Yes, you must be a B.A., M.A. or Ph.D. student, attending a full-time or extramural course of study.
Students of post-secondary schools may apply for the program only if they are on their 1st year and the study period is at least 2 years.
Unfortunately, post-graduate students are not eligible to participate in the program.
You can sign up for the program, provided that you start another degree (another field of study/M.A. studies) in the following summer semester. Students who graduate in March and do not continue their studies, will not be able to apply for a J-1 visa. The visa interviews start in March and last until June.
The applicants are obliged to bring a student ID card (valid until 31 October) and a grade report to the interview (in electronic version or a copy of a grade book).
Yes, Polish students who study abroad (e.g. as part of the Erasmus program) can participate in the program.
You may defend your thesis before going to the U.S., however your dissertation defense must take place after your visa interview. You must be a student during the interview (the applicants must bring a valid student ID card and a grade report). The interview dates are selected by the embassy and they usually start in March and last until June. The students should inform TBW about their thesis defense, in order to select an appropriate date for the interview.
Most participants travel to the U.S. in the first half of June (some of them leave at the end of May) because it is the most popular work start period for many WAT offers. If you want to participate in Work and Travel program but the start date overlaps with your exam session, ask your university about the possibility of arranging individual exam dates. Submit a request in the dean’s office, explaining that you are a Work and Travel program participant and ask for an earlier exam session. Talk to your teachers. Think about it earlier, do not wait until May! It is possible, a lot of students manage to work it out really well.
Yes but it only refers to the full-time students of Polish universities who have a valid residence card or
a student visa (Erasmus students studying in Poland have to sign up at the agencies in their home countries).
Usually, the application process starts in the second half of October and ends in March. The sooner you apply the better because that gives you the access to new WAT offers, discounts and the longer payment periods.
IMPORTANT: First-year students can only choose the offers with the interview date scheduled after they pass the winter semester! They may sign up for the program earlier (starting from November), however
a J-1 sponsor confirms their eligibility after they pass all exams in the winter exam session.
You must have a valid student ID card to sign up. You don’t need a passport to apply but you need to submit it during the application process (in February at the latest).
You can apply online but you will have to send the original copies of certain documents via post. You don’t have to come all the way to Poznań to apply for the program.
The earliest program start date for Polish students is 25 May. You can also start the program later. Most students leave Poland in the first half of June. If you start the program later (e.g. end of June, beginning of July), the choice of WAT offers will be limited. The latest end date is 25 September. Some student finish earlier (between 5 and 15 September).
Work & Travel allows you to work in the U.S. for up to 4 months, however you must abide by the date requirements (see question no. 9). Following the completion of your program, you have up to 30 days for traveling, however you should return to Poland by 1 October to prepare for a new semester at the university. Your contract may be shorter than 4 months. IMPORTANT: In majority of WAT offers, the minimum work period is 12 weeks.
Yes, it is possible. It depends on the offer and employer who decides on hiring a group of friends after the interview (we recommend amusement and national parks for groups of friends).
Yes, the program fees are payable by instalments. The registration fee must be paid on the day of application, the 1st instalment is payable within 30 days of signing the WAT Program Agreement and the 2nd instalment is payable after receiving a job offer form. The visa fee is paid in March at the earliest.
As far as the ticket is concerned, it depends on when you decide to book it (usually between February and May).
J-1 sponsors are American organizations who are authorized by the U.S. government (the Department of State) to run Work and Travel USA and issue DS-2019 forms which are the basis for applying for a J-1 visa. The sponsor provides the participants with support in emergencies and monitors the progress.
Zdecydowana większość pracodawców chce porozmawiać z uczestnikiem zanim wystawi kontrakt. Rozmowa służy weryfikacji języka angielskiego, zapoznaniu się oraz wyjaśnieniu wszelkich spraw związanych z daną ofertą. Rozmowy te mają albo formę online (Skype) tzw. Virtual Fair i odbywają się w odgórnie wyznaczonym terminie (biuro powiadamia, który pracodawca i kiedy takie rozmowy przeprowadza). Rozmowa może też mieć formę osobistego spotkania (in person) podczas tzw. Road Show (targów), które odbywa się w Polsce z reguły w marcu. Ofertę wybierasz wcześniej, samo spotkanie służy jw. wspomniano poznaniu się i podpisaniu kontraktu.
