clearly understand the rules and conditions regarding this deposit. If the students use bicycles, please encourage them to wear helmets, use lights, and obey all traffic rules.

Incentives and Bonuses

Some employers choose to offer students a performance bonus. or lump sum at the end of their program. The bonus is also a nice gesture because students often can use this money when they travel after their work commitment.

Note: Bonuses are not mandatory and generally cannot be deducted or withheld from regular pay.

The Job Placement Process

InterExchange Work & Travel USA offers employers on our Job Placement program a dedicated and experienced Regional Manager. Each regional manager is responsible for working directly with employers as well as overseeing a support network of local representatives in selected areas around the country. Regional managers provide each employer assistance with seasonal staff recruiting, interviewing and screening, J-1 Visa processing, online orientations and training, travel arrangements, Social Security enrollment, emergency support, and general assistance.

After discussing your seasonal needs with your designated regional manager, employers are enrolled in the Job Placement program. Regional managers work closely with each employer to fill their staffing needs using the InterExchange Online Application.

Steps in the Job Placement process

1. Register

Employers log in to their InterExchange online account to create job listings along with business and housing descriptions, which are used to recruit prospective participants. Employers also must sign the Host Employer Agreement and upload valid copies of their business license and workers’ compensation policy deck sheet.

2. Matching

Employers can search the pool of available participants in the InterExchange online account and place them On Review with their company. Regional managers can also place participants On Review with an employer, as well as answer employer questions and assist with setting up virtual interviews.

3. Offer/Decline a Participant

Once a participant is On Review with an employer, the employer has three days to either offer the participant a position or decline the application. The employer fills out the specific job title, wage, and hour details when offering a participant a position.

4. Confirmation by Participant

Participants then receive a job offer from their employer via email, which they confirm and sign electronically. The job offer states the work dates the participant has agreed to.

Each year, a small percentage of our accepted applicants do not participate due to withdrawal from the program or visa denials. If a student cancels and/or will not be arriving as expected, your InterExchange Regional Manager will notify you immediately so that a replacement can be arranged. Depending on how far into the season we are, it may be difficult to find a replacement that meets your specific needs; however, we will do everything possible to find a qualified candidate. In this situation, we cannot guarantee that a suitable candidate will be available.

InterExchange Work & Travel USA participants have chosen to work with us as their J-1 Visa sponsor. While we feel that we present the best program available, students have the option to work with any sponsor designated by the U.S. Department of State.

The Self-Placement Program

Many host employers arrange seasonal jobs directly with participants who are seeking placements. Often, participants will contact host employers over the internet, by phone, or by email to secure a job offer. Even if host employers offer the participant a job, the participant still needs a sponsor in order to obtain a J-1 Visa. InterExchange acts as the J-1 Visa sponsor for many qualified Self-Placement participants every year. Host employers are subject to the regulations of the Summer Work Travel program and must comply with them, including meeting all vetting requirements as per 22 CFR §62, including helping to facilitate cultural exchange experiences for participants.

Step-by-Step Vetting Process
  1. Host Employers fill out an InterExchange Employment Offer form for each Self Placement participant that they plan on hiring.
  2. Participants input the information from their Employment Offer form to their InterExchange online account.
    • InterExchange processes these offers and will create an account for the Host Employer. Host employers will receive an email asking them to accept the account invitation and set a password. If the Host Employer already has an InterExchange account log in at
  3. InterExchange will email the host employer instructions to complete their Host Employer Application. This helps InterExchange learn about the business, collect documentation and complete the vetting process.
    • Program regulations require InterExchange to collect a valid Business License and proof of Workers’ Compensation
    • Documents must be uploaded directly to the Host Employer Application; InterExchange will not accept documents submitted via email, fax, or by participants.
  4. InterExchange will place each participant application on the host employer’s ‘On Review’ list for the host employer to confirm their Job Offer details.
    • All participant applications ‘On Review’ will automatically expire after 21 days if the host employer does not confirm the Job Offer details. If the ‘On Review’ application has expired and the participant is still interested in this offer, they may re-submit the offer and contact their host employer to confirm the position details.
  5. Once the Host Employer Application has been submitted, InterExchange will review the information and contact the host employer by phone for a brief vetting interview. The host employer may expedite this process by calling InterExchange at 1-800-621-1202.
    • InterExchange will need to speak to the employment contact listed on the Employment Offer form.
    • If we are unable to reach the host employer by phone on the third attempt or after 15 days, the Job Offer will expire.

Once the vetting interview has been conducted and the position has been approved, the participant will be issued their DS-2019 form which will be uploaded to their InterExchange account. Participants will then schedule a visa interview at a U.S. Embassy.

The host employer should update their ‘Arrival Instructions’ in their InterExchange online account to assist participants coordinate their travel plans.

InterExchange asks all participants to update their visa appointment and flight information in their online account. We recommend that host employers keep in touch with all their participants before the expected arrival date.

Once participants enter the U.S., they have 10 days to register a U.S. home address with InterExchange and confirm that they have arrived at their job. If confirmed participants do not arrive for work on the scheduled arrival date, host employers should notify InterExchange by calling 1-800-621-1202.

  • Before issuing a job offer, make certain that the position is definite and that the number of hours listed on the Job Offer realistically reflects the average number of weekly hours available throughout the season.

  • Verify English skills via a phone or video interview.

  • Consider the availability of safe, affordable, suitable, and acceptable housing and transportation.

    • Housing must, at a minimum, meet all applicable local laws and regulations, including with respect to ventilation, utilities, and occupancy rates. Transportation must be reliable, affordable, and convenient between participants’ residences and worksites.
  • Clearly detail any housing agreement, housing deposit information or paycheck deductions on the Host Employer Application.


Summer Season

September – January

Employers enroll by completing an Employer Registration Form (online, by telephone, or email). Your InterExchange Regional Manager will contact you to discuss the information provided.

November – June

The matching process begins. Your InterExchange representative begins emailing student applications for you to review.

May – July

You should expect to hear from your students the day after they arrive in the U.S.

September – November

Students finish their work commitments, travel, and return home in time to begin classes in their home countries.

June – October

Employers enroll by completing an Employer Registration Form (online, by email, or by telephone). As soon as we receive your Employer Registration Form, your InterExchange Work & Travel USA Regional Manager contacts you to discuss your hiring needs.

Late August

The matching process begins. Your InterExchange representative begins emailing student applications to review.

September – November

The matching process continues.


You should expect to hear from your international student staff the day after they arrive in the U.S.

March – April

Students finish their work commitments, travel, and return home in time to begin classes.


Employers enroll by completing an Employer Registration Form (online, by email, or by telephone). As soon as we receive your Employer Registration Form, your InterExchange Regional Manager contacts you to discuss the information you provided.


InterExchange Work & Travel USA staff travel abroad to interview applicants and give orientations.


You should expect to hear from your students the day after they arrive in the U.S.

June – July

Students finish their work commitments, travel and return home in time to begin classes.

Student Selection Process

Applicant Qualifications

All applicants for the InterExchange Work & Travel USA program must be full-time university students in good standing, who are pursuing a degree. We require that applicants are 18 to 28, have a good command of English, and demonstrate a high level of maturity and adaptability.

Our International Cooperators screen prospective applicants before distributing an information packet and application. Qualified individuals are invited to an interview in English with an InterExchange representative and an orientation session.

