COVID-19 Work Abroad Update - USA

COVID-19 Work Abroad Update - USA (updated 20/05/2020)

During this COVID-19 pandemic we are all facing unimaginable uncertainty and speculation. While we are helping thousands of work abroad participants navigate this confusing time, we believe the best course of action is for us to discover and communicate only the facts currently available.

We remain wholeheartedly committed to US cultural exchanges, the life-changing experiences they provide and the positive impact they create in the world.

Entry into USA

  • Our visa sponsors CIEE are implementing a further pause on entry to the USA until 10 June 2020 for all J-1 exchange program participants, including Intern Trainee, Summer Camp USA & Work America. There is no information at present about whether this date will be extended.
  • If your program start date is affected by the current pause, or in the situation this date is extended, we will work with you and your host employer to accommodate later start dates.

Visa processing

  • Many US embassies, including London, are currently only operating emergency visa services and are not processing J-1 applications.
  • The US embassy in London is planning to resume regular processing, but they have not specified when. We will inform you as soon we know when appointments will be available
  • Shipping of DS-2019 visa paperwork from CIEE has been delayed due to lockdown orders in Portland Maine and will not resume until at least June 1st 2020

Summer Camp USA

  • Current information from the US Embassy and our sponsor, CIEE is that Summer Camp USA 2020 will go ahead.
  • However, dates and travel arrangements will likely be impacted by continued delays to processes and government travel restrictions. You should consider these impacts carefully and remain in contact with your camp to discuss delaying your arrival or deferring your place to next summer

What if your Camp has been cancelled?

  • We’re really sorry to hear your camp had to make this tough decision. Please see below for options available under ‘changing your Summer 2020 program’.

Work America / 4 month J-1 Summer Work Travel

  • Many seasonal businesses in the US are being impacted by COVID-19 making it hard for them to predict their staffing needs this summer.
  • We anticipate many current job offers will be cancelled or start dates postponed.

Changing your Summer 2020 program

We understand uncertainty can be unsettling. Please see below your options, if you decide to postpone your work abroad travels for now.

1) Defer to summer 2021, or summer 2022

Choose to carry your booking forward and your full balance that you've paid to BUNAC to next year or the year after.

2) Switch to a different BUNAC program

You can switch to any other BUNAC program. We’ll give you 110% of the value of your entire booking as credit to put towards another BUNAC program anytime in the next 12 months. Click here for full program options.

3) Claiming a refund

If you decide to cancel your program altogether rather than going ahead with summer 2020, deferring to 2021 or summer 2022, or switching to another BUNAC program you can claim a refund as per our standard terms & conditions. Cancellation fees will apply and will depend on the program level you selected and total you have paid so far.   This will be processed and refunded to you within 90 days