Grad USA


We provide you with all the visa support, sponsorship and supporting documentation to apply for a J-1 visa that allows you to work in the USA for 12 months.

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Grad USA visa eligibility


Must be aged 18-35 and be a New Zealand or Australia passport holder.


Must be a full-time tertiary level student currently in a nationally accredited institution of higher education, who has completed one year of study before entering the USA.

Must be a recent graduate from full-time tertiary study, who has had their application approved and entered the USA within 12 months of completing their degree requirements (final coursework/exam). 


You can work in the USA for up to 12 months, with a 30-day grace period either side of your visa to travel. You’re not allowed to work during your grace period.


Must be able to provide proof that you have sufficient funds to support yourself between work. Subject to change, this is currently USD $2,000.





cost and inclusions

When to apply

This big opportunity has a small window. And if you don’t get it right, the window closes forever. (Which like windows, is just a massive pane). Here’s the need to know.

To apply for this type of J-1 visa you must be a full-time student and have completed your first year of study before you enter the USA. Or if you’ve already graduated, you must enter the USA within 12 months of graduating. For example, if you finish studying on the 15th December, you must enter the USA by the 14th December the following year. 

You’ll need to select a start date that will be printed on your work permit, and you can enter the USA up to 30 days before to travel. It usually takes 8-12 weeks to process your visa, but part of the application process involves an in-person US consulate appointment in Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne or Perth, so we advise applying as early as possible.

Earning your stars and stripes

Earning your stars and stripes

While you’re not expected to pledge your allegiance to the flag, the J-1 visa is a cultural exchange visa – which means it's designed for international students or graduates to experience everything America has to offer. Part of the visa requirement is a pre-departure screening with BUNAC where we’ll ask you why you want to work in the USA, what type of work you want to do, and what cultural experiences you’re looking forward to. It’s also an opportunity to get advice from the BUNAC team on where to live and how to look for work, and to go through any questions you have.

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Apply now for the Grad USA program with a deposit

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  • United Kingdom: 0333 014 8484
  • United States: +1 3323303222
  • Australia: +61 3 9119 5252
  • New Zealand: +64 9 883 2525
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The BUNAC® logo and many of the programme names on this website are registered trademarks in the USA, the United Kingdom and in other jurisdictions. Company registration number: 1391030. Trading as BUNAC Travel Services Limited, 5 Richbell Place, London, WC1N 3LA, United Kingdom.