How does IEP help me find a job/accommodation?

IEP provides you with a pre departure orientation which includes suggestions and information on where to look for work and accommodation, as well as many useful websites and agencies that can assist you in your searches. Before you leave we will provide you with our expert materials that have heaps of employment and accommodation information.

Once in the US our American partners will be able to provide you with guidance and support to make sure you have a successful working holiday.

You will also be added to our closed Facebook Group where you can meet and ask your fellow travellers questions.

What have other people done for work?

Our participants have done a wide variety of work in all sorts of industries. Some participants work in their career field while others tend to take a gap year and do more casual work:

  • Marketing
  • Graphic Design
  • Retail Consultant
  • Ski lift operator
  • Snowboard rental/repair technician
  • Ticket agent
  • house keeping
  • Guest Services
  • Public Relations
  • Reservations Agent
  • Assistance Manger Food Services at National Park
  • Food & Beverage director
  • Maintenance Workers
  • Dishwasher
  • Season Cook at guest ranch
  • Dining Room Manger
  • Journalism
  • Advertising
  • United Nations
  • Communications
  • Human Resources
  • IT
  • Cooks
  • Food services
  • Front Desk at hotel
  • Waiter/Waitressing
  • Tour Guide
  • Kitchen Assistant
  • Sound Engineering
  • Engineering
  • Construction Management
  • Ski Shop Assistant
  • Farm hand
  • Snowmakers
  • Customer Service Representative
  • Activities Desk Member
  • Fashion
  • Ski & Snowboard instructor
  • Ski patrol
  • Employee Services Supervisor
  • Hotel Bell Person
  • Photographer

If you are unsure whether your desired employment position would be allowed under the visa regulations just give us a call at 0800 700 705 or contact us here and we can double check for you!

What type of work is prohibited?

The following job types are currently prohibited:

  • In sales positions that require participants to purchase inventory that they must sell in order to support themselves;
  • In domestic help positions in private homes (e.g., child care, elder care, gardener, chauffeur);
  • As pedicab or rolling chair drivers or operators;
  • As operators or drivers of vehicles or vessels for which drivers’ licenses are required regardless of whether they carry passengers or not;
  • In positions related to clinical care that involves patient contact;
  • In any position in the adult entertainment industry (including, but not limited to jobs with escort services, adult book/video stores, and strip clubs);
  • In positions declared hazardous to youth by the Secretary of Labor at Subpart E of 29 CFR part 570;
  • 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, massage, manicure);
  • 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;
  • In positions involved in gaming and gambling that include direct participation in wagering and/or betting;
  • In positions in chemical pest control, warehousing, catalogue/online order distribution centers;
  • In positions with traveling fairs or itinerant concessionaires;
  • In positions that require licensing; (e.g. Real Estate license)
  • In positions for which there is another specific J visa category (e.g., Camp Counselor, Trainee, Intern);
  • In independent contracting positions. (must be employed by a company and covered by their workers compensation policy)
  • Cannot freelance or be self employed
  • Cannot start your own business
Can I arrange a job before I leave?

Yes, you can pre arrange employment before you leave. We recommend that when you are speaking with employers to let them know that you have a valid work visa. Sometimes they are put off by internationals as they believe they must sponsor you. That is not the case as we are your visa sponsor. You are just looking for an employment opportunity.

Will I make a lot of money?

That depends on you. The amount of money you make depends on how much you will be working and how you spend your money.

Where will I live?

You can live anywhere in the US. NYC, LA, Boston, Hawaii… it’s your choice!

Do I have to work?

Yes you do. It is expected that you do hold employment during the visa.  The underlying idea of the visa is to find a balance between working and travelling to gain a full cultural understanding of the US, and therefore there is no initial time period set that you must secure a position.  The US Visa Sponsor will follow up for further information from you regarding employment while you are in the US.  If you simply want to travel in the USA, and not work you should enter on a Visitor Visa.

Do I have to remain at the same job/employer?

No. You can work with multiple employers on this visa.


Do I have to be a current student or recent graduate to go?

To be eligible for these programs you must be a full time student or recent graduate.

Fulltime student: If you are currently enrolled and have completed 12 months of full-time studies prior to departure. You must enter the US shortly after your last exam.

Recent Graduate: 12 months eligibility commences from the actual end of full-time classes or study defined as the date of your last exam or last assignment submission.


What if I postponed my graduation?

Unfortunately you cannot postpone your graduation and still be eligible for the program. In the past the visa sponsor has made exceptions, but this is on a case-by-case scenario. Please contact us if you’ve postponed your graduation and we will be able to let you know whether you are eligible for the program.

What are the age limits for participants?

The minimum age limit is 18 yrs and there is no upper age limit.

What is proof of funds?

Proof of funds is a required amount of money you will need in your bank account when you enter the US. This is basically your savings. If you have a pre approved job you will need $1000USD & without a pre approved job you will need $2000USD


What is a DS2019 form?

The DS-2019 is your work permit. This is the document that legally allows you to work whilst living in the USA and needs to be obtained before you are able to receive your J-1 visa. This is issued by your sponsor after you are deemed eligible by IEP.

What is SEVIS?

Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVIS) is a program within U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement which monitors students and exchange visitors in the United States with F, M, or J visas status.

Can I do an internship?

Yes, you can. The internship must be approved by the visa sponsor.

Do I need to attend a US consulate interview?

Yes. It is a program requirement that you attend a US Consulate Interview, as this is the only way you can get your visa processed. The US Consulate is in Auckland.

Can I extend my visa?

No. You can only work for the duration that is stated on your J1 Visa.


Can I go with a friend/partner?

Yes. Travelling with a friend/partner is not a problem. All you need to do is tell us your travel plans and we will book it accordingly.

If I want to go on a working holiday to Canada after, can I get that visa from the US?

Many of our participants will head to Canada after working in the US. On our Work Canada program we can assist you with obtaining the visa for Canada while in the US and offer the support you need to have a successful working holiday in Canada. To learn more about our fully supported Canada programs please visit here.

Please note for the Canada visa you will need to apply for a FBI police check if you live in the US for more than 6 months, this can add another 12-16 weeks onto the Canada visa processing time so please consider this with your planning.

Should I be worried about travelling alone?

No. Many participants travel alone. We have a closed Work USA Facebook group where you can meet your fellow travellers before you leave the country.

Can I meet other participants before I leave for the US?

Yes. We have a closed Facebook group where you can meet your fellow participants.

Can I drive in the US?

Yes you can, if you have the appropriate licence and have checked the regulations in the state you will be residing.


Do I have to book with STA Travel?

No. You do not have to book with STA Travel, but we highly recommend that you speak with STA Travel before you book anything.

Can I book a one way ticket to the US?

No. When travelling to the US you must have a onward ticket out of North America.


How do I apply?

To apply all you need to do is fill out an online application and pay the program fee. Once that is complete we will be in touch to start on the rest of the visa paper work.

How long does the application process take?

It can take anywhere from 6-10 weeks to process all of the documentation. You can apply early to avoid any stress. Just let us know when you want to travel and we will book everything accordingly.

How much does it cost?

We recommend that you have at least $8000-$10000 to cover all your expenses.

Program fee: $1145
Visa & SEVIS: $195 USD
Insurance: Basic travel insurance is approx $1350 for 12 months
Flights: $2200-$2400 approx. It depends on where you fly into
Proof of funds: $1000USD with a pre approved job, $2000USD without a pre approved job

Is there someone I can speak to about the program?

Absolutely! You can give us a call from a landline at 0800 700 705 or contact us here.