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Fees, fees, fees!

Before you decide on going on the program, remember that there are certain fees to be paid. Make sure you understand what are the total costs before applying because there might be some unexpected expenses that you have to be aware of. 

Some of the fees might not apply to all the participants. 

This article will focus on the classic version of the program, excluding the programs where you have to pay back fees from your paycheck when on the program.

Types of fees:

Application Fee

Before you become a participant, you have to sign the contract and submit the Application Fee. Depending on the location, it is usually a couple of hundred bucks ($150-$350). This fee covers the Agency expenses related to the participant. It should be clearly stated what is covered by this payment to avoid any confusion and dissatisfaction.

You have to submit the payment before you start your Work and Travel application process. 

Program Fee

That is the fee paid by the Agency to the Work and Travel Sponsor. This payment covers the process and creation of the documents on the Sponsors’ end. You can always rely on the Sponsors’ support during your whole Work and Travel program either is to resolve smaller problems or real emergencies. The Sponsor will be there for you! 

To summarize, this fee covers especially:

  • DS2019 – certificate of eligibility, necessary to apply for the J-1 Visa
  • 24/7 assistance in case of emergency
  • administering the program in the USA
  • placement or vetting your placement 
SEVIS

It’s a 35 USD fee every Work and Travel participant has to pay, period 🙂 

SEVIS – is a Student and Exchange Visitor Information System helps the Department of State to monitor, where are the Work and Travel participants currently. It helps the Government to understand and control the program better. 

We will cover SEVIS in a separate article. 

Government information about SEVIS – https://www.ice.gov/sevis 

Insurance

During your program, you have to be covered by the insurance – it is not only clever but also required by the law. The law requires you to be under the insurance only during the Work and Travel program and not the whole stay in the USA. 

There are few ways of calculating the cost of the insurance by the Agencies/Sponsors:

  • fee per day – multiplied by the number of days
  • fee per month – multiplied by the number of months 
  • flat fee – there is one fee no matter what is the duration of the Work and Travel program

Rarely your flat fee will also cover your travel period. 

Insurance starts from around 4USD/day. 

WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND TO BE UNDER THE INSURANCE TILL THE END OF YOUR STAY.

Visa Interview Fee

Visa Interview Fee is submitted directly to the US Embassy or the US Consulate – this fee covers your interview but doesn’t grant the visa. The interview fee is not returnable. It is 160USD. 

Flight

Flight ticket prices rely on your location, dates, and final destination. Your Agency will advise you on the average ticket cost. Bear in mind, the later you buy the ticket, the prices might be higher. Lastly, the ticket might be your largest expense connected to the program, so try to arrange it as soon as possible. 

Most of the Work and Travel participants are selecting the round-trip ticket – we recommend this option.

Other Fees

There might be some fees connected to the:

  • licenses or training
  • drug testing 
  • documents to be obtained in your home country (Criminal Background Check, Credit Score)

Please make sure to ask your Agency about any other fees. 

PS 1 You can always try to negotiate some of the fees with your agency 🙂 

PS 2 The above are connected only to the time before the start of the Work and Travel program. Keep in mind, you have to reach your destination and take care of accommodation, etc.

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