I would like to join the Work & Travel program

How to begin

If you would like to join the Work & Travel program, you should begin by researching agents in your home country who send students on the Work & Travel program.  The U.S. Embassy in your country should have a list of approved agents.

Each sponsor only works with a few countries, so you will save a lot of time by finding an agent in your home country who offers the program, rather than contacting many sponsors to try to find someone who works with your country.

ERDT only accepts participants who apply via an agent in their home country.  ERDT receives hundreds of requests from students every week, hoping to apply directly to ERDT without using an agent in their home country, and unfortunately cannot respond to each request.


Applicants to the ERDT program must be a minimum of 18 on their visa interview date at the U.S. embassy, and a maximum of 25 on their program start date.

Participants may work in the U.S. for up to 4 months. They may not work, train or volunteer for their employer before or after the official program dates for their country, nor before or after the official break dates set by their university.

To be eligible for the program, applicants must be able to prove to ERDT and to the U.S. embassy that they are enrolled full-time in an accredited, classroom-based university outside the U.S., having completed at least one semester of study already.

Applicants also must be able to prove to ERDT and to the U.S. embassy that they have sufficient financial resources to support themselves in the U.S., until they receive your first paycheck.

What kind of jobs are acceptable?

ERDT cannot approve jobs:

  • Which are not seasonal;

  • For less than 32 hours of work minimum;

  • Which require participants to work more than 4 hours between 10 pm and 6 am, ever;

  • That pay participants less than a U.S. employee in the same position;

  • With staffing company that does not provide full-time, on-site primary supervision of the participants;

  • With travelling fairs or itinerant concessionaires;

  • As domestic positions in private homes (e.g., child care, elder care, gardener, housekeeper, chauffeur, personal assistant);

  • As drivers or operators of vehicles or vessels, pedicab or rolling chairs or riding on a motor vehicle outside the cab;

  • In the adult entertainment industry or any position that would bring the U.S. Exchange Visitor Program into disrepute;

  • Which require sustained physical contact with people and/or adherence to the CDC Universal Blood & Body Fluid Precautions guidelines (e.g., piercing, tattooing, massage, manicure, clinical or patient care, contaminated laundry);

  • Requiring a license, including any position directly involved with gambling or wagering;

  • As a teacher, intern, trainee, camp counselor or physician;

  • Which require participants to purchase inventory that they must sell in order to support themselves, or positions that are substantially commission-based and do not guarantee minimum wage;

  • In chemical pest control, warehousing, catalogue/online order distribution centers, agriculture, forestry, timber or logging, fishing/hunting, mining/quarrying, oil/gas extraction, construction, manufacturing, wrecking/excavation/demolition, shipbreaking, roofing, forest fire fighting/prevention, slaughtering, meat/poultry/fish packing/processing/ rendering;

  • Operating a saw-, lath-, shingle- or cooperage stock-mill; power-driven woodworking, hoisting, metal forming, punching, shearing, meat processing, bakery or paper-products machines; balers; compactors; operating circular-, band-, chain- or reciprocating-saws, guillotine shears, wood chippers, and abrasive cutting discs; in occupations involving exposure to radioactive substances and to ionizing radiations or close proximity to explosives;

  • At worksites that have experienced layoffs in the past 120 days or that have workers on lockout or on strike;

Please note:

If an employer intentionally provides a false job offer, they risk being implicated in visa fraud.

If a sponsor has reason to suspect that a participant is not being compensated in accordance with Federal, State or local law, the sponsor must contact the state and/or federal Department of Labor.

Participants may not work or volunteer for the employer outside of their program dates.

The participant is employed “at will” and may quit or be fired at any time.d