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Work & Travel USA - FAQ

  1. School leavers who wish to participate in the programme
  2. Trainees who wish to participate in the programme
  3. What if I don't have UK citizenship?
  4. Social Security Card
  5. Paying taxes
  6. Minimum wage
  7. Do I receive a certificate?
  8. SEVIS fee
  9. Grace period
  10. Can I apply for the J1 visa more than once?


1. I have just left school. Can I participate in the programme?

No, unfortunately you cannot. J1 visa conditions stipulate that you must have completed at least 1 semester of further/higher education.

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2. I am a trainee/employee. Can I participate in the programme?

Due to visa requirements, you must have completed at least one semester of further/higher education and be registered at a college or university.

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3. What if I do not have a EU citizenship?

If you have neither EU citizenship nor permanent EU residency, you may have to apply for the J1 visa in your home country. If you are in doubt, please contact the American Embassy for advice.

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4. What is a Social Security Card?

Your social security number (often abbreviated to SSN or SS#) is very important. This number serves as your universal means of identification - even for foreigners and individuals who do not pay American social security contributions. Without an SS#, it can be difficult to open a bank account in the USA or get insurance, and there can also be problems getting a driving licence.

If you are going to be earning money in the USA, you will need a Social Security Card, which you must apply for in person, beforehand. Employers will only pay your first wages to you after your Social Security Card has been received. Further information can be found on the Intrax webseite.

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5. Do I have to pay taxes from my paid summer job?

Yes, income tax will be deducted from your pay. However, you only have to pay Federal Income Tax and (if applicable) State Income Tax and City Income Tax. You are not responsible for paying Social Security Tax, Medicare and Federal Employment tax. Usually you will be able to claim back a large portion of the tax you paid, through filing a special tax reclaim form. Further information can be found on the Intrax webseite.

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6. What is the current minimum wage?

If you are to be paid minimum wage, this is currently $7.25 per hour. If you work in a job where you receive tips and they are not included in your wages, this will reduce the minimum wage for you.

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7. Do I receive a certificate?

It is best to speak to your supervisor at the job to find out what verification of your summer job you will be given at the end. Intrax will provide you with a certificate at the end of a successful Work & Travel placement.

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8. What is the SEVIS fee?

The SEVIS fee (Student and Exchange Visitor System fee) is set by the Department of Homeland Security. It is currently $35 and is already included in the programme fees.

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9. What is the grace period?

Once your job has ended, you still have the possibility of staying in the country for another 30 days. During this time you may travel within the USA.

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10. Can I apply for the J1 visa more than once?

Yes, the J1 Work Travel visa can be applied for more than once. There are J1 visas for the Au Pair programme, High School programme and the Internship programme. It is possible to receive another catagorie of J1 visa without any special conditions.

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