Program Overview&Benefits | How It Works? | FAQ's


Q. How much does the Exchange International Work and Travel USA program cost?

A. Nothing. Work and Travel USA is a free service to employers.

Q. Which countries do Work and Travel USA students come from?

A. Our students come from more than 70 countries. Summer staff comes from Europe countries.

Q. When are they available?

A. Summer staff arrive between May and July and can work until September or October. Students are legally authorized to work for a maximum of 4 months.

Q. Can the students speak English?

A. Yes. The level of English ability ranges from basic to fluent. You will receive an assessment of each student’s English abilities on his/her application before you hire them.

Q. What types of positions can international students fill?

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

Q. When is the best time for a company to request Work and Travel workers?

A. We highly recommend the application be submitted at least three months or earlier before the desired start date in order to ensure we hire the best candidates for your exact need. The earlier you make your request, the more choice you will have in who comes to work for you.

Q. What is the pay scale for Work and Travel participants?

A. Workers must be paid the prevailing wage for the position, and it must be the same as the wage paid to U.S. workers in comparable positions.

Q. Do Work and Travel Program participants pay taxes?

A. J-1 Work and Travel Program Participants pay all relevant federal, state and local taxes. However you will save in administrative costs because all the J-1 Work and Travel program participants are “EXEMPT” from Social Security (FICA), Medicare and Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA). We also work with a preferred tax service provider for all of our program participants, as they are generally able to get back nearly all of the taxes paid once they file their tax return.

Q. Will my company be responsible for accommodations, meals or transportation?

A. No, your company is not responsible for accommodations, meals or transportation for the participants. They are the responsibility of the program participants. However, the more attractive your offerings (a free meal, company carpool, or available housing) the more students will want to work for you and the more successful the program experience will be overall. Many companies also arrange housing for the participants and pass along the charge; this can be a powerful incentive to some of the best students to come work for you.

Q. Is it guaranteed that the international students will get their visa?

A. No. We don’t have the ability to grant visas, but we try to work closely with embassies in the countries from which we are recruiting to establish good relations. We watch visa denial rates in our countries very closely and report visa denials to our host companies as quickly as possible. We adjust our recruitment each year according to the visa success rate around the world.

Q. Can I interview your candidates prior to acceptance?

A. Interviewing candidates in person is possible at Exchange International recruitment fairs depending on the size of your request of workers. We are also able to help arrange phone or skype interviews when needed, or we can have staff interview on your behalf.

Q. What is the official purpose of the program?

A. The State Department J-1 Work and Travel Program is an Exchange Visitor Program designed to achieve the educational objectives of international and cultural exchange by involving young adults in the daily life of the host country through temporary employment opportunities and to return home to share their experiences. The program also aims to encourage Americans to participate in the educational and cultural programs in other countries. Today’s global markets require international work experience, and the value added by working in the USA is immeasurable to students from overseas.

Q: Is there a regulation regarding minimum wage?

A: Work and Travel participants will receive the federal minimum wage set by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Employers of “tipped employees” must pay a cash wage of at least $2.13/hr if they claim a tip credit against their minimum wage obligation. If an employee’s tips combined with the employer’s cash wage of at least $2.13/hr do not equal the minimum hourly wage, the employer must make up the difference. All of our Work and Travel Program participants employed need to be paid the equivalent of their American counterparts.

Q: Are there any positions that are not allowed?

A: Participants may not be employed as domestic employees in U.S. households or in positions that require them to invest their own money to provide themselves with inventory for the purpose of door- to-door sales.

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