Each applicant must meet very strict requirements to receive a SWT visa. The applicant must speak English at the interview and demonstrate to the consular officer that he or she will return to Uzbekistan upon completion of the program.
Do not rely solely on the advice of your friends, facilitators, or internet cafes when you prepare for your participation in SWT!
What is the purpose of the exchange visitor program (J-1 Visa program)?
The Exchange Visitor Program fosters global understanding through educational and cultural exchanges. All exchange visitors are expected to return to their home country upon completion of their program in order to share their exchange experiences.
Who is eligible to apply in the Summer Work and Travel Program (SWT)?
University students who can demonstrate sufficient proficiency in English may apply for this program which allows them to work and learn about American culture during their summer holidays. This program is open to students who are pursuing degrees at the baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral levels.
Can I apply to this program if I graduate this year?
Final year students who will graduate this year are eligible to take part in this program during the school’s major academic break immediately following their graduation, as long as they apply to participate in the SWT program prior to graduation.
I am a student at vocational college, am I eligible to apply to this program?
Part-time students, distance-learning students, and students from vocational colleges are not eligible to participate.
I already have all my documents in order. When is the earliest I can apply for a visa interview?
Applications for SWT are accepted starting March 1, 2022.
I’m not an Uzbek citizen, but I live and study in Uzbekistan. Can I apply to participate in SWT?
Yes, if you reside (live and study) in Uzbekistan then you may apply for SWT. If you do not live and study in Uzbekistan, then you should apply for SWT in your country of residence and/or study.
What is the age limit to participate in the program?
U.S. law does not impose an age limit for participation in this program.
Am I allowed to extend my stay in the U.S. via the SWT program?
Program extensions are not permitted. Students must return to Uzbekistan prior to the start date of their university or institute.
How long before the program start date may I enter the United States?
You may not arrive more than 30 days before the program start date shown on your DS-2019. Upon completion of your exchange program, you have a grace period of 30 days to depart the United States. Please remember that participation in the SWT program cannot prevent you from attending any scheduled classes or taking exams at your university.
Can I participate in another J-1 program after finishing my current program?
Your current J-1 visa is ONLY applicable for your current J-1 exchange program and under your current program sponsor. Upon completion of your current J-1 program, you are expected to depart the United States. If you intend to pursue a 2nd J-1 exchange program (in a different category and with a different J-1 sponsor), you will need to apply for a new J-1 visa for your new exchange program and new J-1 sponsor – in order to reenter the U.S. for the 2nd program.
What will happen to my J-1 visa status if I withdraw from my exchange visitor program?
If you plan to withdraw from your program, you must notify your program sponsor. Your program sponsor will enter this information into SEVIS and you will be expected to depart the United States immediately. You will not be entitled to the post-completion 30-day period because you did not successfully complete your program.
What will happen to my J-1 visa status if my exchange visitor program sponsor terminates my exchange visitor program?
If your sponsor terminates your participation in their exchange program for just cause, the sponsor will enter this information into SEVIS and you will be expected to depart the United States immediately. You will not be entitled to the post-completion 30-day period because you did not successfully complete your program.
I heard that it is allowed to stay 30 day post-completion of the program? Can you please clarify it?
The initial admission of the exchange visitor will not exceed the period specified on the Form DS-2019 (the beginning and end dates), plus a period of 30 days “for the purpose of travel” (see 8 CFR 214.2(j)). The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) established this 30-day period. DHS has concluded that the 30-day post-completion period was intended to be a period following the successful completion of the exchange visitor’s program and is to be used for domestic travel and/or to prepare for and depart from the United States, and for no other purpose. Foreign nationals are under the jurisdiction of DHS during this period. A program extension and/or transfer cannot be done if an exchange visitor’s record in SEVIS is not in active status during this period.
Is Summer Work and Travel Program designed for students regardless of their degree (i.e. BA, MA, PHD) or are there limitations?
Qualifying for Summer Work Travel (SWT): In this category, a participant is defined as a bona fide post-secondary student in the applicant’s own or another foreign country if the applicant is currently enrolled and participating full time at an accredited post-secondary academic institution at the time of the application, or as that status is defined by the educational system of the country. On-line study, though it may be full time and may lead to a degree, does not qualify a student as a full time student for purposes of participation in the Summer Work Travel program. Final year students are eligible to take part in this program during the school’s major academic break immediately following their graduation, as long as they apply to participate in the program prior to graduation.
What should student do if he/she wants to change his/her job in USA?
All SWT participants should be cautioned to comply with their responsibility to inform their U.S. sponsor of their arrival and commencement at work and keep the sponsor informed of their whereabouts, should they change locations. SWT participants who wish to change jobs or to accept an additional job must inform their U.S. sponsor of the desired job placement and wait for the sponsor to perform the same vetting and approval process as for the initial employment prior to beginning work.
What will happen if a student loses DS-2019 form?
If the exchange visitor loses the Form DS-2019, he or she must obtain a replacement copy from the designated sponsor.
If a participant of Uzbek citizenship pursuing degree abroad, where he/she is recommended to apply?
Since the timing requirements of the program should be consistent with the summer break of the school being attended, all participants are recommended to apply for SWT program at the embassy or consulate of the country where they study.
