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USA Welcomes Australian Students and Graduates


December 19, 2007, Press Dispensary. Australian students and graduates can now sample a slice of the American dream under the Student Work and Travel pilot programme, a new working holiday visa initiative that promotes the reciprocal exchange of young Americans and Australians. Earlier this year reported on the initiative which allows post-secondary students and graduates from Australia and America to live and work in each other’s country for period of up to twelve months.

When first reported on the new visa category, the terms were yet to be finalised; however, the finer details of the programme are now in place and is in a position to assist Australians and Americans wishing to participate.

The new arrangement is based on the existing J visa, which is made up of programmes placing foreign citizens into companies for work experience and training. Any such programmes must be approved by the U.S. Department of State. For the Student Work and Travel pilot programme, Australians visiting the United States must meet a range of specific requirements. Candidates must be citizens of Australia and they must also be bona fide post-secondary school students or recent graduates. Vocational students who are engaged in tertiary studies at a recognised educational institution will also be eligible.

Applicants may not be accompanied by any dependents and documentary evidence of their status as a student or graduate will be required. It will also be necessary for candidates to provide evidence of sufficient funding to support themselves financially throughout their time in the USA and to cover any periods of unemployment which may arise.

Visas granted under the Student Work and Travel pilot programme are granted for an initial period of four months; however, they may be extended up to the maximum of 12 months from within the USA.

In a departure from the normal terms of the J visa, the scheme does not require Student Work and Travel participants to return to their country of residence in time for the start of the academic year, and post-secondary students may enter the USA at the time of their choice. Applicants must secure a sponsorship from one of the approved exchange organisations; however, sponsors do not have to pre-arrange employment for each individual candidate provided that as an organisation they have met the requirement for 50% placement across all work and travel schemes they are involved in.

To begin with, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has approved six sponsoring organisations. These are:

• Burroughs and Chapin Company
• International Cultural Exchange Organization, Inc.
• International Branch, YMCA of Greater New York
• Camp Counsellors USA/Work Experience USA
• Intrax Work/Travel
• Council on Internal Educational Exchange

As specialists in both Australian and US immigration and visa services,’s team of immigration lawyers and migration consultants can obtain Student Work and Travel pilot program visas as well as the full range of US visas.

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Notes for editors is a leading UK visa and immigration consultancy specialising in immigration to the UK and Australia as well as New Zealand, Canada, the United States, South Africa and India. It is registered with the Migration Agents Registration Authority as well as the Migration Institute of Australia, and holds the highest immigration accreditation level possible with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner.

Founded in 1995 by an ex-Home Office immigration official, is at the forefront of immigration today. The consultancy can draw on the combined experience of its team of dedicated immigration lawyers and migration specialists to help people obtain their visas.

For further information, please contact:
Liam Clifford, director
Global Visas
Tel: 0207 190 6555

Media contacts

Liam Clifford, director
Tel: 0207 190 6555