During orientation sessions, InterExchange representatives explain the program in detail, outlining the benefits of the cultural exchange experience, while also providing a realistic idea of what students should be prepared for while living and working in the U.S. In addition, we outline the rules and regulations of our program and give students information about general expectations and policies their employers might have.

Interviews, both in person and using Google Meet and Zoom, allow InterExchange to select students who will benefit from participating in the program and will be able to succeed in an American work environment. By interviewing each student, we are able to gain a better understanding of an applicant’s character and can form an idea about what type of placement would best suit him or her. English levels are assessed during this interview and language skills are rated on a scale of 1 to 10. To participate, students must have at least a rating of 5 and have an ability to understand their rights according to U.S. laws and act accordingly as needed.

Students applying for our Work & Travel USA program must be able to work for at least three months. The majority of summer students arrive in early June, although there are some earlier and later arrivals. The majority of winter students arrive in mid-December. Spring students from Ecuador, the Philippines, or Thailand arrive in March. All students are issued J-1 Visas and are eligible to work for a maximum of four months, but may not work for you beyond your peak seasonal need. Many students are eager to work for as long as possible, and although they initially commit to work for three months, many choose to stay throughout the duration of their work eligibility.

At the time of the interview in their home countries, applicants are asked to make a realistic commitment about how long they can work. The students understand that employers hire them largely based on the dates they are available to work.

The InterExchange Work & Travel USA program prepares the students for the changes and adjustments they will need to make in order to have a successful season. If any difficulties arise at their job sites, we encourage our students to first discuss these issues with you, their employer. Many problems are simply misunderstandings and can be easily resolved. If both parties are unable to resolve a particular issue, please contact InterExchange so that we can help both you and the student reach an understanding.

During our overseas interviews, we ask each applicant his or her preferences for both job locations and job types. Applicants understand that most jobs are in seasonal resort areas, hotels, inns, amusement parks, restaurants, ski resort areas, and national parks. They also understand that the positions employers will offer them are typically entry-level and require a willingness to do physical work. Duties may range from serving and preparing food to housekeeping and maintenance. Although all of these jobs require hard work, the program is also designed to allow them to meet and interact with Americans, other international students, co-workers, and vacationers in the U.S. They should also be able to learn about American culture firsthand as well as earn some money and have a life-changing experience.

Students expect to work hard and have fun. When they receive the job offer through InterExchange, they are encouraged to research as much as they can about the area and position in which they will be working.

We take the terms and conditions of the job you describe and use it to develop a Job Offer. The Job Offer is sent to the students who you have chosen to work for you, and will be reviewed by the U.S. Embassies in their countries when determining their J-1 Visa eligibility. The Job Offer is sent through the InterExchange online application. This gives the students basic information about the job they will have on our program. We try to prepare the students by giving them as much information as possible, so we ask for you to be very truthful, thorough, and detailed. The Job Offer received by a student should be viewed as a binding contract and should be followed as closely as possible.

If there is any additional information you would like your students to receive prior to their arrival in the U.S., such as brochures, staff handbooks, and supplemental information about your area, feel free to contact your InterExchange representative to manage its transmission.

Host Employer Vetting

Job Vetting Requirements

InterExchange must vet all initial, replacement, and additional jobs based on U.S Department of State regulations and guidance in order to verify that participants will be pursuing the purpose of the Exchange Visitor Program.

InterExchange will not accept job offers that are made through international or domestic unvetted third parties or staffing agencies. These unvetted job agencies pose potential risks to the participant’s health, safety, and welfare and can undermine the core foreign policy goals of the Summer Work Travel program.

If you are unsure of whether you are working or speaking with a third party, please contact InterExchange at 1-800-621-1202. Please note that all InterExchange staff will have an email domain.

All host employers hiring InterExchange Work & Travel USA participants must demonstrate a seasonal or temporary need for additional staff during the months that the participants work. The positions must be entry level and unskilled, requiring minimal training. These participants must not displace U.S. workers at worksites where they are placed. Sponsors cannot place participants with host employers that have experienced layoffs in the past 120 days or have workers on lockout or on strike.

The U.S. Department of State requires that we verify and obtain a copy of the current business license to confirm a business entity is registered to conduct business in the jurisdictions where the participants are placed. We must also collect workers’ compensation policies that show your workers’ compensation coverage is sufficient and active during the period of placement.

Documents must be uploaded to the host employer’s online account for verification and approval.

Business License

Acceptable documents can include any business, professional, privilege, or occupational license, permit, registration, or certificate issued by the jurisdiction where the business operates granting the employer the right to operate in that jurisdiction. Where the jurisdiction does not issue tangible business licenses, the employer’s online listing or filing on the state Secretary of State website showing the entity to be in “good standing” may be acceptable. Documents issued by a government tax authority, authorizing a business to collect taxes, will not be accepted.

Acceptable documents must:

  • Include the name of the business.
  • Be valid for the duration of the participant’s program. You will be asked to upload an updated business license once the current one expires.
  • Show that your business is authorized to operate in the city, county, state, or jurisdiction in which it resides.

Examples of acceptable documents include:

  • Articles of Incorporation with Certificate of Existence/Good Standing issued by the state Secretary of State
  • Liquor License
  • Health Inspection Permit

Proof of Worker’s Compensation Coverage

This includes either a deck sheet or the policy’s cover page. This document should include:

  • Policy holder’s name (business name)
  • Carrier name (insurance company)
  • Policy number
  • Site address(es) where participants will be working
  • Effective dates – must be valid for the duration of the participant’s program. You will be asked to upload an updated copy once the current policy expires.
  • Limits of Liability

This information can usually be found within the first two pages of the policy. If this information is on more than one page, please send all pages that include the required information.

InterExchange must vet all initial, replacement, and additional jobs based on U.S. Department of State regulations and guidance to verify that participants will be pursuing the purpose of the J-1 Visa program. The following positions are not allowed on the InterExchange Work & Travel USA program:

  1. In positions that could bring notoriety or disrepute to the Exchange Visitor Program;

  2. In sales positions that require participants to purchase inventory that they must sell in order to support themselves;

  3. In domestic help positions in private homes (e.g., child care, elder care, gardener, chauffeur);

  4. As pedicab or rolling chair drivers or operators;

  5. As operators or drivers of vehicles or vessels for which drivers’ licenses are required regardless of whether they carry passengers or not;

  6. In positions related to clinical care that involve patient contact;

  7. In any position in the adult entertainment industry (including, but not limited to jobs with escort services, adult book/video stores, and strip clubs);

  8. In positions requiring work hours that fall predominantly between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.;

  9. In positions declared hazardous to youth by the Secretary of Labor at Subpart E of 29 CFR part 570;

  10. In positions that require sustained physical contact with other people and/or adherence to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Universal Blood and Body Fluid Precautions guidelines (e.g., body piercing, tattooing (including henna), massage, manicure, hair braiding);
  11. In positions at businesses that offer body piercing, tattooing (including henna), massage, manicure, hair braiding;
  12. In positions that are substantially commission-based and thus do not guarantee that participants will be paid minimum wage in accordance with federal and state standards;

