VšĮ Pasaulio lietuvių praktikos ir studijų užsienyje centras
Work and Travel! Darbo praktikos, studijos JAV ir kitose šalyse

 Work and Travel USA program
Information in English

Foreign (non-Lithuanian) citizens, studying in Lithuania (university or college, for a degree, Full-Time) are welcome to apply to our Center for "Work and Travel USA" (WT) program.
Note: please read below for Eligibility Criteria.

You are welcome to review the recording of our Center Zoom event about Summer 2024 "Work and Travel USA" program conducted on September 21, 2023 in English:
https://us06web.zoom.us/rec/share/iiu1H0XxmgMryTijcj0m02OdcIp3vjpzb4gwRbzOz7f5_BX9BXj9U-Ys6TeKUG3d.4q_372Y3-pfwUN1O?startTime=1695286971000 .
Passcode: mGjLS*3D

Attention - From October, you can (easy and successfully) apply to WT-Premium job offers on our partner / progarm sponsor InterExchange Job Placement online matching system:
   where THOUSANDS of live - real
job offers are being exposed, each for 1 – 30 students;
   you can see the major information about job offers available via this system on the public link:  https://app.interexchange.org/cooperators/29706c28/job_listings ;
   by using filters {Position, Employer Type, Region, Housing, Employer Positions Available (you can see which offers are available for at least 2 or 3 students), etc.} you can see how many job offers are available in U.S. locations, positions of interest for you, with housing provided, etc. and decide if you want to apply for job offer via this system.
   on the InterExchange online Job Placement system: students (after Center submits their application to system) input information about themselves {including a short (just 1 min.) video introduction} to view for employers; students choose the types of positions to apply for (the wider is your positions‘ range of interest – the better possibilities to get job offer); students see job offers with more details than on public link; students can apply for job offers; employers see students‘ information (resume, video, dates of availability, etc.), can choose the students to provide job offer (some employers may wish to conduct the online interview as to decide about offering job, some employers proivide job offer without interview); students have the right do not sign / accept the job offers received.
  2 - 3 friends can be sure that they all will get job offers to the same employer on InterExchange system.

The U.S. Summer Work Travel (Work and Travel USA) J-1 visa program is one of the major Exchange Visitor Programs carried out pursuant to the U.S. Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961. Its purpose is to enhance understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through educational and cultural exchanges. Participants during several months on program have opportunities to get to know about American culture, traditions, open society principles, see and get to know America “from inside”. Participant‘s status allows to be employed legally in USA for up to 4 months during summer vacation season, in order to defray (mostly or at least partially) expenses which participants incur (program, flights, accommodation, food, transportation, cultural events, travel, etc.). "Work and Travel USA" (WT) program is worth to participate for students, at least once per life. It is the most popular cultural exchange and work experience program for students from many countries of the world.

The U.S. J-1 visa Exchange Visitor programs are strictly regulated by the U.S. Department of State (DoS). DoS designates the appropriate U.S. organizations (which meet the obligatory criteria and comply with DoS regulations) to be program sponsors - granting the right to conduct pogram and be responsible for participants (whom sponsor accepts) for the duration of program. Most sponsors are the private sector non-profit non-governmental organizations. In order sponsor can run the program with appropriate offices, staff and communications, the program fees are applied for participants. Program fee must include the apropriate insurance meeting or exceeding the standards set by DoS. There is also an additional obligatory U.S. Government fee for Student and Exchange Visitor System (SEVIS). It is good that for WT applicants the SEVIS fee is significantly discounted - just 35 U.S. dollars (USD) recent years.  

Program sponsor provides insurance (included into program fee) for up to 3 - 4 months to WT participants. Sponsor provides a telephone line (usually toll-free) to contact sponsor (during business hours) on actual questions during program. Sponsor also provides a toll-free emergency telephone line (24 hours, 7 days a week) to contact sponsor in emergency case.

Our Center cooperates with several WT program sponsors. Some sponsors however accept applications only from Lithuanian citizens, so for international students the options available are (partialy) less.