I heard that J1 visa holders can take their dependents to USA. I am married. Can I take my spouse of Summer Work and Travel Program?
Participants in the Summer Work Travel, camp counselor, au pair, and high school exchange programs are not expected to be accompanied by dependents. (For officers: If you receive a Form DS-2019 supporting a J-2 visa application from an individual claiming such status, contact CA/VO/F/ET for guidance.)
I am studying full time and expected to receive a degree by the completion of my studies. However, I am on online-study. Can I apply for SWT program?
On-line study, though it may be full time and may lead to a degree, does not qualify a student as a full time student for purposes of participation in the Summer Work Travel program.
I am given a pamphlet of William Wilberforce at the interview and asked to read it. Why is it important to me?
The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (WWTVPRA) requires you to ensure that aliens applying for J visas are made aware of their legal rights under Federal immigration, labor, and employment laws. This includes information on the illegality of slavery, peonage, trafficking in persons, sexual assault, extortion, blackmail, and worker exploitation in the United States.
I failed to return in time for the start of my university classes, but I departed the USA within 30 days of the completion of my exchange program and did not incur a U.S. immigration violation. Will that effect on my next application for this program?
When an applicants from previous SWT participation, who failed to return in time for the start of their university classes, applies for SWT program again this fact may call into question their eligibility (whether they are in fact “bona fide students”) for future exchange program visas. That is the case even when the applicant departed the United States within 30 days of the completion of his/her exchange program and did not incur a U.S. immigration violation. Each of these cases must be evaluated on its own merits.
Can I work more than one job in the United States?
The Exchange Visitor Program regulations do not prohibit a participant from accepting a second job. However, you must check with your sponsoring agency before accepting a second job. Your sponsoring agency must approve and vet all jobs.
What if I have a complaint about the sponsoring agency or my employer in the United States?
You may register complaints with the Department of State at firstname.lastname@example.org. However, your U.S. sponsoring organization has primary responsibility for your program. If you have a complaint about your employer, you should first contact your sponsor for assistance. Contact information for your sponsor can be found in Box #7 of your Form DS-2019.
What if I have a difficult time finding a job placement once I arrive in the United States, or have concerns about the work conditions?
If you have questions or are experiencing difficulty in finding employment, or have concerns about the work conditions, you should first contact your sponsor for assistance. You also may contact the Department of State (email@example.com). You may also wish to contact your country’s nearest Embassy or Consulate.
What do the program BEGIN and END dates on my Form DS-2019 mean?
The program begin and end dates indicate when you may begin work and when you must stop working. You may begin working at any point on or after the program start date, but you must end your work by the end date of the program. Working beyond the program end date will impact your ability to participate in the program in future years.
Who should I contact if I have a concern and it is not being addressed by my sponsor?
The State Department has activated a helpline to ensure the health and safety of its exchange participants. Among other prohibitions, no sponsor may threaten program termination, or otherwise retaliate against a participant solely because he or she has instituted a complaint or taken action to gain assistance from an outside entity regarding a complaint. Participants can contact the State Department at any time via the hotline 1-866-283-9090 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who should I contact if I have a question or concern about my exchange visitor program?
Contact your designated sponsor, whose name and telephone number are listed on Form DS-2019.
Who should I contact regarding my SEVIS registration?
You should contact your J-1 program sponsor. Your sponsor is responsible for assisting and advising you on all matters regarding your J-1 exchange visitor program.
Who should I contact regarding problems obtaining a Social Security card?
You should contact your designated sponsor and the Social Security Administration.
What documents are needed to apply for an Exchange Visitor J-1 Visa?
- Form DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility) issued by your program sponsor
- Other supporting documents – check the specific embassy or consulate website
- Passport valid for travel to the United States
- Completed Online Form DS-160, nonimmigrant visa application
- Fee receipt showing payment of the $160 visa application fee
- 2×2 photograph, meeting format requirements
For more information about J visas, please see the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ exchange visitor visa website. For detailed information about how to make a visa interview appointment at an embassy or consulate, how to pay the application processing fee and more, go to the visa information on the U.S. embassy or consulate website where you will apply for your visa.
Where do I obtain a DS-2019?
Designated sponsors are authorized to issue Form DS-2019 to prospective or current exchange visitors they select for their program.
As a J-1 Visa holder, am I allowed to work?
A J-1 holder is only allowed to perform the activity listed on his/her Form DS-2019 and as stated in the regulations for that category of exchange.
Do I need a sponsor?
Yes. The State Department designates U.S. government, academic and private sector entities to conduct educational and cultural exchange programs. To participate in the Exchange Visitor Program, foreign nationals must be sponsored by one of the State Department-designated sponsors.
The program sponsors are responsible for screening and selecting eligible foreign nationals for participation in their designated exchange visitor program, as well as supporting and monitoring exchange visitors during their stay in the United States.
Refer to the list of designated sponsors and their programs.
What do I do if one of my exchange visitors loses his/her passport?
A foreign visitor in the United State who loses their passport must immediately contact their home country’s embassy or consulate to report the loss and find out how to replace it. Embassy.org provides information on each of the embassies located in Washington, D.C. The participant should also contact their Sponsor to obtain a new copy of their Form DS-2019 to present to their Home country’s embassy or consulate to get the new passport.