  13. In positions involved in gaming and gambling that include direct participation in wagering and/or betting;

  14. In positions in chemical pest control, warehousing, catalogue/online order distribution centers;

  15. In positions with traveling fairs or itinerant concessionaires;

  16. In positions for which there is another specific J visa category (e.g., camp counselor, intern, trainee)

  17. In positions in the North American Industry Classification System’s (NAICS) Goods-Producing Industries occupational categories industry sectors 11, 21, 23, 31-33 numbers as outlined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, including, but not limited to: construction (includes specialty trade contractors), mining (includes oil and gas extraction, support activities for mining), manufacturing (food manufacturing, textile mills, apparel manufacturing, wood product manufacturing, printing), natural resources (crop production, animal production, fishing, support activities for agriculture and forestry);
  18. Positions through employment or staffing agencies;

  19. Positions in kiosks or cart stands at malls;

  20. Positions in home-based businesses;

  21. Positions in warehouses or factories;

  22. Administrative positions handling sensitive/personal information;

  23. Positions as an independent contractor (1099 Form employee);

  24. Positions in fisheries;
  25. Positions in door-to-door sales or canvassing;
  26. Positions in industrial style/scale service sector (jobs that involve assembly lines, repetitive movement using heavy machinery, use of industrial size steamers/pressers and dryers, use of industrial chemicals, factory-like atmosphere);
  27. Positions at single-guard pools;
  28. Positions that involve the use of deli slicers;
  29. Positions that are not compensated hourly e.g. piece wages, stipends, etc.;
  30. Positions as an independent contractor/hired on a 1099 form;
  31. With employers who hire J-1 students for 3 seasons (spring, summer, winter)
  32. Positions in which the host employer has received cash or gift incentives to accept program participants

Employment Verification & Important Legal Documents

Work Authorization

Your international seasonal staff are authorized to work legally under their J-1 Visa status.

This visa allows each student to work only for the dates listed in Section 3 of their DS-2019 Forms. The maximum work authorization period for the Summer Work Travel program is four months.

InterExchange is designated by the U.S. Department of State to issue the DS-2019 Form, which allows students to apply for a J-1 Visa. The DS-2019 Form permits students to work during their stay in the U.S. The form identifies InterExchange as the student’s program sponsor, describes the purpose of the program, and states the time period during which a student is allowed to work. In order to obtain J-1 Visas, students bring their DS-2019 Forms, job offers, and passports to the U.S. Consulate in their home country.


  • The dates between which a student can legally work are listed in section 3 of the DS-2019 Form.
  • Students have 30 days to travel after the last date in section 3 of their DS-2019 Form.
  • Students are not legally allowed to work past the final date on the DS-2019 Form.

InterExchange is the official J-1 Visa sponsor for each student. No one except InterExchange or a government agency can cancel a participant’s visa. Any employer who threatens a J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor with deportation or visa revocation will not be allowed to continue participating in the program.

A J-1 Visa is a sticker in the student’s passport issued by a Consular Officer at a U.S. Consulate abroad. The purpose of the J-1 Visa is to indicate a window of dates during which the student may enter the U.S.

This J-1 Visa in combination with the DS-2019 Form allows students to:

  • Work up to four months (from the date of entry until the last date in section 3 on the DS-2019 Form)
  • Obtain a Social Security number

This J-1 Visa does not allow students to:

  • Work as a domestic, au pair, camp counselor, or in the medical field
  • Extend work eligibility or program participation
  • Work in a prohibited position

Think of the J-1 Visa only as the student’s authorization to enter the U.S.

InterExchange is the sponsor of the J-1 Visa for each student. Only InterExchange or a government agency has the right to cancel a student’s visa. Host employers are not able to change a participant’s visa status. The expiration date on the J-1 Visa is the last date a student is allowed to enter the U.S. For example, under the heading “Issue Date” it may say June 3, 2015 and under “Expiry Date” it may say October 3, 2015. This means that the student is allowed to enter the U.S. anytime between these two dates.

For some nationalities, the expiration date on the J-1 Visa may come before this program’s duration (four months). This does not mean that he or she must leave the country before the Work & Travel USA program ends, only that they must enter the U.S. before the expiration date on the J-1 Visa.

Sample J-1 Visa
  • M = Multiple entries up to expiration date. If “1” is indicated, the participant may enter the U.S. only once.
  • Expiration Date = Last date of eligibility to enter the U.S., as long as accompanied by a valid DS-2019 Form.

Important: If the student plans to leave the U.S. to travel and then come back to the U.S., he or she must have a multiple entry visa and reenter the U.S. before the expiration date on the J-1 Visa.

For some nationalities, the dates on the J-1 Visa may extend past the duration of this program (past four months). This does not mean that he or she is eligible to stay in the U.S. past the four-month period of the InterExchange program. If a student wants to participate on another InterExchange program in the future, he or she does not need to apply for another J-1 Visa as long as the current one has not expired. However, the student will still need to return home and reapply to InterExchange to obtain a current and valid DS-2019 Form, as the J-1 Visa is not valid without one!


The number of times a student may enter the U.S. on the J-1 Visa is indicated under the heading “Entries.” You will find either a number or the letter “M” under this heading. If you find a number, this means the student is only allowed to enter the U.S. that many times between the Issue Date and the Expiry Date on the visa. Because he or she is already in the U.S., one allotted entry has been used. If the student has an “M” under Entries this indicates a multiple entry. This means the student can leave and reenter the U.S. as many times as he or she wants, but the last re-entry must be before the visa Expiry Date or before the end date of their DS-2019 Form, whichever is earlier.


  • The dates on the J-1 Visa do not tell you how long the student is eligible to work. The dates of work eligibility are found on the DS-2019 Form.
  • The Expiry Date on the J-1 Visa does not mean that the student must go home by that date. Work & Travel students are allowed to stay in the U.S. for four months of work as indicated on the DS-2019 and a 30-day grace period for travel.
  • The Expiry Date on the J-1 Visa does not mean that the student is allowed to stay in the U.S. until that date, only that they can enter the U.S. until that date, with a valid DS-2019 Form.
  • The J-1 Visa and the DS-2019 Form are the documents needed to enter the U.S. as an InterExchange-sponsored exchange visitor.
  • The Work and Travel J-1 Visa is non-extendable.

If one of your students wishes to travel outside the U.S. and reenter after the expiration of the J-1 Visa, he or she must apply in advance for a tourist visa. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ( recommends that the person do so 45 days before the expiration of the J-1 Visa. We strongly recommend that students make copies of any applications and other materials that they send to USCIS. InterExchange is unable to assist students in obtaining other visas.

This arrival record is issued by the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Citizenship Services upon the student’s arrival in the U.S. The student is required to go to the following website to retrieve the I-94 document. It indicates the day the student arrived, their admission number, passport number, and class of admission.

How to Read the Electronic I-94 Arrival Record

The admission number is located on the top row of the electronic I-94 arrival record. Below the admission number is the admit until date, which generally has “D/S”, or Duration of Status, written next to it. This means that the student is legally allowed to remain in the country for the length of our program, which is four months plus 30 days to travel. The student is permitted to work between the dates indicated on the DS-2019 Form and is allowed an extra 30 days to travel.

All students should fill out an I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form after arriving at their job sites. We have provided a sample of a typical I-9 for an InterExchange Work & Travel USA student.

Sample I-9

I-9 Section 1

All students are legal aliens authorized to work. Admission numbers are located on their I-94 cards.

I-9 Section 2

Use a passport and electronic I-94 arrival record as a List A document. For List C documents, you should use the DS-2019 number and the program end date (DS-2019 form expiration date located in Box 3).

