J-1 Student Work Travel

Overview & Eligibility

The Student Work and Holiday program is a pilot program which commenced on 31 October 2007 and operates under the current J-1 Exchange Visitor Program Summer Work and Travel regulations.

The new program initiative enables current Australian and New Zealand tertiary level accredited students to live, work and travel in the United States for up to 12 months as J-1 Exchange Visitors.

Participants must organize their own employment prior to / or after arrival. Job placements can range in length from 3 to 12 months.  Please review in full the following employment restrictions governing this program category - J1 SWT Employment Conditions Acknowledgement Form.   The AAA will provide referral assistance as requested.

To participate in the Exchange Visitor Program (J-1 visa program), prospective student applicants need to apply for sponsorship to an approved organization.   The AAA is a State Department-designated J-1 program sponsor.    The AAA is authorized to issue the Form DS-2019 to selected, screened visa applicants.   Please note that issuance of the Certificate of Eligibility does not automatically assume visa eligibility. Once issued with a DS-2019 Form, applicants must use the form to apply at a US Embassy or Consulate for the J-1 exchange visa. Issuance of the J-1 visa, like all non-immigrant visas, is at the discretion of US Embassy or Consulate officials.

Participants cannot be accompanied by their spouse or any dependents.

Program Eligibility

Applicants must be:

  • An Australian or New Zealand citizen;
  • Aged 18 years or older;
  • A full time, class room based undergraduate student enrolled at an Australian university or TAFE college (minimum Diploma level course of 2 years duration) and have successfully completed the first year of study; or continuing postgraduate student completing higher studies immediately following undergraduate study; or 
  • Have graduated from a course specified above within the past 12 months;
  • Purchased approved Medical Insurance for 12 months
  • Demonstrate sufficient financial resources to support yourself (Approx US $1500).
AAA Schedule of Fees
  • Administrative Fee US $800               
  • Individual AAA Membership – US $150
  • DS-2019 re-issuance fee (payable only if lost or changes required) US $50
Supplemental Program Costs - not covered by the AAA
  • Fedex International return service - US $125
  • SEVIS I-901 Fee:  US $35 (US Government online)              
  • MRV Application Fee: US $140 (US Consulate)
  • Visa Issuance / Reciprocity Fee: US $105 (US Consulate)
  • Medical Insurance* Coverage                                                                   
  • Return International Air Fare
  • In Country Travel Costs
  • Accommodation and living expenses (depends on location - budget $900 per month for lodging and $200 per week meals and living expenses)
 Medical insurance coverage must include, at a minimum:
  • Medical benefits of at least US $100,000 per accident or illness;
  • Repatriation of remains amount of US $25,000;
  • Expenses associated with medical evacuation from the US in the amount of US $50,000; and
  • A deductible not to exceed US $500 per accident or illness.
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