Majority of employers prefer to interview the participants in-person. The interview aims to test your English skills, allow the employer to get to know you and explain all details related to the offer and position. There are different forms of interviews: – Skype interviews (the so-called Virtual Fair) – they are scheduled in advance and TBW informs the participants about the exact date and time of the interview). – Road Show – in-person interviews that take place in Poland, usually in March. The participants select
a WAT offer earlier and then attend the interview.
Most employers provide housing and the housing costs are deducted from paycheck. The cost of housing depends on the location and standard and varies between USD 30-150 per week. Usually, the housing is similar to student dormitories, with 2-4 students per room and basic amenities. In some cases, the housing is not provided and the participants have to find housing options on their own or the employers assist them with housing options in the area.
The fees include full insurance that covers medical costs and accidents. The insurance is obligatory and you cannot opt out of it.
Yes, we assist participants with J-1 visa application. The participants are obliged to attend the visa interview at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw or Consulate General in Cracow.
We cannot guarantee that all participants’ visas will be approved because the Embassy and Consulate are independent institutions. During our interview with the participants, we are doing our best to determine if there are any grounds for a visa refusal.
J-1 visa candidate must: be a student, speak English, have a clean record of previous travels to the U.S. (they did not overstay their previous visas or break the rules of WAT program and they do not have any immediate relatives that stay in the U.S. illegally).
We work with a professional ticket agency that can check ticket prices for our participants. Remember that you can also buy the ticket on your own.
According to the program rules, the participant cannot travel to the U.S. without an approved job offer form. If an employer cancels your contract, the sponsor is obliged to find a new location for you before you leave to the U.S. In emergencies, the sponsor is obliged to help the participant whose job offer form was cancelled, regardless of whether it happened at the fault of the participant or not.
You must bring cash with you to the United States. It may take up to 2 weeks before you get your first paycheck. Sometimes, the participants have to pay housing deposit upon arrival. Moreover, the immigration officer at the airport may ask if you have enough money for your first days in the U.S.
The recommended amount is USD 800.
It depends on the WAT offer you choose. However, even the minimum hourly wage allows the participants to save enough money to cover the program fees, provided the work period lasts at least 12 weeks.
The devices that are adjusted to the American voltage can be used in the U.S., however the plugs and sockets are different than in Poland. It is not a big problem. You just need a converter that adapt the plugs to the American sockets.
Everyone can purchase electronic equipment abroad and bring it to their home country without having to pay customs duties, as long as the number of devices is not too big and does not raise suspicion that the equipment will be sold (e.g. you can bring two laptops – one for you and one for your mother).
We work with AMBER TAX and RT TAX that specialize in providing tax return services for J-1 participants. Learn more HERE.
These documents are not required to participate in the program. The positions that involve driving vehicles are not allowed, so none of the employers requires driving license. Criminal record certificate is not required by the employers, however if you have ever been arrested or convicted for any offense or crime, you are required to bring the certificate to the visa interview. Participants who have clean criminal record do not have to obtain the certificate.
J-1 sponsors oversee the program and provide the participants with support once they arrive in the U.S. The students receive contact information 24/7 emergency support line before their departure. If you experience any problems related to work, health or insurance, you can contact your sponsor and they will be happy to assist you. The sponsor will also contact you once a month to make sure you are having
a wonderful W&T experience.
First of all, you need to talk to your employer. If it does not change anything, report the issue to your sponsor. They will verify the case and help you solve the problem.
If you like us to add more questions to our FAQ, please email us at: email@example.com
We will be happy to update the list with new questions and answers to keep you informed.