For complete information about filling out the I-9, please refer to the Handbook for Employers — Instructions for Completing Form I-9, published by the USCIS. You can download a PDF of the handbook from their website.

Upon your international staff’s arrival, you should make photocopies of the following documents and keep them on file:

  • Passport photo page
  • Electronic I-94 arrival record, which the student should print this document
  • J-1 Visa (sticker on passport page)
  • DS-2019 Form
  • Completed I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form
  • Receipt of Social Security application, or Social Security card (if they have already received it), or application (if they have not applied yet)

These documents collectively serve as legal verification of the student’s identity and his/her eligibility to work legally while in the U.S. Keep all records on file for at least three years for your own reference or as required by law.

  • If students will be working at any other locations or businesses owned or operated by your company.
  • If there are changes to students’ job titles.
  • If students are not meeting the requirements of their position.
  • If a student leaves his or her position ahead of the planned departure date.
  • If students do not arrive to work.
  • In the event of an emergency involving a student or any situation that impacts their health, safety or welfare.

My InterExchange student’s visa is good for a year; can he or she stay and work for me until his visa expires?

No. The dates that students can work are in section #3 of their DS-2019 Forms. All students must return home within 30 days of the end of their work period.

I hired a student to work until October 15th and his DS-2019 Form says he can work that long, but his J-1 Visa expires on October 1st. What should I do?

The student is allowed to work for the four month period covered on his DS-2019 Form. If his or her visa expires October 1st, it does not affect his or her ability to work legally. He or she can work until October 15th, per the DS-2019 Form. The visa expiration date indicates the last day he can enter the U.S., not the last day he can work. He or she should not, for example, travel to Canada after October 1st, as he or she would not be allowed re-entry into the U.S., unless he or she applied in advance for a tourist visa.

Host Employer Cooperation and Requirements

Outlined below are some InterExchange Work & Travel USA host employer requirements, based on program regulations and guidance from the U.S. Department of State.

InterExchange Work & Travel USA host employers are required to
  • Complete and sign an Employment Offer and Agreement form for each participant.
  • Make good faith efforts to provide participants the number of hours of paid employment per week as indicated and agreed to on their job offer.
  • Only offer positions that are seasonal and/or temporary in nature and that will not displace domestic U.S. workers at worksites where program participants are placed.
  • Obtain advance permission in writing from participants for any payroll deductions and/or changes.
  • Comply with all applicable federal, state, and local Minimum Wage laws.
  • Pay eligible participants for overtime worked in accordance with applicable state or federal law.
  • Provide the Federal Tax/Employer Identification Number (EIN), copies of their current business licenses, and workers’ compensation policy identification number and a copy of the policy’s Cover Page and/or Deck Sheet. InterExchange will request updated copies of these documents if they expire during the participants’ programs.
  • Advise participants that they are required to apply for a Social Security number.
  • Refrain from accepting any cash or gift incentives from sponsors and third parties acting on sponsors’ behalf to accept program participants.
  • Refrain from assisting students with remaining in the U.S. after their program.
  • If needed, assist participants with housing and/or transportation arrangements.
  • If the employer is providing housing: agree to provide safe, affordable, suitable, and acceptable accommodations. To be considered safe, housing must, at a minimum, meet all applicable local laws and regulations, including with respect to ventilation, utilities and occupancy rates.
  • If the employer is providing transportation: agree to provide safe, licensed, reliable, affordable, and convenient transportation.
  • InterExchange strongly discourages employers from deducting housing or transportation costs directly from participant’s wages, either pre- or post-tax. If the housing and/or transportation costs are deducted from participants’ paychecks, compensation must be in compliance with program regulations, including compliance with Internal Revenue Service and state wage requirements as well as section 531 of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which requires that such deductions be voluntary and not include a profit to the employer or to any affiliated person.

J-1 Transportation Safety – A Message to Host Employers

The InterExchange Work & Travel USA program is a cultural exchange program, which enables participants to expand their knowledge and understanding of the United States. InterExchange works to ensure that our participants have a variety of opportunities to meet Americans, improve their English, share their own cultures, and learn firsthand about American society.

InterExchange Work & Travel USA host employers must ensure that:

  • Participants’ jobs provide them interactions with U.S. citizens (e.g., co-workers, customers).
  • Participants have opportunities to experience U.S. culture during the work portion of their Summer Work Travel Programs and to participate in organized events, trips, or other activities outside of work (e.g., company parties, sporting events).
  • Participants do not arrive at work sites to begin their programs.
  • There are any changes or deviations in the job placements during the participants’ programs.
  • There are any changes to participants’ job titles.
  • The participants will be working at any other locations or businesses owned or operated by your company.
  • Participants are not meeting the requirements of their positions.
  • A participant leaves his or her position ahead of the planned departure.
  • There are any emergencies involving participants or any situations that impact the health, safety and welfare of the participants.


Federal, State, and Local Taxes

All InterExchange students must pay federal, state and local taxes. Students are not exempt. While they are here, students of the InterExchange Work & Travel USA program are exchange visitors in the non-resident alien tax category. Please consult a tax professional for the most recent tax regulations.

FICA and FUTA Withholdings

Under IRS Code Section 3121 (B)(19), all non-resident aliens on J-1 Visas are exempt from paying FICA (Social Security) and FUTA (federal unemployment taxes) taxes during their first two calendar years in the U.S. Since all of our students are only able to work for four months, all are exempt from these withholdings. Please consult a tax professional to see if students are exempt from state unemployment taxes in your state.

Completing the W-4 Form

All students must fill out a W-4 (employee withholding allowance certificate).

Recommendations From the IRS

When filling out the current W-4 form it is recommended that InterExchange Work & Travel USA participants follow Supplemental Form W-4 Instructions for Nonresident Aliens as provided by the IRS.

Please urge them to file a tax return after they receive their W-2!

Filing a Tax Return

All students are required to file for U.S. income tax by April 15 of the year following the year in which they work. To file for a federal tax return, students will fill out and send a 1040-NR (non-resident aliens with no dependents) tax form along with copies of their W-2 forms.

Students can obtain the 1040-NR and instructions from the IRS website. Refund checks are mailed to students in their home countries.

If your students have any questions regarding the process, they can view our participant resource page on filing tax returns.

W-2 Forms

Please send W-2 forms to students at their permanent addresses in their home countries. We recommend that you have students address envelopes with their permanent addresses at the time you have them fill out their W-4.

For IRS publications please contact your local IRS office or download them on the IRS website.

IMPORTANT: Do not send W-2 forms to the InterExchange New York office. InterExchange is not responsible for sending this information to students.

Social Security Numbers for Participants

InterExchange Work & Travel USA participants enter the U.S. on a J-1 Visa and are required to apply for a Social Security number. Host Employers must provide information for the most convenient Social Security Administration location in the Arrival Instructions section of their InterExchange account. Use the Social Security Office Locator, to find the closest office to your business. Social Security cards are mailed from the processing center to participants at the address provided on the application form approximately 4 to 6 weeks after applications are submitted. We recommend participants use their host employer’s mailing address when filling out their Online Social Security Number Application. Cards sent to addresses without a mail receptacle may be sent back or severely delayed.

