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.

Sponsors are required to provide pre-arranged and fully vetted employment of all participants who are not from a non-visa waiver country. The sponsor should provide all participants, prior to entry with the Department of State’s toll-free help line telephone number and the sponsor’s 24/7 immediate contact telephone number. All the participants are required to notify their sponsor when they arrive in the United States and to provide information of any change in jobs or residence. Sponsors must inform program participants of Federal Minimum Wage requirements and ensure that, at a minimum, participants are compensated at the prevailing local wage, which must meet the higher of either the applicable state or the Federal minimum wage requirement, including payment for overtime in accordance with state-specific employment;

Sponsors must maintain, at a minimum, a monthly schedule of personal contact with the program participants (in-person, by telephone or via-electronic mail), and ensure that issues affecting the health, safety or welfare of participants are addressed immediately. Participants are also required to contact the sponsor on a monthly basis.

Sponsors may place participants only in jobs that:are seasonal or temporary.

The aim of the Work and Travel program is to provide opportunities for regular communication and interaction with U.S. citizens and allow participants to experience U.S. culture.

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