During the Program participation, many students wonder what are the Post Work and Travel Options? Is it possible to come to the US for longer or after graduation?
The great news is that the J-1 visa offers quite a few Post Work and Travel Options!
We will focus here on the lengthy legal stays.
Internship and Training
Internship and Training are our first steps to discover the Post Work and Travel Options. Both programs, similarly to the Work and Travel Program, operate on the J-1 visa. The duration varies from six to eighteen months.
These two Programs focus on the further development of your practical skills (Training) or giving you (first) work experience related to your field of studies (Internship). During the Program, you have to complete the Training Plan that describes the phases (usually 3-5 phases) that should progressively increase your skills. Typically, Programs are anywhere between 6 to 18 months.
The first requirement – being related to your education or experience is crucial.
Goals of the Program and benefits for the Participants
Throughout the Program, you will gain practical knowledge on how to operate in the Program’s field.
Let’s take as an example the HR Program. The course of the Program will give you detailed knowledge on how to operate in few different areas of the HR department. With a progressive Training Plan, you will see few steps of a potential career in the given field. This opportunity will let you gain lots of experience and skills from multiple department areas.
Secondly, during the Program, you will build your international network with like-minded interns that you may benefit from in the future.
Lastly, living in the US for such a long period will incredibly boost your English skills.
Please keep in mind that such experience elevates your resume to stand out from others! You start your career from different levels!
The goal of both Programs is to support the growth of young industry leaders. You will develop existing, relatable experience (Training) or knowledge from your Uni (Internship). The Program will prepare you to implement the newly adopted skills in your new workplace.
The core of the Program in both instances is the Training Plan. This multiphase document describes in detail the phases, their length, and what you achieve in each of them. Also, the host companies are often the same ones that provide placements for the Work and Travel Program.
The most crucial difference is the requirements – Internship bases on your education and Training on your previous work experience. Sometimes you will see the mixture of Interns and Trainees pursuing the same Training Plan at the same time.
Secondly, the duration of the Internship is up to 12 months and Training up to 18 months.
Note that it is complicated to participate in these programs more than once. Due to the Program regulations, the new Training Plan has to bring the progress to the previous Program. On top of that, the Program expects the Participant to implement the new skills in the home country and bans them from participation for two years (so-called 212(e) rule).
Secondly, be careful when applying to the company you have been on the Work and Travel Program a few times already. The Embassy might see it as a longer Work and Travel and deny you a visa.
Studies, Post-Grad Studies
Studies and Post-Grad Studies are great opportunities to improve your resume and build an international network, all that while living in the USA. It is a great tool to boost your future career by showing the education that stands out from the crowd. The studies allow you to have some hours of campus work while studying. Lastly, there are OPT options for the graduates.
Keep in mind that if you pick this option after the Work and Travel Participation, it might build your expertise in relations with the US that you will benefit from in the future.
Studies in the US are expensive, so you will have to prepare sufficient resources.
This option is an excellent option for the Participants that used to work at the Camp. When you want to continue the US adventures, but you have already graduated, this option looks interesting.
To become Camp Counselor, you need to have higher than average English skills. Participants have to interact with kids daily, so make sure you are ready for that. The same Camps that host the Work and Travel Participants are also home to international Camp Counselors.
H-1B, H-2B visas
H visas are different stories, but they might be a good post-Work and Travel option. Both of them are work visas and have special requirements. These visas are not “youth travel” but strictly labor visas, and we will only mention them here with some core facts.
Usually, the visa grants around ten months of stay and work. What differentiates H visas is that the employer pays for everything connected to your arrival (incl. airfare, visa interview).
H1 visa covers “specialty” employment, meaning you have to present demanded skills to be eligible.
H2 visas are non-skilled positions filling seasonal, peak time needs (H2B) or agriculture (H2A).
You can travel to the US under one of these visas multiple times.
As you can see, there is plenty to choose from and grant you a different experience. Pick from the options above and enjoy the extended time in the US.