Participants are allowed to work and be paid before their Social Security card arrives. After applying, participants will be given a Social Security letter of receipt, which serves as proof that the participant has applied for a Social Security card. Participants should provide you with this letter of receipt and maintain a copy for their own records. Please notify your payroll company that participants may begin work with proof of application.

If a participant does not receive his or her Social Security card within 6 weeks, you should have them contact Social Security at 1.800.772.1213 to find out the status of the application.

Important: Participants will not be issued a Social Security number if they have not registered in SEVIS. They must register as soon as they arrive in the U.S. through their InterExchange online account. Participants need to wait at least 3-4 business days after registering in SEVIS before applying for a Social Security number.

There are sometimes issues or delays with a Social Security application because of security flags or issues with their name being correctly entered exactly as it is on their documents.

If your participant needs information on how to apply for their Social Security number, please have them visit our Work & Travel USA Participant Resource page.

Social Security Application Process

SSA = Social Security Administration

Register housing address in SEVIS
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Wait 3-4 business days
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Use the Social Security Office Locator at to find your closest office. You’ll need to bring the originals AND two photocopies of the following documents:

  • Photo page of passport
  • Visa page of passport with print out of I-94 record
  • Dear Social Security Officer Letter
  • Printed DS-2019 Forms that are signed using digital software (make a photocopy of both front and back)
    • On July 20, 2023 the Social Security Administration published this directive to all offices to accept printed Forms DS-2019 that are signed using digital software or printed and signed in ink.
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SSA accepts application?
YES and NO flowchart
Wait 4-6 weeks to get your card in the mailbox
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Received Social Security card?
YES and NO flowchart
Bring card to employer to copy and keep the original

Call SSA to check status and inform InterExchange.

What are an employer’s responsibilities when hiring international visitors who don’t have Social Security numbers?

Advise participants that they are required to apply for a Social Security number and card. If a participant applied for but has not yet received a Social Security number, ask to see and retain a copy of the receipt letter as proof of application. You should also get the following information as completely as possible: the person’s full name, address, date of birth, place of birth, father’s full name, mother’s full maiden name, gender, and the date he or she applied for a Social Security number.

Yes. Participants may start working and can be paid prior to receiving their Social Security numbers. We encourage all participants to apply for their Social Security number as soon as possible, but wait at least 3-4 days after registering in SEVIS. They should provide proof of application (a copy of the application receipt and/or a copy of the Online Social Security Number Application confirmation page) to their employer.

  • Paper Filers: If the worker applied for a card but didn’t receive the number in time for filing, enter “Applied For” in Box A.
  • Electronic Filers: If the worker applied for a card but didn’t receive the number in time for filing, enter all zeros in the field for the SSN.

Remember to ask your employees for the number and the exact name printed on their Social Security card when he or she receives it.

Learn more on the SSA website.

If you receive their Social Security number after you file your wage report, file Form W-2C (Corrected Wage and Tax Statement). Learn more on the SSA website.

Yes, there is a penalty for not reporting a worker’s Social Security number, but this fine is usually waived if the employer can prove reasonable cause for not reporting the Social Security number. Employers will receive Notice 972CG — or a notice of proposed penalty — and will have 45 days to respond. The employer must prove that they acted in a responsible manner and that the failure to submit a Social Security number was not due to willful neglect.

To help prove reasonable cause:

  • Collect employees’ proof of application, which can include a copy of their paper application Form SS-5 or a copy of their Online Social Security Number Application confirmation page, a copy of the application receipt (sometimes mailed after they have applied) or a signed statement from the participant stating that they have applied.
  • Document the participant’s full name, gender, address, date of birth, father’s full name, mother’s maiden name, and the date of application.
  • Make at least one solicitation for the correct Social Security number either by mail, telephone, electronically, or in person and document this solicitation and the results. Retaining a copy of Form W-4 can also be considered a solicitation for the correct Social Security number, but additional solicitations may be required.

Publication 1586 details the requirements of proving reasonable cause as well as answering additional questions regarding missing Social Security numbers. Section (m) in regulation 301.6724-1 details the procedure for seeking a waiver of the penalty.

If you have a forwarding address for the participant, please forward the card to them. If you do not have an address for the participant, please mail the card to: InterExchange Work & Travel USA, Attn: Social Security Information, 100 Wall Street, Suite 301, New York, NY 10005. We will forward it to the participant.

When Exchange Visitors apply for Social Security numbers, the Social Security Administration (SSA) verifies their documents directly with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Exchange Visitors must be listed as active in SEVIS before the SSA issues a Social Security number. Most applications are verified immediately, but there can be delays. Social Security understands that this process may affect companies who hire Exchange Visitors, but direct verification from DHS is vital to ensuring the integrity of the Social Security number.

Social Security numbers are generally assigned to people who are authorized to work in the United States. They are used to report your wages to the government and when filing your tax return. Also, when opening up a new bank account, most banks require either a Social Security number or proof of application for a Social Security number.

Your card should arrive in the mail within four to six weeks of your application date. It is important that your mailing address that you use in your Online Social Security Number Application is accurate to ensure that your card gets delivered to you. If you change your mailing address after you submit your application to the Social Security office, it is your responsibility to inform the Social Security Administration of this change by calling or visiting any Social Security office. If you do not currently have a valid mailing address, you may have the card sent to InterExchange Work & Travel USA at: 100 Wall Street, Suite 301, New York, NY 10005, and we will forward it to you at a later point in time.

No, you do not need to apply for a new number. If you do not remember your number or have lost your card, you will need to apply for a replacement by visiting your local Social Security office, which can be found by visiting:

The Social Security Administration will not accept a student’s application and documents if you have not yet registered your housing address in SEVIS. We recommend going to the Social Security office at least three to four business days after initially registering your housing address in SEVIS. The Social Security Administration recommends waiting at least 10 days after arriving in the United States before applying. If they do not accept your application, take detailed notes of what the Social Security officer says and report this information to InterExchange by calling 1.800.621.1202.

If you put your employer’s address in your Online Social Security Number Application, check with them to ensure that they have not received your card. The Social Security Administration can be contacted at: 1.800.772.1213. An update on the application status will usually be given over the phone. In the event that there is an issue with the application, take detailed notes and call InterExchange to help resolve the issue. You can also reapply in person at your local Social Security office, which can be found at:

The Online Social Security Number Application will speed up the application process when you arrive in-person to show the Social Security officer your documents and finish the application. If you are unable to submit your Online Social Security Application, you can bring a completed Form SS-5 (paper application form) with you to your local Social Security office.

As long as you have earned income in the U.S. you are still required to file a tax return for the year(s) during which you worked. If you have not been able to receive an SSN but do need to file a tax return, you can apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) alongside your tax return. Please view our resources on Filing Your Tax Return Once You Return Home for more information.


SEVIS is the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, which U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement uses to track our students’ whereabouts while they are in the U.S.

First SEVIS Registration: Students Register Upon Arrival in U.S.

All students must log on to our website at upon arrival at their jobs to register their housing addresses and employment information. Students can also call our office at 1.800.621.1202 to register.

Important: Even if a student’s employment information has not changed since the time he or she applied and his or her job offer was verified, the student must still register. The purpose of this registration is to confirm the person’s job and arrival in the U.S. All students must log on to the web and register. This must be done within 10 days of their arrival at their places of employment. Students should not, under any circumstance, enter their housing and/or employment information into SEVIS before they arrive in the U.S. If they do, they may not be allowed to enter the country.

