Resources for Young Estonians Who Want to Work in the United States
Eestlased Eestis 04 Aug 2010  EWR
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U.S. Embassy in Tallinn, August 3, 2010
Many young Estonians take advantage of programs allowing them to work temporarily in the United States, including the popular “Summer Work/Travel Program” and other temporary exchange programs, such as those for au pairs or short-term business internships. These programs can provide a great opportunity for young Estonians to learn more about the United States, while developing important job skills.

Sometimes a program turns out to be different from what one expects. Furthermore, in some cases, the treatment of young workers may be illegal, such as being denied fair wages or being forced to stay in a job against one’s will. It is important that young people have the resources to understand what these programs offer, and to know where to turn if things do not turn out as planned.

To participate in an internship or exchange (including the Summer Work/Travel Program), a young person must obtain a visa from the U.S. Embassy. If a job-seeker has questions about a particular program, he or she can contact the Embassy’s Consular Section. After arriving in the United States, the young person can seek help from the program sponsor, or seek assistance from the U.S. Department of State. The Department of State’s website provides information for persons to find out more about these programs, including information on where to turn to seek help or file a complaint.

Unfortunately, nefarious companies and individuals sometimes advertise U.S. job opportunities on the internet or in Estonian newspapers, incorrectly advising job-seekers that they can work in the United States if they hold a U.S. tourist visa, or enter the United States without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program. Working in the United States with a tourist visa (or without a visa) is illegal. In addition, a worker may arrive in the United States and find that there is no job waiting for him or her as promised, or that the job conditions are much more difficult than the worker had expected. A person who is being offered such employment should contact the Embassy’s Consular Section, and also may wish to seek advice from local organizations that work to combat human trafficking, such as Living for Tomorrow.

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