How to Apply

Applications must be submitted at least 8 weeks prior to your planned departure date.

Applying for Work and Travel USA is easy. Just follow these steps:

Step 1

 Contact our office for access to the online application form.

Step 2

 Send us your completed Terms & Conditions form (downloads page of website) and your $250 deposit.

Step 3

 Assuming you meet all eligibility criteria we will confirm your participation on the program and invoice you for the balance of the program fee which is payable on receipt.

Step 4

 Once your application has been approved by CIEE we will supply you with your DS-2019 form and other forms that are needed for your interview at the US Consulate.

Step 5

 Attend your interview at the US Consulate and obtain your J-1 visa in your passport.

Step 6

 Book your flight as soon as you have your J-1 visa.

Step 7

 Depart on an adventure of a lifetime!

Step 8

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 9

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.