DUSHANBE, February 9, 2012, Asia-Plus – In a statement released on February 9, the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe noted that students considering the Summer Work Travel program in Tajikistan should know that the program is a short-term cultural exchange program and participants should not expect to earn enough money to send remittances back to Tajikistan.

The Summer Work Travel (SWT) program has provided thousands of international college and university students an opportunity to visit the United States and gain insights into American culture and values.

To qualify for an SWT visa, program applicants must demonstrate their ability to fund travel to and from the United States, and all expenses that may be incurred before receiving their first paycheck.  Before applying to the program, applicants should carefully consider the costs, including facilitating agencies'' fees and visa application fees, bearing in mind that money earned through the program often covers only modest living expenses in the United States.

Potential applicants for the SWT program also must meet the following requirements: SWT applicants must be students enrolled in and actively pursuing a degree at an accredited postsecondary educational institution. They must have successfully completed at least one semester of postsecondary academic study; SWT applicants must be fluent in English; and SWT applicants must have a confirmed job offer obtained through a U.S. sponsor.

Tajik SWT applicants are only authorized to work in the United States during the official Tajik university holiday period of July 1 – August 31.

Please note that even SWT applicants who meet all these program requirements are not guaranteed a visa.  Each applicant must also meet the requirements of U.S. immigration law. Specifically, applicants must establish their financial, social, and familial ties to Tajikistan, and demonstrate that they intend to return to Tajikistan to resume their studies upon the first day of the new term.  Applicants who are unable to demonstrate the intention to comply with U.S. visa law and the SWT program regulations may not be issued a visa.

In Tajikistan, LLC VisaCom, Oscar Travel LLC, and International Exchange Center coordinate with U.S. sponsors for the SWT program.  These organizations facilitate the offer of employment, but cannot guarantee visa issuance.