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Visa & Embassy

Why do I need a visa?

To work at Summer Camp in America, you’ll need a special visa that gives you permission to enter the country to work. You need to secure a visa as part of the application process because it’s legally required by the US government.

To get a visa, you’ll need to visit the US Embassy for an interview and be approved by the member of Consular staff who does that interview. We’ll support you every step of the way to get your visa.

How long does the visa interview take?

The visa interview process can take anywhere between 30 minutes and 2 hours, but can sometimes run longer depending on your circumstances and how busy the embassy is.

When should I book my visa appointment?

We’ll let you know as soon as you’re able to book your visa appointment. Make sure you don’t book in unless we tell you to because we need certain things done before an embassy appointment can happen.

If you’re unsure about booking an appointment, give the office a call on 0121 411 9165.

What do I need for my US Embassy appointment?

You’ll need to take all of the following to your appointment:

  • Passport
  • DS-2019 form
  • DS-160 confirmation page
  • Appointment instructions page
  • US-style visa photographs
  • SEVIS receipt
  • At least 2 documents of proof of return

My visa expires on the day I leave camp. Can I still travel after?

If you secured your visa after being placed at a Summer Camp, your visa should show the dates of your camp contract.

If you got your visa before getting placed, the dates will be updated on the visa system, so you won’t need to worry about the dates being wrong on the printed visa. After all the paperwork is put in place, your visa will be valid for the dates you work at camp.

Your visa will be valid up until the last day you work at camp. After it expires, you have 30 days to travel before you need to leave the US.

Do I need an ESTA?

The visa you’ll need is called a J-1 Visa, so you don’t need to apply for an ESTA.

I have a US passport. Do I still need a visa?

If you hold a valid US passport, you won’t need to apply for a J-1 visa to work at Summer Camp.

What’s a Pre-departure Orientation Meeting?

A Pre-departure Orientation Meeting is a mandatory part of going to work at Summer Camp in America – even if you secure a visa, not attending one will lead to the voiding of that visa.

PDOM is a full day of training that gets you ready to tackle a summer at camp. They’re also full of vital information that covers everything you need to know about the next steps and how camps work in practice.

What should I use as Proof of Return?

Proof of Return is a really important part of the visa interview process.

The Consular Officer who carries out your interview needs to be sure that you intend to return to the UK after working at Summer Camp and they may ask for proof as part of this.

If you’re asked for evidence and you’re unable to provide it, you’re likely to be rejected for a visa.

You should take as many of the following as possible and are applicable:

  • Proof of university enrollment (eg. letter from university or SFE)
  • Proof of employment (eg. employment contract or a written job offer)
  • Proof of rent/mortgage (eg. rent contract or letter from parents)
  • Proof of long-term financial commitments (eg. car payments)

Please remember that a return flight is not considered Proof of Return.

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