How to Apply

The entire process can take up to three months so give yourself plenty of lead time:

Step 1

Download all the available information to learn more about the program or contact us directly to discuss our programs further.

Step 2

Start your job search using the resources we make available.

Step 3

When you have accepted an offer from a US employer, complete the relevant application forms:

The Placement Plan should outline a structured and guided program by detailing skills, tasks, and objectives in distinct phases, creating an overall plan of progression and development

Step 4

Return the above to us with your $250 deposit.

Step 5

Undergo an Interview with Student Exchange Australia New Zealand. (Interviews can either be in person or via webcam)

Step 6

We confirm the status of your application and, if successful, we will send you the documents necessary to apply for your visa.

Step 7

Attend a visa interview at the nearest US consulate and, if successful, receive your J-1 visa

Step 8

Book your flights and prepare for a career lift off! 

Step 9

It is mandatory to apply for a social security number prior to your departure. 

You need a Social Security number (SSN) to get paid, open a bank account, and pay taxes. You might also need to share your SSN with your landlord. Apply for a Social Security number at least five (5) business days after completing SEVIS registration by visiting a local Social Security office. Click here for more information on obtaining a Social Security Number.

Step 10

You must submit a tax return whether you were working in a volunteer or paid position.

You are required to pay federal, state, and sometimes local taxes. The good news is that you may be entitled to a refund of some or all of the taxes you paid while you worked in the United States.

W-2 Form

This form is sent by your employer by January 31 after the tax year ends. If you held more than one job, you’ll get a W-2 from each employer. Make sure that you give your employer(s) your home address so they can send the W-2 to you. Regardless if you file your taxes yourself or use a service, you will need your W-2.


You are required by law to file a U.S. tax return, even if you are back home by the end of the tax year. Tax returns must be filed by April 15 for the previous tax year (January 1 to December 31). This means that if you work over the winter, you will file two tax returns: one for what you earn through December 31, and the second for the money you make from January 1 through the end of the program.

Having Someone File Your Taxes For You

You can use a company to file the tax return for you. CIEE offers a convenient service through, which makes it easy to file. The cost is 10 percent of your refund, and the company offers customer service in 25 languages. For more information email or visit CIEE’s dedicated Taxback website.

Filing Taxes For Yourself

The earlier you file your tax returns, the sooner you will receive your refund. If you decide to complete the tax returns yourself, you will need the following forms in addition to your W-2:

1040NR-EZ form

This form is specifically for non-resident aliens. It can be obtained, together with instructions for filling it out, on the Internal Revenue Service website.

State income tax form

This form varies from state to state. You will need to complete the form for the state(s) in which you have worked. A list of state tax sites is available at the Internal Revenue Service website.

Click here for more information about taxes.