Eligibility Criteria for Work and Travel USA (WT) program applicants
a) Full-Time students (bachelor or master)
at university or college in Lithuania;
b) 18 –
28 years age (student/s of 29 - 30 years age may apply, if program sponsor allows); 
c) English - at least Upper Intermediate level.
   Notes in regard to students citizens of non European Union (non-EU) countries:
      for many previous years, J-1 visa issue rates at U.S. Embassy in Lithuania were very good not only for Lithuanian, EU citizens but also for students non-EU citizens who studied in Lithuania on the 2nd, 3rd year of bachelor studies, on the 1st year of master studies; for 1st year bachelor students and for graduating year students it is recommended to provide (during interview at U.S. Embassy) as many as possible additional proofs about their intention to depart from U.S. on time after WT program end;
      during interview at U.S. Embassy student should provide a proof of Tuition Fee payment upfront for the next Autumn / Fall semester to university / college in Lithuania;
     if student's Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) in Lithuania expires in August - September of current year, during interview at U.S. Embassy student should also provide the proof/s of application (started) for the TRP extension for the next academic year;
   Note: I
f student’s immediate family member/s (Mother, Father, sister, brother) lives / resides in USA currently, student should bring (to interview at U.S. Embassy) also dcument/s about that family member's legal status in U.S. 

Options of WT program:
    WT-Self“ (Self Placement / Self-Arranged / Independent) option – if student gets the employment offer by his / her direct communication with the U.S. employer - host company {Notes: offer must be on the standard form (provided by our Center); offer and host company must meet criteria set by U.S. DoS for WT program; offer must be re-confirmed directly to sponsor - by online (signature) and by phone}, including employers from the large list of U.S. companies available on our Center Clients‘ Sector, but not including U.S. companies which are accepting / recruiting via  "WT-Premium" option.
    „WT-Premium“ (Premium / Job Placement / Full Placement) program option - student gets the employment offer from the U.S. employer via our Center's partner in USA (online system, Skype interview, etc.). Assistance in obtaining employment offer is included into program fee. Please see the list of employers potential to recruit our Center applicants on WT-Premium program option - at our site page: http://lwc-wt.lt/wtusa/jobs/ and on https://app.interexchange.org/cooperators/29706c28/job_listings .

WT Summer 2024 program fees due *: 
    WT-Self option program fee:
20 EUR + 900 USD - for students registered * with Center
up to 14th October
20 EUR + 950 USD - for students registered * with Center
up to 14th November 2023;
20 EUR + 1000 USD - for students registered * with Center
up to 14th December 2023;
20 EUR + 1050 USD - for students registered * with Center
up to 14th January 2024;
20 EUR + 1100 USD - for students registered * with Center after 14th January 2024
WT-Premium option program fee: from 220 EUR + 100USD {depends on our partners / sponsors in USA; discount possible for students who apply for WT-Premium early and complete their application set by the date - deadline set by Center};  
    SEVIS fee 35 USD {payable via our Center, altogether with major (USD) part of program fee}.
    U.S. Visa fee 185 USD {payable at the bank office (in Lithuania) to the account of U.S. authorities, in Euros (in cash only), equivalent (re)updated by U.S. authorities every few days}.

   * Notes:
Registration at our Center is completed after student:
a) provides a proof of Full-Time student status (university / college certificate or student ID,);
b) has a brief interview with our staff member (by phone / Zoom / Skype / in office);
c) signs the WT pogram Applicant / Participant Agreement with our Center;
d) pays to Center the first part of program fee
20 EUR
    50 USD
discount from the program fee possible for students who already took part at WT program in USA (via / with any organization / sponsor), for students who were applying for WT-2020 or WT-2021 program via our Center.  
   "WT-Premium" program fee part in Euros (220 EUR - common rate, though some other rate may be applied, depending on the U.S. partner - program sponsor, to be announce by Center) is payable:
      either in 2 increments (e.g. 20 EUR + 200 EUR) - if student wants to (first) seek the employment offer by direct communication to U.S. employers, including the lists on our Clients Sector of employers who were hiring WT participants recent years - seeking to secure a spot to WT-Self program option (possible to apply for "WT-Premium" program option some weeks later);
      or by 1 payment - if student wants to apply only for "WT-Premium" program option (to get the employment offer via our U.S. partner / program sponsor - preapproved already employer and offer, thus - faster way to get DS-2019 form, apply fo U.S. J-1 visa). 

   Application set is completed when applicant submits all documents due (WT-Self - including the employment / job offer form completed by the U.S. employer and suitable for WT program) and pays to Center the full program fee applied and SEVIS fee.
   Program fee includes insurance (provided by program sponsor): some sponsors - up to 4 months (fee supplement for additional insurance coverage period up to 1 month extra - from 50 USD); some sponsors - up to 3 months (fee supplement due for additional insurance coverage period, e.g.: 30 USD - for up to 2 weeks, 60 USD - for up to 1 month); some sponsors - even up to 5 months (the very maximal duration of stay in U.S. alloed for WT participants).