Regulations reminders

Please remind your student staff to update their information with InterExchange according to the program requirements. Any student who doesn’t follow these regulations may be removed from the program.

30-day check-ins

Throughout their stay in the U.S., students must inform InterExchange and the U.S. government where they are living and working every 30 days. We must always have a current address for each student. If a student’s housing address changes, he or she must inform us of the change within ten days.

Second job approvals

Many students find new jobs once their work commitment ends at their first employer. Those students must also register their new housing and employment information. All second jobs must be entered in SEVIS and approved by InterExchange before the student can begin working the second job.

Notification of travel

Any student who has finished work and is traveling must log into SEVIS and inform InterExchange of the date his or her travel period begins and the region where he or she is traveling.


Employers and students can contact us at [email protected] for any SEVIS-related questions.

Change of employment

As an employer, we ask that you contact InterExchange when a student, for any reason, is no longer employed at your business.

SEVIS tells the U.S. government where our students are living and working and that they are participating in the InterExchange Work & Travel USA program. If a student’s housing and/or employment address is incorrect in SEVIS, or if he or she has failed to register at all, that student will be removed from the program and have his or her legal alien status revoked. Students who fail to register or keep their information updated may be subject to arrest and deportation. Additionally, the student’s ability to obtain another visa in the future will be seriously jeopardized.

Each student is required to inform InterExchange of changes in residence or telephone number, or if he or she completes or withdraws from the Exchange Visitor Program prior to the scheduled end date. InterExchange is required to maintain students’ current contact information in SEVIS or face sanctions from the U.S. Department of State. If students fail to provide this information to us as their sponsor, InterExchange may change their status to “terminated,” removing them from the program as discussed in the paragraph above.

Insurance Coverage

All students on the InterExchange Work & Travel USA program have basic accident and sickness insurance coverage that meets the U.S. Department of State requirements for the length of their stays. All students should have information with their insurance details, including a toll free number they can call while in the U.S. regarding their coverage, claims, or recommended area physicians. Please direct any students to contact us if they are unsure about their coverage or insurance company contact information. Please visit our insurance page for more information.

Note: Remind your students to locate a doctor before they need one and always make copies of any bills and claim forms they submit to the insurance company.

Workers’ Compensation

As with any employee, if an InterExchange Work & Travel USA student is hurt while working at your establishment, your workers’ compensation plan should provide insurance coverage. InterExchange will cease to sponsor students for any employer found to use InterExchange participant insurance in lieu of workers’ compensation insurance. Students’ insurance premiums – which they must pay themselves — are greatly affected by the size and number of claims, and InterExchange makes an effort to keep these premiums affordable. For participants injured on the job, employers are expected to arrange transportation to and from medical care and follow-up care.

Encourage the students you’re hosting to keep security and safety in mind throughout their programs. We suggest sharing these guidelines with them:

  • Do not hitchhike – it is illegal and dangerous.
  • Do not accept rides from strangers.
  • Do not walk across highways or jaywalk.
  • Do not jog or walk alone at night.
  • Do not wear headphones while driving, riding a bike, or walking.
  • Do not carry more money than you will need for the day.
  • Do not accept any form of money from strangers.
  • Do not carry a passport as identification. Carry a different form of ID, such as a driver’s license or a copy of the passport.
  • Protect personal and confidential information: the Social Security number is a unique lifelong identifier. Do not allow others to use the number. Record the number in a safe place in case the card is lost or stolen. Protect both the card and the number to prevent misuse.
  • During local emergencies, obey all warnings and advice from authorities and InterExchange.
  • Internet safety: Don’t respond to emails from strangers or provide personal information over the internet unless on a trusted website with appropriate security.
  • Avoid parks, woods and remote areas when alone, especially at night.
  • Be alert to surroundings when using an ATM. Take extra caution at night.
  • Always let someone know where you are going and when you will return. Contact them if your plans change.
  • Always wear a bike helmet and obey all traffic laws when riding a bike. Use lights and reflective clothing at night.
  • If you feel you are being followed, cross the street and observe what the other person does. Put space between yourself and the person following you. Pretend to see a friend, even if it is a person you do not know, and call out or wave to that person. You should try to attract attention and scare away the person following you. If a store, restaurant or business nearby is open, go inside and ask for help.
  • If you think you are being followed while driving, drive to the nearest police or fire station.
  • Remember that cars drive on the right side of the road in the USA.
  • Notify the authorities and InterExchange if you are threatened by your employer, colleagues, landlord, or anyone else.
  • Be careful if drinking in a bar or restaurant. Watch your drink at all times, stay sober, and do not leave with anyone you don’t already know. It is illegal to drink alcohol in the U.S. if you are under 21 years old.
  • Do not get into a car with anyone who has been drinking.
  • Become familiar with laws that protect international visitors.

Arrivals and Visa Issues

Visa Denials and Other Complications

After all of the planning, selection, and anticipation, there is always the possibility of unexpected delays, student withdrawals, or visa denials.

Visa denials and other complications are a source of frustration for everyone involved. Below, we explain how InterExchange Work & Travel USA attempts to avoid problematic situations. We also offer some suggestions on how you can prepare for the unexpected and deal with problems that may arise.

Visiting Embassies

Because InterExchange Work & Travel USA representatives travel around the world to conduct orientations and interviews with our applicants, we are often able to meet with consular officials at U.S. Embassies. By doing so, we hope to get an idea of any potential complications or new application requirements far in advance of the submission of our students’ visa applications. These embassy visits also give us a chance to introduce InterExchange to new consular staff who may not be familiar with J-1 Exchange Visitor programs.

Changing our Calendar

We confirm placements earlier in the season in case there are unexpected challenges or visa delays.

Staying in Touch

Whenever we learn that something may delay one of your students (or prevent a student from coming at all), we contact you immediately.


Hire staff from different countries and different regions of the world. That way, if one country presents a problem in terms of visas, you won’t be left short-staffed.

Hire Early

Unanticipated embassy issues can potentially delay the visa process for weeks at a time. Please plan ahead and send in your Employer Registration Form as soon as you have determined your hiring needs.

U.S. Consulates Determine Visa Eligibility

The only person who determines whether an individual student gets a visa is the consular official in that particular embassy on that particular day. Though you provide the job offer and InterExchange Work & Travel USA provides the paperwork and support for every J-1 Visa application, the U.S. Embassy alone makes the decision to issue a visa. Current events may cause visa processing delays, meaning you could potentially hire a student in February, but not hear about a visa rejection until late May.

InterExchange Work & Travel USA is Here for You

If a last minute situation arises, our representatives will keep you updated on the situation and, whenever possible, will assist with replacements or additional staff.

Cultural Exchange and Culture Shock

Helping Participants Gain a New Understanding of the USA

Cultural exchange occurs when people gain a deeper understanding and knowledge about another country, its culture, its customs and its day-to-day practices through person-to-person contact. Both our participants and hosts embrace this aspect of InterExchange programs and understand its importance whether they’re part of a camp, a family, a seasonal business, or a professional environment.

The United States is often described as a melting pot, attracting people from countries all over the world. It is a culture that is continuously being reshaped and redefined as more people from other countries gain exposure to the country. It is also influenced by visitors who share their cultures during their time in the U.S., and by the deeper insights and favorable attitudes about American life they bring back to their home countries.

