WORK & ACCOMODATION IN THE USA
How does IEP help me find a job/accomodation?
IEP works with a number of resorts across America. We are able to organize interviews with your preferred resorts. You are also provided with information on how to find jobs and where to look for after your summer season has completed. This guidance and support is in place to make sure you have a successful working holiday.
Most of the resorts have employee housing available – dependent on availability and the role you have accepted.
You will also be added to our closed Facebook Group where you can meet and ask your fellow travellers questions.
What have other people done for work?
Our participants have done a wide variety of roles at the resorts, these include:
- Ticket Sales
- Summer Lift Operator
- Food & Beverage Server
- Food & Beverage Cashier
- Ropes Course Attendant
- Bike Park Attendant
If you are unsure whether your desired employment position would be allowed under the visa regulations just give us a call at 0800 700 705 or contact us here and we can double check for you!
Can I arrange a job before I leave?
Yes – being on the Work USA Summer Jobs program the idea is to organize you a job at a summer resort before actually arriving into the USA!
Will I make a lot of money?
That depends on you. The amount of money you make depends on how much you will be working and how you spend your money. The minimum wage ranges depending what State you are working and living in.
Where will I live?
Our resorts are based in California & Wyoming!
Do I have to work?
Yes you do. It is expected that you do hold employment during the visa. The underlying idea of the visa is to find a balance between working and travelling to gain a full cultural understanding of the US, and therefore the is no initial time period set that you must secure a position. The US Visa Sponsor will follow up for further information from you regarding employment while you are in the US. If you simply want to travel in the USA, and not work you should enter on a Visitor Visa.
Do I have to remain at the same job/employer?
No. You can work with multiple employers on this visa, so at the end of the summer season you can go somewhere else if you wish!
Do I have to be a current student or recent graduate to go?
To be eligible for these programs you must be a full time student or recent graduate of an Australian or New Zealand tertiary institute.
Fulltime student: If you are currently enrolled and have completed 12 months of full-time studies prior to departure. You must enter the US shortly after your last exam.
Recent Graduate: If you are travelling as a recent graduate the criteria states that you must enter the US 12 months from the date you attended your graduation ceremony or the date that is on your certificate. You must have arrived in the USA before the 12 months is up. You will need to attend your first available graduation ceremony in order to use that date.
Can I apply if I’m at university?
If this is your last year at university then it is a perfect time to plan a working adventure overseas! However, if you are planning on returning to study you must be willing to work the entire 4 month summer season in America. This may mean you’ll miss part of Semester 1 and Semester 2. Please keep in mind this is a once in a lifetime visa opportunity.
What if I postponed my graduation?
Unfortunately you cannot postpone your graduation and still be eligible for the program. In the past the visa sponsor has made exceptions, but this is on a case-by-case scenario. Please contact us if you’ve postponed your graduation and we will be able to let you know whether you are eligible for the program.
What are the age limits for participants?
The minimum age limit is 18 years and there is no upper age limit.
What is proof of funds?
Proof of funds is a required amount of money you will need in your bank account when you enter the US. This is basically your savings. If you have a pre-approved job you will need to take a minimum of USD$1000.
What is a DS-2019 form?
The DS-2019 is a US government form that will allow you to apply for the J-1 Visa at the US Consulate. IEP will provide you with the form after you have met the qualifications for the program.
What is SEVIS?
Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVIS) is a program within U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement which monitors students and exchange visitors in the United States with F, M, or J visas status.
Do I need to attend a US consulate interview?
Yes. It is a program requirement that you attend a US Consulate Interview in either Sydney, Melbourne or Perth, as this is the only way you can get your visa processed.
Can I extend my visa?
No. You can only work for the duration that is stated on you J-1 Visa.
WORK USA SUMMER JOBS
What resorts are interviewing for the next season?
So far we have the following resorts
- Mammoth Mountain (California)
- Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (Wyoming)
Can I choose the employer and position I want to interview for?
Before the interviews you will be asked to choose your top employer. We will do our best to schedule you in for interviews with your top employer and you are guaranteed at least two interviews. When scheduling participants in for interviews we do it in the order that people applied, so there is definitely an advantage to getting in early! Apply early to ensure you have the best chance of getting your preferred times and employers.
You may specify positions you are interested in at the interview however you are applying for employment at the resort rather than for a particular position. If you are flexible and open to accepting an offer for the job the employer feels you are best suited for then you will improve your employability a hundred fold!
What happens if I’m not offered a job?
This situation is rare fortunately! If you have already applied for your visa and do not receive a job offer you will receive a partial refund. If you have not applied for your visa and are not offered a job you will receive a full refund. In the event that you are not offered a job with your first employer you will be able to have a second interview with another resort.
Are a CV and references required?
You will be required to provide an up to date CV and Cover Letter. These will need to be organised before the interview so that the employers can review your application.
What should I expect from the interview?
American employment interviews are similar to interviews you may have had in NZ. You should be prepared to answer questions about yourself, your skills, experience and also your strengths and weaknesses. The interviews are formal and you should act professionally throughout. While summer resorts may be more casual workplaces than your average office you will still need to make an effort to dress nicely and show your best manners!
How long will I be working at my resort and how many hours will I work?
