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USA - Working Holiday Visas

The rules governing the ability to work in North America are stricter than in other popular backpacker destinations. Because of this, the majority of UK travellers planning to work in the USA will choose to contact a reputable company or "sponsoring agency".

The US Government has understandably tightened up their immigration laws since 2001, making it harder for you to obtain a visa to work in the country without help from an agency. The main type of visa that students wishing to work in the USA apply for is the J-1 visa, which allows you to combine work and travel. For more information on securing your visa, see our USA visa section.

Their are mainly 2 types of the J-1 Visa. The "Work and Travel" visa allows you to work temporarily in a "guest service position" - ie working in the tourist industry. The "Camp Counsellor" visa allows you to work at a summer camp.

Click here to learn more about ESTA  in the USA. An ESTA is always required for a holiday, business trip or transfer/transit in the USA. This is different to the Working holiday Visa. 


Visas USA


Getting a visa on your own is a real hassle but there are organisations will help you through the application process - see our sections on jobs in the USA and destination USA for details of companies who will help you.