InterExchange makes it a priority to give our participants and hosts resources to explore cultural learning opportunities together or independently. We’ve created an online guide to U.S. culture, including recommended sites and activities for everyone to enjoy while in the U.S. We encourage everyone to discover new places and aspects of American culture, whether they’re visitors or natives!

The InterExchange Inside the USA guide also contains many helpful recommendations and resources.

As a host employer with the InterExchange Work & Travel USA program, you play an important role in helping our international participants learn about American culture and have a fantastic experience in the U.S. Encouraging participants to interact with Americans and experience our culture in their free time is an essential part of your role. Hosting your own cultural events and activities is often the best way to teach them about life in the U.S! To help you facilitate these fun cultural activities for your international student staff, we’ve created the InterExchange Cultural Activities Toolkit. Below, we’ve outlined ideas for events and instructions on using the toolkit. Download the entire kit here. Or, if you’d like to download individual PDFs, choose from the following resources:

Also check out Cultural Compass, our state-by-state guide to activities, culture and sites in the U.S., and share the link with your participants.

Beginning of Season Events

Making sure your international participants have a warm welcome can be the key to a successful season. Remember, they’ve just arrived in a new country and don’t know anyone! Events at the beginning of the season can be as simple as gathering employees together for introductions or a name game. Here are a couple ideas to welcome participants:

Welcome to the U.S.: Host a welcome reception for Summer Work Travel participants and introduce U.S. culture. Suggested materials: name tags, sign-in sheet, American culture speech balloon, icebreaker games, cultural bingo, flag frames, American culture trivia.

First day of work: Orient participants to the workplace and allow time for participants to get to know their colleagues. Use icebreaker games to help people get acquainted. Suggested materials: name tags, sign-in sheet, American culture speech balloon, icebreaker game, cultural bingo, flag frames, American culture trivia.

Mid-Season Events

Throughout the season, cultural events and outings are a great way to keep up enthusiasm and morale at your business and to make sure participants are experiencing American culture. Participants may feel homesick at some point during the season, and facilitating fun activities can help remind them why they’re here.

Sporting event: Organize an outing to a local sporting event. Help explain the rules of the game if participants are unfamiliar. Suggested materials: Name tags, sign-in sheet, American culture speech balloon, baseball rules handout, “Take me out to the ballgame” (baseball only).

Karaoke: Organize a karaoke outing. Encourage participants to sing and discuss their favorite American songs. Suggested materials: Name tags, sign-in sheet, American culture speech balloon, icebreaker game, cultural Bingo. 

Food events: Host an American-style barbecue or picnic, or organize a potluck where students prepare their favorite dishes from their home countries. Suggested materials: Name tags, sign-in sheet, American culture speech balloon, recipe cards, ice breaker game, cultural Bingo, flag frames.

Visit a local museum or concert hall. Suggested materials: Name tags, sign-in sheet, American culture speech balloon.

Attend a local holiday parade or festival. Suggested materials: Name tags, sign-in sheet, American culture speech balloon.

Farmer’s market outing: Encourage participants to find something they’ve never seen before. Perhaps they’ll even want to purchase and eat a new vegetable! Suggested materials: Name tags, sign-in sheet, American culture speech balloon.

Employee birthday: For many students, this may be their first birthday away from home. Help make it special by organizing a party or gathering with colleagues. Suggested materials: name tags, sign-in sheet, American culture speech balloon, icebreaker game, cultural bingo, flag frames, American culture trivia.

Trivia night: A great mid-season event idea is to host a trivia night! See how much participants have learned about American culture by using the trivia questions we’ve prepared. Suggested materials: name tags, sign-in sheet, American culture speech balloon, icebreaker game, cultural bingo, flag frames, American culture trivia.

Movie night: Organizing a movie night is a simple way to integrate more American culture into students’ experiences. Check out our suggestions for American movies and TV shows. Suggested materials: name tags, sign-in sheet, American culture speech balloon.

Celebrate an American holiday: Celebrate holidays like the Fourth of July or Thanksgiving to give participants unique insight into American culture. Picnics and potlucks work well for holiday celebrations. Suggested materials: Name tags, sign-in sheet, American culture speech balloon, recipe cards, icebreaker game, cultural Bingo.

Pumpkin carving contest: Print out templates for participants to use and have fun carving pumpkins together. Suggested materials: name tags, sign-in sheet, American culture speech balloon.

Volunteer event: Get students together for a day or an hour of volunteering! Partner with a local volunteer organization for greater interaction with Americans. Suggested materials: name tags, sign-in sheet, American culture speech balloon.

Explore nature: Go hiking, kayaking or take a nature walk. Suggested materials: name tags, sign-in sheet, American culture speech balloon.

Cultural scavenger hunt: Organize this fun game to help students learn about one another’s cultures. Suggested materials: name tags, sign-in sheet, American culture speech balloon.

Game night: Bring board games like Apples-to-Apples, Monopoly, Pictionary, or Scrabble. Suggested materials: name tags, sign-in sheet, American culture speech balloon, icebreaker game, cultural bingo.

End-of-Season Events

At the end of their work commitment, international participants are preparing to travel within the U.S. before returning home. Show your appreciation for their hard work during your busy season by hosting a going-away party! Activities could include:

  • Have an end-of-season raffle where students can win American products like chocolate bars, baseball cards and other small gifts.
  • Self-addressed postcard. Have students write a note to themselves so they receive it when they returned home (e.g. what they learned during their time in the U.S., favorite sites, English words and phrases).

Suggested materials: name tags, sign-in sheet, American culture speech balloon, icebreaker game, cultural bingo.

International staff can be more likely to encounter some difficulties adjusting to living and working in the U.S. Culture shock is defined as the psychological shock of having to adjust to new surroundings and a new culture that may be dramatically different from one’s own. A student may soon realize that the familiar signs of home and the automatic responses used to meet situations of daily life may not be applicable. Climate, food, landscapes, people and their ways may all seem strange. English ability may not serve the students as well as they expected. They may feel the pressures of fast-paced life at a busy resort area in the U.S. Because our students are here for a relatively short time period, the degree of culture shock is usually quite minimal; however, employers should expect a short transitional period while students “warm up” to their new situations.

Signs of Culture Shock

InterExchange Work & Travel USA students experience culture shock to varying degrees; some hardly notice it at all, while others can become overwhelmed. Many may not attribute their problems to culture shock. Whatever the case may be, being sensitive to these issues will benefit you and your students. If at any time you require assistance in dealing with any cultural misunderstandings that may arise, please do not hesitate to call the InterExchange Work & Travel USA program staff.

Common signs of culture shock may include:

  • Students may feel isolated and frustrated. They may become nervous and/or excessively tired. They may sleep a lot, even after they have recovered from jet lag.
  • Students may be excessively homesick. It is normal to miss home, family and friends; but if they can think of nothing else, call or email home all the time, or frequently seem depressed or cry, they are most likely suffering from culture shock. Normal, minor irritations may make a student overly upset.
  • Students may become dependent upon other students from their home country. These friendships are important and are extremely supportive. However, if they spend time exclusively with students from their home country, they deny themselves the experience of interacting with people from the U.S. and other countries. InterExchange makes every effort to separate students from the same country as often as possible so that they can more fully immerse themselves in the language and culture of the U.S.
  • Students may have deep doubts about their decision to come to the U.S. There may be anxieties with work. A student may wonder: “Why does my boss speak so loudly and quickly?” “Will I be able to repay my parents the money they lent me?” This stress can become overwhelming and cause tension.
  • They may feel reluctant to speak English or to associate with people.