This is negotiated between you and the employer however the usual minimum term is 3 months, or the duration of the summer season. These positions are seasonal so, to some degree, your hours depend on the weather. The majority of our positions are full time (30-40 hours) seasonal roles. Your hours will be made clear to you when you are offered a job so it won’t be a surprise. You will probably find that if work is slow you can expect to work less hours. On the flipside, during busy times and on holidays there may be the opportunity for overtime! We recommend having some back up savings for emergencies and to put aside some wages from the super busy weeks to tide you over if you have some slow weeks.
Are there any special uniform/grooming requirements on the job?
Once you accept your job you’ll be informed of any special uniform requirements by your employer. In general it is a good idea to make sure you can bring black shoes, black bottoms and a white shirt for indoor positions as a base for the uniform. For outdoor positions you would usually be provided with a top or jacket but it is a good idea to provide black bottoms and reliable shoes.
Each resort is a little bit different but they all expect tidy and wholesome grooming. You may need to cut off dreads or dye your hair a normal colour if you have a more alternative style. Piercings may or may not be suitable for their policies depending on how visible they are. At the interview they will let you know if there are any special requirements that you need to know about.
How will I get to work?
This depends on your resort and accommodation situation. Common ways of getting to work are catching public transport or walking/catching a staff shuttle from staff accommodation. You should not need to buy a car while you are over there as many of the resort staff will be temporarily living in the area like you and there is infrastructure in place for staff without personal transport.
Where will I live?
Many of the resorts we work with offer accommodation for staff. This type of accommodation is usually close to the workplace with shared apartments or houses. The price for this is generally cheaper than renting privately and it will be deducted from your wages automatically. The price of the accommodation depends on the location and other factors like whether or not you share your bedroom.
Another popular option is to band together with other staff, or IEP members to rent a house for the season. Your employer will give you information about where to start looking for local properties. There is also no reason why you can’t find a room in an already established flat with other staff or even locals!
Will I get any benefits around the resort?
All of our employers offer benefits to their employees above and beyond your wage. The benefits differ from employer to employer but all offer a free or discounted summer activities pass. It is also common to get discounts on lessons, gear and rentals and food around the resort. Social events and staff parties are part of the resort experience.
If I go on the program, what do I get?
With Work USA Summer Jobs you will interview and receive a job offer with one of our American employers.
PLUS All the benefits of Work USA Summer Jobs program
Not only do you get a job sorted before you go but you also get all of the benefits of being on our fully supported Work USA Summer Jobs Program This means you get expert advice on visas, insurance and planning prior to departure, and you have access to our members lounge the whole time you are in the USA.
Before you leave we provide:
- Visa assistance for your J-1 visa (12 months)
- Work USA handbook full of valuable advice
- Pre-Departure session explaining important info
- General advice including budgeting
- Great flight deals through STA
When you arrive you receive:
- Free or subsidised summer activities pass
- Discounted rentals
- Subsidised housing (depends on employer) plus food & drink
- Great resort staff events to kick start your American social life
- 24 hour, 7 day support if something goes wrong
What happens after the summer season ends?
With IEP you get support for the full 12 months of your visa so there is no reason to finish your OE just yet!
There may be opportunities for winter work at your resort if you prove yourself to be a fantastic worker and express your interest in staying on. Most of the mountains in America turn into ski resorts once it starts getting colder and the snow starts falling, so if there are opportunities available it can be a fun job and a good opportunity to learn how to ski or snowboard!
Can I go with a friend/partner?
Yes. Travelling with a friend/partner is not a problem. All you need to do is tell us your travel plans and we will book it accordingly.
If I want to go on a working holiday to Canada after, can I get that visa from the US?
Many of our participants will head to Canada after working in the US. On our Work Canada program we can assist you with obtaining the visa for Canada while in the US and offer the support you need to have a successful working holiday in Canada. To learn more about our fully supported Work Canada program please visit here.
Should I be worried about travelling alone?
No. Many participants travel alone. We have a closed Work USA Facebook group where you can meet your fellow travellers before you leave the country.
Can I meet other participants before I leave for the US?
Yes. We have a closed Facebook group where you can meet your fellow participants.
Can I drive in the US?
Yes you can, if you have the appropriate licence and have checked the regulations in the state you will be residing.
Do I have to book with STA Travel?
You can contact STA to talk to them about flights, they have some exclusive flexible tickets so we recommend getting in touch with them. You can contact them on 1300 850 485 or [email protected] If you want to book flights separately then you are permitted to do so.
Can I book a one way ticket to the US?
No. When travelling to the US you must have an onward ticket out of North America.
How do I apply?
To apply all you need to do is fill out an online application and pay the program fee. Once that is complete we will be in touch to start on the rest of the visa paper work.
When should I apply?
As soon as you are able! We assign interviews based on when people sign up to our program, which means first applicants get first choice over who they interview with. So the earlier you apply the more likely that you’ll get your preferred employer interviews!
How long does the application process take?
It can take anywhere from 6-10 weeks to process all of the documentation. You can apply early to avoid any stress. Just let us know when you want to travel and we will book everything accordingly.
Is there someone I can speak to about the program?
Absolutely! You can give us a call at 1300 797 702. You can email at [email protected] or visit us on Facebook. Usually once a month we host free information sessions, which is a great way to learn more about the program.
Thought of a few questions we haven’t answered above? If you would like some clarification on anything at all, fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch within 1-2 working days, by phone and email, to answer any questions you might have.