   SEVIS fee and Visa fee are subject to be updated by the U.S. authorities; if updated - to be applied accordingly.
   The annual numbers of WT participants are strictly limited by the U.S. DoS and sponsors, WT is very popular in many countries, so it is worth to apply as early as posible, in order to secure a place on the program. "WT-Self" major allocations are being filled over January or even earlier.

It is reasonable to apply earlier - advantages:
     better opportunities to secure a place on the program (the numbers are strictly limited);
     to have more time for communication to U.S. employers (for WT-Self option);
     to get U.S. visa earlier,
     to buy flight tickets to USA earlier – most likely less expensive.

During the most popular summer tourism period in USA (May - September, especially July – August and up to U.S. Labor Day – first Monday in September) plenty of seasonal jobs (especially in seasonal resorts) are available in hotels, casino resorts, shops, cafes, ice-cream, confectionary sales, souvenir shops, amusement parks, etc. U.S. employers (at least those who know WT program from previous year/s) are common to hire foreign students for seasonal work and can decide promptly (based on communication with student just by email, Skype, Facebook).

Salary in USA for WT participants must be on an hourly rate and not less than the U.S. Federal or State minimum hourly rate. For overtime (for work hours more than 40 hours per week) some companies are paying at a 1.5 times larger rate (though some companies are paying the same rate for overtime hours also – it depends on U.S. / state law). In tipped positions (e.g., waiter / waitress), hourly pay rate is less (it may be just some 2.5 – 5 USD/hour), but the tips usually exceed the difference over minimal wage rate. 

Participants are responsible for their food, accommodation and daily transportation expenses in U.S. Some employers / host companies arrange accommodation (some – deducting accordingly from paychecks), some employers assist on accommodation (contacts, reference), some participants find accommodation on their own. For some U.S. locations (popular and / or expensive vacation destinations, etc.) sponsor/s require that host companies must arrange accommodation for WT participants (otherwise offer will NOT be approved by sponsor – applicant must promptly get employment offer from another host company and / or from other U.S. location). 

Students who work in cafes, fast food restaurants may get some discounts for meals, at some companies students get one meal per work-shift for free. Salary in most U.S. companies is paid every two weeks. 

WT participant must bring to USA not less than the minimum of money to support him/her until first paycheck received from employer. Sponsor usually request that participants must have at least 800 USD upon arrival to USA at participant‘s disposition.

WT program participant’s status allows student a possibility to work even for 2 host companies at the same period. You can find a second job when you are in USA, while already working for your major employer (pre-approved by program sponsor, usually before getting visa). If you see the note “Hiring” or “Help Wanted” on the company premises, you are welcome to come-in and express your interest for employment. If you want to work in a second job, you must get approval from program sponsor. If in your major job you get many overtime hours, there may be no need to look for a second job. 

If WT participant has some trouble with his/her employer in U.S., s/he must inform program sponsor. If WT participant wants to change his/her major (approved by sponsor, usually before getting J-1 visa / coming to USA) employer, s/he must in advance discuss this opportunity with program sponsor and await for sponsor‘s decision (approval or not).

After finishing employment period, most WT participants travel in the USA some days or week/s: airplane, bus/coach, train, car, buying a weekly coach ticket / pass which allows to choose the route and time of travel (possibility to get out in some stop and continue your travel the next day/s). Some students visit also neighboring countries (Canada, Mexico, Carribean cruise) but for travel abroad it is obligatory to plan in advance: getting program sponsor’s additional signature on DS-2019 form original (students need to courier-mail their DS-2019 to sponsor a few weeks in advance, in order to get back their signed DS-2019 before departure from U.S.); entry visa to that country/ies; to return back to U.S. from abroad within J-1 visa validity dates.

U.S. Embassy in Vilnius, Lithuania has a very positive attitude to "Work and Travel USA" program. Nearly 100 % of WT program applicants Lithuanian citizens were successfuly getting J-1 visa for WT program at U.S. Embassy in Vilnius. For non-European Union citizens, WT program J-1 visa issue rate at U.S. Embassy in Vilnius recent years was a bit lower but quite good.

If eligible and interested, you are welcome to apply - register with our Center (http://lwc-wt.lt/contact/):
Vilnius office - students studying in Vilnius (please email first to Vilnius@lwc-wt.lt , to set the appointment time to come to office for registration);
Kaunas office - students studying in Kaunas (please email first to wt@lwc-wt.lt , to set the appointment time to come to office for registration)
Kaunas office - students studying in Klaipeda, other cities in Lithuania (please email first to wt@lwc-wt.lt , to start and get directives for registration online).