Coping With Culture Shock

Almost all students must cope with culture shock to some degree. We hope that you’ll be aware of this possibility and be able to help students acclimate to living and adjusting to American customs. The following suggestions may help you in understanding and resolving any problems that arise:

  • Maintain your perspective. Although the students are your employees, they will occasionally need advice or encouragement. Usually students just need to know they have someone on their side to help boost their confidence while adapting to their new environment.
  • If a student feels confused or disappointed, ask them what their expectations were. InterExchange Work & Travel USA gives detailed descriptions during interviews to prepare students for what to expect when they are in the U.S.
  • Keep an open mind and a sense of humor. People in the U.S. may do or say things that people in the student’s home country would not do or say. Try to understand that the student is acting according to his or her own set of values, and that these values are born of a culture different from yours.
  • Review the Cultural Compass section of our website for recommendations of sites and activities that your students can enjoy.
  • Read our section on Culture Shock for more suggestions to help students cope with the transition.

Tips for a Great Season

Some of the suggestions below may not be feasible for your business; they are simply examples that have worked in the past and may give you some ideas. Any opportunity you have to encourage your American staff to engage and learn side-by-side with your international staff will improve the work and exchange experience for everyone.

Provide InterExchange Work & Travel USA program participants with a clear set of guidelines. Don’t assume your international staff know what’s expected of them. There may be subtle or significant differences between practices in their home countries and the U.S. As with any employee, when your expectations are presented in a straightforward and honest manner, your international staff will be more aware of what they should and should not do. Their first impression often sets the tone for the season.

Communicate with your international staff. The majority of misunderstandings arise from poor communication. Sometimes, in stressful work situations, students may feel that they are being assigned to a lower social status or not being treated with respect. It is always a good idea to let students know that their work may not be glamorous, but it does not go unappreciated and is important to the success of the business. Also let them know it’s okay to engage you in communication.

Make set schedules for your international staff. A defined schedule helps students know what to expect and how to organize their time off. Schedules also help students who are interested in getting second jobs to avoid misunderstandings about their commitment to you.

Remain sensitive to the needs of your students. Many employers comment on how impressed they are with the students’ behavior and their ability to adapt. If, however, a student is having trouble, try to imagine yourself in his or her situation. They may require some extra attention or assistance. If you welcome your students properly, treat them fairly, and communicate openly with them, the experience should be mutually enjoyable.

If students are reluctant to speak English when they first arrive, it is best to encourage them to practice by using English as much as possible. Students who get into the habit of speaking in their native language often make slower progress. It may be difficult for some at first, but it is very important that they challenge themselves in order to make the most of their exchange experience.

If you are a larger business and have many international staff, consider designating an international staff coordinator. This does not need to be a separate position on your team. It could be any staff member who enjoys working with international people. Having a person in this role has been a helpful asset in the success of many of our larger employers.

Provide or facilitate internet access for your international staff. The internet is used by almost all of our students, and they often feel more connected to outside activities and their friends if they are able to access the internet on a regular basis. In more isolated areas, many students are happy to use a computer to communicate with their families and friends or just to browse the internet.

Organize cultural exchange activities for your staff, such as an international food night, a barbecue, or a social outing. Activities encourage staff cohesion and provide an alternate setting for social interactions outside of the working environment. Consider hosting an introductory mixer to help international staff get to know their American counterparts. Group events also give the students a feeling for how people from the U.S. interact outside of work and could give them a chance to educate you and your staff about their home countries. These types of employee benefits have long been a secret of successful host employers everywhere. It may seem very simple, but it can have a strong, lasting effect on employer and international staff relations.

Organize a community soccer match or softball game. Getting students familiar with their host community is an important part of the program and informal team sports encourage them to meet and get to know the American members of their local area.

Emergency preparation. Prepare students to understand what to do in an emergency, both within your business and their daily responsibilities as well as in the event of a natural disaster or a need to evacuate.

Human Trafficking Awareness

InterExchange is a proud supporter of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign and the global fight to end human trafficking.

Everyone has a role to play in combating human trafficking and you can help by recognizing potential indicators and reporting suspected cases of human trafficking.

Human Trafficking is Defined as the…
Act of
  • Harboring
  • Transporting
  • Providing
  • Obtaining
… a person for labor, services or commercial sex acts
by Means of
  • Force
  • Fraud
  • Coercion
for the Purpose of
  • Exploitation
  • Involuntary servitude
  • Peonage
  • Debt bondage
  • Slavery
… OR any conventional sex act involving a minor

Personal Documents

  • The person does not have access to their travel documents or identification papers, which restricts the individual’s freedom of movement and opportunity.


  • The person’s wages are being withheld.
  • The person is being paid a wage that is less than what was promised.


  • The person is threatened by an employer with deportation or arrest.


  • The person is coached on what to say to law enforcement or other officials, including the U.S. Department of State or their J-1 Visa sponsor.

Working & Living Conditions

  • The person is doing a different job than expected.
  • The person is deprived of satisfactory living conditions.

For more information and resources to help prevent human trafficking, please visit:

Student Availability

Work & Travel USA students visiting the U.S. on a J-1 visa are excited to bring a new culture to your business and are available to work for up to four months during their summer breaks. Start and departure dates vary according to students’ academic schedules. Availability also varies by country, see our table below. The following dates are subject to change.

Summer Season

Country Earliest Available Departure By
Albania July 20 October 15
Armenia June 1 August 31
Azerbaijan July 1 September 16
Belarus June 25 September 1
Bosnia and Herzegovina May 28 October 1
Bulgaria May 1 September 30
China June 1 September 15
Croatia June 10 October 10
Colombia May 1 August 30
Czech Republic May 1 September 30
Dominican Republic May 24 September 5
Ecuador January 20 October 1
Ireland May 15 September 15
Italy June 15 September 15
Jamaica April 20 September 1
Jordan June 1 October 1
Kazakhstan May 8 September 1
Kyrgyzstan June 1 August 31
Latvia May 1 September 15
Lithuania May 2 September 15
Malaysia May 25 September 15
Mongolia June 1 September 1
Montenegro June 15 September 15
Nicaragua May 15 September 1
Nigeria June 1 October 1
North Macedonia June 1 September 30
Philippines March 26 September 1
Poland May 25 September 30
Portugal May 24 October 7
Romania June 15 September 30
Russia May 15 September 15
Serbia May 21 October 10
Slovakia May 15 September 15
Slovenia June 1 September 30
Spain May 24 October 7
Taiwan June 1 September 30
Thailand (Spring) March 7 July 7
Thailand (Summer) May 7 September 7
Türkiye May 15 October 1
Ukraine May 6 September 6
Uzbekistan May 20 September 20

Winter Season

Country Earliest Available Departure By
Argentina December 1 April 1
Australia November 15 March 8
Bolivia November 15 March 15
Brazil November 15 March 15
Chile December 1 April 4
Costa Rica December 1 March 31
Malaysia November 25 March 15
New Zealand October 23 February 26
Nicaragua December 15 March 15
Panama December 1 March 31
Paraguay December 1 March 31
Peru December 1 March 31
Uruguay November 15 April 1